The Sundance Family Foundation awarded a $49,100 grant to SOFTEC Education, Inc. a Siren, based 501c3 organization. SOFTEC teaches technical and communication skills using State of the Art simulator based training. SOFTEC provides 5-6 week accelerated pathways to construction, excavation and road building careers. SOFTEC graduates receive locally recognized, industry certified training. A possible starting wage for SOFTEC graduates is $46,000 before benefits.

Tuition for SOFTEC students is mainly paid for through grants and Private Donor Sponsorships. The Sundance Family Foundation grant enables SOFTEC to continue to provide training opportunities through the hardships caused by COVID 19. Currently SOFTEC has six committed trainees for 2021: three male students are Luck 2020 High School graduates. Another fortunate local trainee is a 30+-year-old client looking to start a new career. Thanks to the generosity of his sponsor he will be starting in 2021. The 2021 class will also include two women: one from Shell Lake and another from Fredric . To date SOFTEC’s internal benchmark of 20% enables it to exceed the National Industry Standard of 7-12% women in the industries it serves.

SOFTEC is working diligently to write matching grants to combine with this Sundance and Private Sponsorship funding to enable at least two additional trainees to also begin in 2021. These two potential additional trainees will bring the class to eight students. This matching grant funding opportunity is a direct result of the generous grant awarded by the Sundance Family Foundation and our Private Donor Sponsorships.

Each SOFTEC graduate receives a Heavy Equipment Operators Certificate upon graduation. With the successful graduation of each trainee, it has been proven that 10-15 extended family members benefit directly as these new leaders of the community earn their Family Sustaining Wage while remaining in the local communities.

SOFTEC is continuing to diligently seek matching grants to combine with Sundance and Private Donor Sponsorships to provide training opportunities for additional two students for 2021.

Based in St. Paul, The Sundance Family Foundation’s mission is to accelerate youth development and strengthen family stability. Sundance has moved its focus to young adults 18-24+ who are entering the workforce. Additional information about Sundance can be found at: sundancefamilyfoundation.org

Additional information about SOFTEC can be found online at: softeceducation.org or on Facebook: facebook.com/softeceducation.

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