The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s support allows CCI to dramatically expand our Building Pathways operations to high schools across the Denver Metro Area. By providing hands-on learning and career training ranging from ‘exploration’ to ‘preparation,’ Building Pathways ensures that students are placed on a path to post-secondary success in employment, apprenticeship, or college. The Foundation granted CCI a total of $150,000 in support of its Building Pathways program as part of the Foundation’s 2015 Transitional Legacy Grant Program.

The opportunity was brought to CCI from the Foundation at the recommendation of Interstate Highway Construction, a local full service heavy civil contractor whose long-time owner was Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Funding will be allocated towards Building Pathways development and programming, the creation of the CCI Digital Construction Classroom, and on-site training of the Building Pathways program at partner high-school locations.

“We are pleased to provide this grant to the Colorado Construction Institute,” said Mary Wilson, wife of Ralph Wilson. “One of the core areas of emphasis for the Foundation is to support youth development and training, and this grant should be instrumental in helping students develop important skills necessary to enter the workforce.”

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation was established upon the passing of the Foundation’s namesake, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., in 2014. Mr. Wilson was perhaps best known as the founder and owner of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills; Mr. Wilson’s estate directed the funds resulting from the sale of the Bills into the Foundation, making it one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the nation. Mr. Wilson charged the Foundation to spend down its entire corpus within twenty years, focusing philanthropic efforts in Western New York, Southeastern Michigan, and nationally in places where special opportunities present themselves in the Foundation’s programmatic priorities.

“As an organization operating outside of the Foundation’s priority areas, we are especially honored to be considered for this opportunity as part of its transitional legacy grant program,” continued Mr. Smith. “Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support and recommendation of Interstate Highway Construction, to whom we are very grateful. With the backing of these organizations, we are prepared to make Building Pathways the standard-bearer for Colorado and a model for 21st-century vocational education across the nation.”

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