The PVF Roundtable’s summer meeting at the Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria was highlighted by the organization awarding $50,000 in scholarships to two local trade colleges.

San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, and Lee College in Baytown, Texas, both were awarded $25,000 scholarships during the mid-August gathering, which attracted another packed house of 540 registrants.

“Our studies show 77% of our students could not go to school without scholarships,” San Jacinto College Foundation Executive Director Dr. Ruth Keenan said. “Most don’t realize these opportunities are available. You are making dreams come true.”

Lee College Vice President of Learning Dr. Cathy Kemper-Pelle added: “This will change students’ lives. Why don’t more students go to college? Why are there barriers? The No. 1 reason is money. Your generosity will give students the opportunity to complete certification and get jobs. If you get one person in a family a degree, that has a ripple effect not only in the family but in the community. There is a large demand for skilled workers out there. This will go to good use.”

PVF Roundtable Scholarship Fund Chairman Harold Armstrong (Armstrong/Weatherly) noted the organization has been awarding scholarship money to four-year schools University of Houston and Texas A & M on the industrial distribution side, but saw an opportunity to also help on the trades front.

“There is a need for skilled craftsmen for plants and manufacturers,” he said. “What about the trade schools? We found out during the process that it’s difficult to get good instructors and students. With students the big barrier is money. We can fix some of that. We are going to impact a number of lives.”

After the presentations, Robert Braig (vice president) and Joe Costanzo (manager of strategic accounts) of Wolseley Industrial Group via the Ferguson Cares program presented the PVF Roundtable Scholarship Fund with a check for $25,000.

Golf tournament chairman Danny Westbrook (Westbrook Mfg.) noted this year’s Don Caffee Memorial Golf Tournament raised about $50,000 — proceeds that are earmarked to the scholarship fund. “In a down market, we raised about the same money we did last year,” he said. “Everybody who stepped up deserves big applause. This is mainly where the scholarship funds come from. These are the people who may be working for you one day.”

 The PVF Roundtable returns for its fall meeting Oct. 13 at its usual location at the Westin Galleria. The annual TroutBlast fishing tournament takes place Oct. 8-9 in Matagorda Bay, Texas. This event is another scholarship fundraising opportunity. Last year’s event, the first under the PVF Roundtable umbrella, raised $28,000.