Grant to bolster programming in the Academic Excellence Center and Welding Lab
The Friends of Father Judge High School, Inc. (The Friends), was awarded a $1,000,000.00 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant to assist in the construction, development, and creation of the Academic Excellence Center and its Welding Lab, the first of several Career Pathways that will provide enhanced career training to prepare students for high-demand jobs of the present and the future.
Established in May 2002, The Friends is a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation with Officers and Directors who fundraise on behalf of Father Judge High School. All funds raised by this organization are managed and securely designated for use at the school. Since its formation The Friends have raised and invested over $13 million to make improvements to the school campus, provide financial aid, and fund academic programs that complement the traditional curriculum.
Their RACP application received strong support from PA Senator Christine M. Tartaglione, who represents Father Judge High School, and was part of the overall $2.5 million in grants awarded within the 2nd Senate District. PA Senator Tartaglione was joined by her bipartisan colleagues including PA Senators Sabatina and Collett, along with PA Representatives Boyle, Driscoll, Neilson, Farry, and White in support of The Friends’ RACP Application. At the local and community levels, their project received support from City Councilman Bobby Henon, the Mayfair Civic Association, and the Mayfair Improvement Business District. Finally, the project received industry support from the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades including the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 21, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98, the Steamfitters Local 420, along with their management partners: the Interior Finishing Contractors Association (IFCA) of the Delaware Valley, and Mechanical and Service Contractors Association of Eastern PA.
RCAP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. Beneficiaries in the 2nd District include the Free Library of Philadelphia, Friends of Father Judge High School, and Esperanza Health Center.
In Philadelphia County, 102 projects submitted RACP funding requests and The Friends’ application was one of only 34 projects ultimately selected and funded in Philadelphia during this latest round of RACP funding announcements. In total, 211 out of 489 requested projects were funded during this 2019 RACP Round totaling $199,259,200 statewide in this highly competitive application process.
Asked about the FOFJHS award, Senator Tartaglione stated, “This development is a major milestone for Father Judge High School and for career training in secondary education. As a nation, we are in the midst of a growing labor shortage in the skilled trades, especially welding. The CTE Academy and Brisson Center at Father Judge will respond to this crisis by introducing welding to children from our community while preparing them to pursue lucrative, family-sustaining careers.”
When speaking about the impact of the award, William St. Clair, IV, Chairman of the Friends of Father Judge High School, Inc. commented: “I am extremely grateful and quite pleased that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania understands our School’s vision to educate our children in numerous areas where they will excel in a successful career. Our strategic plan invigorates learning, whether our students’ path is college bound or a master tradesman/technician. We maintain an Academic Excellence Center to insure that our students are successful graduates – well educated, disciplined, and men of character. Our Board’s goal is to have Father Judge as a destination School for parents of children who want to be well educated and strive for a successful career. We deeply appreciate the many individuals who have helped in initiating this endeavor, and are most pleased to thank our Governor Wolf, Senator Tartaglione, and all the other politicians who see our vision into our children’s future of education. This Pennsylvania grant is a huge step for us to begin on another successful education campaign for the betterment of our community. Our Board thanks everyone who has been involved in this process, and looks forward to much more future help to reach our goal of the future.”
Irene H. Hannan, CEO of Faith in the Future, which manages the 17 high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, expressed her enthusiasm for the work being done at Father Judge and the importance of the grant in helping accelerate its Strategic & Academic initiatives. “The support of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania showcases the public-private partnerships necessary to best support students throughout Pennsylvania. In the city of Philadelphia, Father Judge High School is setting themselves apart through their innovative approach to college and career readiness, by putting the needs of the student first. The work of Brian Patrick King and his team, along with the support of Senator Tartaglione, state representatives, and the local community, are a success story we are proud to share. This public-private teamwork, and this student-first approach to educational needs, are the true standard for success in the future.”
Noted Judge President Brian Patrick King ’97, “As an Alum and as the President of this fine institution I am deeply and equally grateful to Governor Wolf for selecting our RACP application as well as Senator Tartaglione and the galvanized cohort of local Senators and Representatives for supporting our application. Closer to home, I would like to thank the many community organizations, the Philadelphia Building Trades, Councilman Henon, and those in local industry who have been on the front lines supporting our efforts in bringing Career & Technical Education to Father Judge. There is no greater reward then sitting at graduation knowing you have helped a young man onto his next step in life and I look forward to the development of our CTE Programs and the day when we begin graduating “blue collar scholars” prepared to enter the workforce with a highly skilled trade in a Career Pathway with high demand and tremendous salary opportunities.”
School leadership recently announced grants totaling $350,000 from the Archdiocesan Educational Fund and the Connelly Foundation earmarked for the welding program. The program, which kicked-off earlier this month, has over forty sophomore welders enrolled.
Father Judge High School was founded in 1954. The all-boys school is dedicated to educating its students’ minds and souls in the spirit of Saint Francis de Sales. On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Father Judge High School will host its Fall Open House. For additional information about the school or to register for the Fall Open House please visit, www.fatherjudge.com/