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SEL, Schweitzers give $3 million to LCSC project


July 12, 2018 | View PDF

Pullman's Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), along with company founder and President Ed Schweitzer and wife, Beatriz, donated $3 million to the new career and technical education center at Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC). It is the largest cash donation in school history.

On Monday, SEL announced it will give $2 million toward the new CTE building, with the Schweitzers contributing another $1 million.

“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. This is a major step that will result in world-class programs for the region,” said former LCSC President Fernandez, who retired in June and who first approached the Schweitzers about donating.

Schweitzer commended the field of technical and industrial education for its ability to improve an individual's life and better society as a whole.

“First and foremost, we have to realize that schools - whether it be high schools, college or universities – these are the places that teach kids the stuff that doesn't rust. That's their chance to learn the fundamentals,” Schweitzer said. “I cant underscore enough how important it is for people to work with their hands and their minds,” he added.

Schweitzer said he first considered donating after attending an LCSC graduation ceremony a couple years ago, noting his appreciation for the number of first-generation college graduates he met there.

“I was just so impressed with seeing so many wonderful young people become nurses, becoming diesel mechanics, becoming welders and many, many other careers,” Ed explained. “It seems like LCSC is doing a really good job of educating young people and teaching the very skills we need in society, and it's all happening right here at home.”

According to LCSC, construction of the building is expected to begin during the 2018-2019 school year, following an approval by the Idaho State Board of Education and the state's Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council, and will finish up in time for the 2020 fall semester.

The donation will help fund LCSC's 75,000 square-foot facility containing seven of the school's technical and industrial division programs, along with a variety of auto mechanic technology.

The Idaho Legislature agreed to match LCSC's contributions to the $20 million project dollar-for-dollar in 2017. Since then, the school has been working to raise their $10 million share. It has now raised $3.19 million

SEL and LCSC plan to also collaborate in a number of other non-monetary ways, such as designing curriculum for career and technical programs and holding classes taught by SEL employees.


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