NAPLES — After seeing the real-world, experiential learning opportunities for students in The Immokalee Foundation’s Engineering & Construction Management Pathway, Charlie and Angie Sunderland made a substantial gift of $100,000 to help support the pathway and its programs.
The Engineering & Construction Management Pathway is part of The Immokalee Foundation’s Career Pathways Program. The innovative program provides opportunities and training for high-demand professional careers throughout Southwest Florida paying wages that lead to financial independence. Jobs in engineering and construction management are in demand and projected to have high growth rates with the construction boom Southwest Florida is experiencing.
“We want to help set these students up for lifelong success,” Angie Sunderland said. “The Foundation’s groundbreaking educational and professional development programs give these children a path to achieve their dreams, and we’re excited to offer our support.”
The Immokalee Foundation worked with industry experts and educators to develop after-school and summer programs to prepare Foundation students for a variety of professions, including engineering and construction management. Students in the Engineering & Construction Management Pathway receive education on an array of careers, including distribution, logistics and architecture. The Career Pathways Program enables each student to build a resume of marketable skills of interest to both postsecondary admissions directors and future employers.
“Donors like Charlie and Angie Sunderland help ensure students both now and, in the future, will benefit from the Foundation’s Career Pathways Program,” said Immokalee Foundation President and CEO Noemi Y. Perez. “We are so appreciative of the Sunderlands for investing in our programs and helping enable brighter futures for the students in our Engineering & Construction Management Pathway. Their thoughtful contribution goes a long way in making this innovative program the success that it is.”
Students in the Engineering & Construction Management Pathway have the option to intern at the Foundation’s Career Pathways Learning Lab, a learning hub leveraged for the 18-home subdivision being built in the heart of Immokalee. The Career Pathways Learning Lab addresses the critical need for hands-on professional career training and experience, with Engineering & Construction Management Pathway students building the homes under the supervision and guidance of professionals from the construction industry. The Career Pathways Learning Lab also serves as an experiential learning opportunity for the Foundation’s Business Management & Entrepreneurship Pathway to learn about land development, home construction, marketing and sales.
“This program is invaluable to The Immokalee Foundation’s students because it gives them the tools and experience to become successful in their future careers,” Charlie Sunderland said. “We were so inspired by the phenomenal work the Foundation is doing to prepare these children for success, and we feel so honored to contribute to this incredible project and help these students build a community of homes for their own hometown.”
The curriculum developed by The Immokalee Foundation can lead to four industry-recognized credentials including an Occupational Safety and Health Administration training certificate and certificates from the National Center for Construction Education and Research in safety, construction technologies and construction supervision. Upon graduation from high school, students in the Engineering & Construction Management Pathway can choose to advance their knowledge with postsecondary training, a college degree or enter the workforce as a certified professional.
About The Immokalee Foundation
For more than 30 years The Immokalee Foundation has been dedicated to empowering the underserved children of Immokalee. The Foundation provides pathways to success for those who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to succeed. Through support, mentorship, and life skill development—The Immokalee Foundation helps underprivileged children forge pathways to economic and personal success. For additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit immokaleefoundation.org.