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Community support needed for trade school students


The Silvene Bracalente Memorial Foundation (SBMF) held its eighth annual Sporting Clay Shoot and Fundraiser on April 2, raising funds to support academic institutions and community organizations in the Lehigh Valley.

The event brings a great turnout each year with local businesses providing sponsorships and the foundation presenting a donation check to a local trade school. This year the event saw its highest attendance to date.

“It is encouraging to see how many people show up to support the foundation and the future of manufacturing. We’re only able to do what we do because of the backing from the local community,” said Ron Bracalente, CEO of Bracalente Manufacturing Group (BMG).

To date, the foundation has raised over $200,000. Money raised is donated directly to schools and local trade organizations to provide scholarships, training and educational supplies.

While the fundraiser had outstanding attendance, the foundation is asking for community support due to the dire situation of the manufacturing industry.

“As the skills-shortage facing the manufacturing industry increases, it is most important to pique the interest of young people and educate them on stability of a manufacturing career. This is our goal with SBMF,” Bracalente said.

He continued, “Financial support from the community will allow us to reach more of the local youth by providing student scholarships to those who may not otherwise have a chance to pursue their education goals.”

Currently, manufacturing serves as the second largest industry in Pennsylvania but with 30% of the workforce aged 55 and over and looking to retirement, the industry is in danger. More than 10,000 jobs go unfilled each year in Southeast Pennsylvania and this number will continue to increase unless the community works together for immediate change.

“SBMF is looking to make a difference by focusing on our youth. This starts by educating families on the importance of manufacturing as an industry and the benefits of pursuing a manufacturing career,” said Bracalente. “Choosing a trade career path needs to be a viable option as our kids become adults and begin their careers. The critical shortage of skilled employees we are all facing today just increases the urgency to act now,” he stated.

To donate to the Silvene Bracalente Memorial Foundation visit

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