Funding The Future: Western Piedmont Foundation Receives $150K From Cannon Foundation


The Western Piedmont Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Western Piedmont Community College (WPCC), was awarded $150,000 from The Cannon Foundation to offset the current construction costs of a 15,000 square foot Regional Skilled Trades Solution Center that will be completed in the fall of 2023. This new center will house training focused on carpentry, masonry, electrical technologies, HVAC, plumbing, and green construction principles.

Regional Skills Trade Solution Center.

As WPCC continues to aid the construction and skilled trades workforce shortage, President Dr. Joel Welch speaks to WPCC’s strong commitment to education and how it translates to living wages.

“Western Piedmont Community College is committing to providing high quality career pathways that lead to livable wages in our community. Construction trades is one of the pathways that enable individuals to improve their lives and start well-paying careers,” WPCC President Dr. Joel Welch said. “The Cannon Foundation’s gift will allow us to continue to improve our highquality offerings and provide a real-world environment for students to learn their construction trade. We appreciate the partnership with The Cannon Foundation. They are helping us transform lives in our community.”

A 2022 model in the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) news release demonstrated that the construction industry will need to attract nearly 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the demand for labor.

“ABC’s 2022 workforce shortage analysis sends a message loud and clear: The construction industry desperately needs qualified, skilled craft professionals to build America,” ABC president and CEO Michael Bellaman said.

The Cannon Foundation was established in 1943 by Charles A. Cannon, President and CEO of Cannon Mills Company. The Foundation continues his philanthropic legacy by funding capital and equipment projects for organizations across Mr. Cannon’s home state of North Carolina.