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There is a misconception that higher education and pursuing skilled trades are two separate paths.  The LIFT (Lifting Individuals for the Trades) program is designed to fight this head on, and has the flexibility to help people that are simply looking for a path to a better life.

LIFT is designed to help remove financial barriers for community members that are looking to establish a career in the trades, which will provide a living wage and benefits so they may take care of their families, while also establishing an attitude of self-reliance.

In order to receive support through the program, potential participants must show financial need and be enrolled in an approved Community Foundation trade school. The desired vocation also needs to be a skill set that is required by local employers who have job positions currently available.

After being accepted, examples of covered expenses within the program are as follows:

  • Lost wages while in school

  • Child care assistance

  • Transportation expenses

  • Text books and training material

  • Qualified household expenses (food, phone, clothing, toiletries, etc)

Additionally, the program will help in ensuring that local employers have a pipeline of skilled employees that will be able to perform needed job functions, something that will also assist in attracting new businesses to the Shenango and Mahoning Valleys.

Looking for help with the above? Click here to access the LIFT program interest form or email Deb Groover at

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