GE Foundation commits $100K to Pisgah High School

Apr 25, 2017

Grant supports machining and advanced manufacturing careers in western North Carolina 

ASHEVILLE, NC - April 25, 2017 - The GE Foundation announced a $100,000 grant to Pisgah High School today for the continued development of students and community efforts.

Since opening in 1966, Pisgah High School has supported machining and advanced manufacturing training across western North Carolina (WNC). The program continues to produce great technical talent and supports the growth of the manufacturing pipeline in WNC.

The GE Foundation grant will support the purchase of new equipment, modernization of curriculum and training for faculty/instructors.

“The CTE teachers at Pisgah High School take great pride in being able to offer training that gives our students an advantage when they are ready to enter the workforce,” Chip Singleton, Metals Manufacturing Instructor at Pisgah High School. “The grant from the GE Foundation will help us upgrade our programs to stay ahead of the competition and give our students the 21st-century skills that today's global economy demands.”

Pisgah’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Industrial Development program for trade and industrial students focuses on machine shop, pulp and paper, and drafting.  Approximately 30 percent of CTE graduates move directly into the workforce.  The other CTE graduates move on to a 2-year degree program (40 percent) or a 4-year degree program (30 percent).

Graduates who move into an apprenticeship program start at an average of $15.30 per hour and advance quickly up the pay scale. Apprenticeship consists of a partnership with faculty, high school students and local manufacturers.

“Pisgah is giving its students the skills they need to be successful in the advanced manufacturing and technical fields,” said GE Aviation Asheville Plant Leader Michael Meguiar.  “They are an asset to the region, making Western North Carolina stronger and a more attractive place for employers to locate because of the highly-skilled workers they continue to produce.”

Pisgah was recognized by the Golden Leaf foundation in 2014 for developing students and community efforts.

“The GE Foundation is committed to preparing today's students for the jobs of the future,” said Ann R. Klee, president of the GE Foundation. “Pisgah High School’s CTE program is an outstanding example of how education, business, and the local community are working together to improve access to better education and develop the technology and talent for our future workforce.”

This grant adds to GE’s existing investment in North Carolina. GE employs close to 5000 employees across the state, including GE Aviation facilities in Asheville, Durham, West Jefferson and Wilmington. Every GE job in North Carolina creates almost three additional jobs within the state, and local GE employees contributed about 7,500 volunteer hours in 2016. GE announced last month that its growing US operations investment between 2011-2016 reached $4.3 billion. Part of that investment - $125 million - came to GE Aviation Asheville, where the company expanded its local operation with a new 170,000-square-foot facility.

Opened in 2014, the new facility is the first of its kind, mass-producing advanced ceramic matrix composite parts for aviation propulsion systems. The new facility sits just behind GE’s rotating parts site, which has been in operation in Asheville for nearly 70 years.

About the GE Foundation:

GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, is committed to building a world that works better. We empower people by helping them build the skills they need to succeed in a global economy. We equip communities with the technology and capacity to improve access to better health and education. We elevate ideas that are tackling the world's toughest challenges to advance economic development and improve lives. The GE Foundation is powered by the generosity and talent of our employees, who have a strong commitment to their communities. We are at work, making the world work better. Follow the GE Foundation at and on Twitter at @GE Foundation.

Media Contact:

GE Aviation

Nick Hurm