Just days after Lower Columbia College’s Student Success Fund received a large donation from a local philanthropist, the LCC Foundation Thursday announced another large contribution: a $335,000 endowment from the recently closed Applied Industries Inc. to support students with disabilities.
Applied Industries shuttered its doors in 2016 after 56 years in business. The Longview nonprofit provided local employment and training for people with disabilities and specialized in making wood pallets. The $335,000 is the entirety of what remained after the organization liquidated its assets, settled legal costs of dissolution and paid severance to remaining employees.
Applied Industries was founded in 1960 by Nadine Williams, who also served as the organization’s executive director for 15 years. Williams died in 2003 at 83 years old.
“I know she would have (approved),” said former executive director Dale Novotny. “It’s great to honor her.”
The endowment will support two scholarships each year for students with disabilities, provide funding for disabilities programs and will also provide financial support to the Student Success Fund.
The college will also change the name of its disability support services center to “Applied Industries, Inc. Disability Support Services Center.”
“We wanted to give to a credible, local entity that would do something to continue on the theme of Applied Industries, Inc., which was to assist people with disabilities,” said former board director John Gotshall. “We were quite unanimous as a board of directors to select the LCC Foundation.”
“It’s quite a long and difficult process to dissolve a business,” Gotshall said. After signing off on several more documents required by the Secretary of State of Washington, Applied Industries, Inc. will be officially dissolved around May 31.
“For 56 years we were able to support the community with activities: good, healthy activities for people with disabilities, and we’re sad to see that come to an end,” Gotshall said. “But there were legal and other changes that made it impossible for us to continue on.”
About half the funds will go towards the two scholarships, a quarter will be distributed to the Student Success fund and a quarter will go toward the college’s disabilities services center.
“The living legacy created by the Applied Industries, Inc. endowment will benefit people with disabilities into perpetuity” LCC Foundation Vice President Kendra Sprague said in a prepared statement.
Novotny said that he hopes that the donation would raise awareness about the high unemployment rates for individuals with special needs and that he hopes the donation would “encourage the community to provide work opportunities,” for them.
The LCC Foundation raises money to assist students with financial aid and improve the college’s learning and teaching environment.
The gift from Applied Industries, Inc. is the tenth largest gift ever received by the foundation.