LEWISTON, Idaho – Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) will give $2 million to fund Lewis-Clark State College’s new Career & Technical Education (CTE) Center to be built in the Lewiston Orchards. SEL Founder and President Ed Schweitzer and his wife, Beatriz, will also donate $1 million to the project.
The two contributions provide nearly a third of the $10 million in matching funds the State of Idaho has required for the $20 million project, which is expected to be completed by 2020.
"When Dr. Fernandez approached us about supporting the new Career & Technical Education Center at LCSC, we were honored and excited to contribute to such an important project," said Schweitzer. "With the Center, students in our region will learn highly marketable skills that will allow them to fill critical positions for local manufacturers, a true win-win for both students and employers."
Approved by the Idaho Legislature in March, LCSC’s new facility will be a regional CTE center, serving the needs of students from LCSC, neighboring Lewiston High School, and throughout the region. The 75,000 square-foot facility will house most of LCSC’s Technical & Industrial Division programs including auto mechanics technology; CNC machining technology; information technology; engineering technology; heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC-R) technology; and industrial electronics technology.
“The generosity of SEL and Ed and Beatriz Schweitzer is overwhelming and will benefit countless students for years to come,” said Dr. J. Anthony Fernandez, who retired as LCSC’s president in June and played a lead role in bringing the idea of a new CTE center to fruition. “Lewis-Clark State College is honored to join Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in charting the future of Career & Technical Education, not only for the Valley, but for the State and beyond.”
As part of the agreement, SEL and LCSC are collaborating in a variety of ways, including curriculum design for electrical technician training, in the hiring of instructors and in promoting the CTE center and its programs throughout the region.
“Lewis-Clark State College is honored by and incredibly appreciative of this generous support of Career Technical Education,” said new LCSC President Cynthia Pemberton, whose first official day at the college was July 1. “Facilitating educational access and success through meaningful community partnerships is impactful and important. This gift will help us, together, to not only empower individuals but our communities. Our sincere thanks to SEL and the Schweitzers for the powerful difference this gift will make.”
“I cannot think of a better example of cooperation between industry and higher education than SEL and LCSC joining to make a better future for our students,” said Fernandez. “This is a major step that will result in world-class programs for the region.”
The $3 million gift is the largest cash donation the college has ever received, according to LCSC Foundation Executive Director Erika Allen. It is part of the Career & Technical Education Building Campaign where industry partners and individuals are invited to contribute toward the project for naming opportunities. General donations for the project can be made to the LCSC Foundation at: lcsc.edu/giving.
Other donors who have contributed toward the project include CCI/Speer, Avista Foundation, Clearwater Paper, Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, and an anonymous donor.