ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Explore The Trades Skills Lab, Built by Ferguson grant recipients were announced. The Explore The Trades Skills Lab, Built by Ferguson pilot grant program is designed to expose students to plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical (PHCE) careers that they might not otherwise know about. Grant funds will be used to create new plumbing and HVAC classrooms in high schools and post-secondary consortiums throughout North America.

Explore The Trades is a non-profit focused on bridging the technical talent gap to the PHCE service trades. Ferguson is committed to strengthening the communities in which their branches are located. Together, both organizations are dedicated to building the next generation of plumbers and HVAC technicians. 

“The plumbing, HVAC, and electrical trades have created such a legacy in our country,” said Explore The Trades Executive Director Kate Cinnamo. “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.”

“We are excited about educating young people and encouraging them to embrace the artistry and ingenuity that comes from engaging their minds with their hands to build, craft, and construct the future,” said Melissa Hazelwood, director of Ferguson Cares, in a statement. “Providing students with the tools and resources they need, along with the ongoing support of highly experienced industry professionals, demonstrates our commitment to them and their craft, and sets the students up for success in the professional trades.”

The grant recipients have developed partnerships with the following institutions:

  • Armstrong Plumbing, Air, Electric and Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center in Lubbock, Texas   Plumbing program.
  • Pat Plumbing, Heating & Air and Washburn Tech in Topeka, Kansas  Plumbing program.
  • Peaden Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical and Tom P. Haney Technical College in Panama City, Florida  HVAC program
  • Rite Way Heating, Cooling & Plumbing and Rincon High School/Joint Technical Education District in Tucson, Arizona  HVAC Program

“We are super excited to keep pushing out to the world the importance of the trades and what we do," said Pat Grogan, owner of Pat Plumbing, Heating & Air in Topeka, Kansas.