Saniflo USA has announced yearly tuition and product donations to Virginia Technical Institute (VTI). Pledging to donate $3,000 per year in tuition fees, Saniflo said its contributions will cover a semester for two students or two semesters for one student each year.
“Now more than ever, industry manufacturers need to invest in building the skilled-trades workforce — and supporting institutions like Virginia Technical is the key to making that happen,” says Regis Saragosti, CEO of SFA Saniflo North America.
VTI is a non-profit organization located in Altavista, Va., that provides hands-on training in various fields, including electrical, plumbing, heating and air, welding, pipe-fitting, carpentry, masonry, multi-craft industrial maintenance, and project management. Unique to VTI is the leadership training that further enhances the students’ opportunities in the marketplace.
“Students ranging from high school to adults have the opportunity to fulfill classroom hours in their attempt to gain a journeyman’s license in the fields that require it,” says Brett Hall, dean of instruction at VTI. “We use curriculum from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), a standardized training process affiliated with the University of Florida,” he adds. The Institute is also certified by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).
“When it comes to the plumbing realm, Saniflo has been extremely generous to our organization and the relationship is only getting stronger,” says Hall. The two organizations have built a mutually beneficial relationship through the school’s plumbing instructor, Bob Hefner. Hefner visits supply houses across the country to advocate for the school and ultimately crossed paths with Saniflo. Since establishing the connection, Saniflo has conducted numerous macerator and grinder product installation training sessions at VTI’s plumbing school, including training on the installation of HVAC and electrical components.
Product donations will be used in VTI’s plumbing shop and as part of its plumbing program. In 2022, VTI plans to use Saniflo’s Sanibest Pro Grinders and Sanicom 1 drain pumps in a model home created as a practical learning environment for students.
“We converted an old loading dock into a tiny home, and underneath the home, we replicated a crawlspace, allowing us to run piping below the floor,” explains Hall. “This way, students can run piping, check for leaks, etc., making it a ‘real-world’ experience.”
According to Hall, other students in related trades can utilize the tiny home for HVAC, electrical, carpentry and more. Hall says the plan is to install the donated Saniflo equipment into the tiny home so all trade students can learn how to install it and see how it works.