Vocational education at Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) got another boost recently from one of its favorite supporters Bob Favretto of Kenai Chrysler Center. The most recent contribution came in the form of a $10,000 dollar check presented to UAA President Mark Hamilton and KPC Director Gary Turner during Hamilton's visit to the Kenai Peninsula.
"When I was in junior high and high school, I was very active in classes like shop, I just wasn't very interested in math and science and those courses. When I came to Alaska, a resource based state; I immediately saw the need for a skilled workforce especially in the vocational trades. Now as we prepare for another statewide pipeline project where there will be a lot of jobs available, if we don't have a trained workforce, we won't be able to fill those jobs with Alaskans," said Favretto.
KPC Director Gary Turner presents Bob Favretto with an honorary degree from the Kenai Fishing Academy of KPC.
Toward that end Favretto has dedicated proceeds from the annual Kenai Chrysler Open golf tournament to the KPC vocational education programs that presently total some $35,000. The tournament was created by Favretto to generate funds for KPC, the Kenai Chamber, and revenue for the local economy, which is estimated to generate some $100,000 annually within the community.
According to Gary Turner the funds from the Tournament have allowed them to buy practical materials such as welding hoods, "With these funds we were able to purchase 10 respirator hoods for welders. That makes us the first welding school in the State and in the country to use these new welding hoods. In fact our welding professor just had an article printed in the national welding magazine on our testing of these hoods, and that was all possible because of the funds from the Tournament. We've also been able to provide ten $500 scholarships for voc-ed students and we've bought graphing calculators for our nurses program, and the list goes on," said Turner.
According to Turner, Bob Favretto was also instrumental in supporting the new Kenai Fishing Academy at KPC in its inaugural year, "Programs like this have to become self supporting, so getting them off the ground is a huge effort that Bob helped out with by supplying vans for transportation and the initial support we needed to get started," Turner told Chamber members. To show their appreciation, Turner presented Favretto with an honorary degree in "Piscatorial Pursuit." The degree states, "Be it known to all fishes that swim in the seas, rivers, lakes, and streams, that Bob Favretto and Kenai Chrysler Center are awarded this honorary degree in Piscatorial Pursuit for their valued support of the Kenai Fishing Academy. Denizens of the deep should fear this person when approached by foot, boat, or air and realize their time to the fillet knife, BBQ grill, frying pan or smoker may be at hand." For more information about the popular fishing academy at KPC, call 262-0300.
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