The final PVF Roundtable meeting of the year at the Westin Oaks at the Galleria in Houston in mid-October was highlighted by the industrial PVF networking group presenting $150,000 in scholarships to four schools involved in various supply-chain education programs.

The University of Houston and Texas A & M University were each presented with $50,000 scholarships. Russell Dunlavy and Dr. Joseph Tedesco were on hand from Houston, while Dr. Reza Langari and Kyle Bryson represented Texas A & M.

Both San Jacinto College and Lee College were presented with checks for $25,000 during the PVF Roundtable board meeting. Kevin Morris and Ruth Keenan represented San Jacinto, while Pam Warford and Debbie Jordan represented Lee.

“These are important skills students are learning,” Warford said. “You can’t have people working in plants that don’t know what they are doing. We feel a real responsibility to properly educate and train people so they are ready to go into the workforce. There is a lot of expansion going on around here and all crafts are needed to build these units and they will be needed afterward to return and maintain them. It’s critical to educate students and get them the proper skill sets so we can supply these companies with the skilled jobs they need.”

Since the PVF Roundtable Scholarship Program was started, $350,000 has been raised. “The neat part about the program is we’ve asked the schools to use it for industrial distribution and engineering, but San Jacinto and Lee College are trade schools that have certificate programs for areas such as welding, pipe fabrication, pipe fitting and instrument technicians,” PVF Roundtable President Joe Pro told Supply House Times in a video interview at the meeting. “We’re helping satisfy a need in the end-user market for skilled trades.”

Pro reported the PVF Roundtable’s annual TroutBlast scholarship fundraiser was another major hit with more than 300 fishermen raising more than $30,000 for the scholarship fund.

Also during the meeting, Supply House Times columnist and industrial PVF industry great Morrie Beschloss was honored for his 60 years in the industry. “I remember when the Roundtable had 50 to 60 members,” Beschloss said. “Since that time the group has really flourished. This organization means more to me than anything else in my 60 years in the business. I’ve loved every moment being in the industry. This industry made me. You are lucky to be in a great industry such as this where you can stay with it and grow with it. We have a great future ahead of us.”

Pro said the PVF Roundtable membership stands at 225 and four new members were announced at the October meeting. “As things continue to pick back up in the economy, we expect membership to continue to grow,” he said. “The word is getting out. There is no other networking venue like this every 90 days. There is no greater value than what you get when you are a member.”

Pro also announced the Roundtable will be leaving the two Westin hotels in the Galleria mall and will relocate to a new facility in Houston starting with the February meeting.