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Explore The Trades Skills Lab/Built by Ferguson Grant Recipients Announced

June 13, 2022

Alongside our partner, Explore the Trades, a nonprofit organization with a mission to recruit individuals to the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical trades, Ferguson continues its work to rebuild a sustainable pipeline of skilled trades professionals in the U.S. The two organizations teamed up to outfit four schools with new skills labs for the fall, offering students a chance to experience and learn more about two critical trades – plumbing and HVAC.

“Building new learning labs with the right products nurture respect in young people for trade-based careers that have enriched our history and culture,” says Melissa Hazelwood, Director of Social Impact at Ferguson. “Hands-on learning is fundamental, and with the help of Ferguson associates and trades-related mentors with deep expertise, the students will have every opportunity to succeed in the field. We’re proud to work with Explore the Trades and help train the next generation of plumbers and HVAC technicians.”

Ferguson donated $300,000 to Explore the Trades to support the selection and establishment of the new program – Explore the Trades Skills Labs, Built by Ferguson. The funds will be used to select products and training consumables, along with classroom and individual tools for the students. The new learning spaces will be developed with the help of industry professionals who agreed to serve as mentors for the newly formed programs.

Explore the Trades Executive Director Kate Cinnamo was delighted to announce the grant recipients. “The plumbing, HVAC and electrical trades have created such a legacy in our country,” she says. “We are thrilled to continue that impact with the first-ever recipients of an Explore The Trades Skills Lab, Built by Ferguson award. We are appreciative of Ferguson’s generous investment of $300,000 worth of equipment and products. With this gift, students will learn the technical building blocks of this industry and go on to serve our communities.”

Explore the Trades Skills Labs, Built by Ferguson, include:

Plumbing Programs

  • Armstrong Plumbing, Air, Electric and Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center – Lubbock, Texas
  • Pat Plumbing, Heating & Air and Washburn Tech – Topeka, Kan.

HVAC Programs

  • Peaden Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical and Tom P. Haney Technical College – Panama City, Fla.
  • Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing and Rincon High School/Joint Technical Education District – Tucson, Ariz.

Grant recipient Pat Grogan, owner of Pat Plumbing, Heating & Air says, “We are super excited to keep pushing out to the world the importance of the trades and what we do.”