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Florida Trade Academy paves a success path for students through the creation of a unique scholarship foundation that pairs donor business partners with highly-qualified workers.

Tampa, FL, Jan. 20, 2023–  Florida Trade Academy has launched the Florida Trade Academy Scholarship Foundation to create a win-win partnership between local businesses and trade school graduates.

Founded by three local businessmen – Chris Pello, Chuck Burgess, and Jeffrey Stone – Florida Trade Academy (FTA) is a one-of-a-kind program for individuals who wish to secure a new career in the construction or hospitality trades. The founders saw a need for a local school to fill a gap for adult learners who enjoy hands-on learning and wanted a lesser investment of time and money to attain good-paying jobs.

Part of FTA’s mission is to connect motivated learners with funding and remove the financial barrier that might hinder an individual’s success. The Florida Trade Academy Scholarship Foundation is a unique non-profit created by FTA’s founders to pave a path for students to employment while also providing Tampa Bay companies with well-trained talent.

The foundation provides businesses a tax deduction, creates opportunities for adults to receive a quality education in high-demand fields, and then turns the pool of scholarship recipients back to the donors for employment.

“We’re looking for Tampa-based business donors in the fields we offer training, who by donating, are investing in future staff members,” said FTA’s registrar, Brandy Gonzalez.

Founder Chris Pello added, “It’s a true win-win for job candidates and providers.”

Tampa’s hospitality industry is booming with new hotels, restaurants, and event spaces around town, and as foundation donor partners, they would be matched to equipped employees. And looking around town at the new highrises and neighborhood developments, it’s also easy to see construction trades are in high demand. The foundation program would link general contracting, electrician, HVAC, and other trade industry companies with future workers to meet growing worker needs.

To learn more about the Florida Trade Academy Scholarship Foundation and how Tampa Bay businesses can become partner donors, contact Florida Trade Academy at 813-392-3484 or email us at

About FTA: Florida Trade Academy (FTA), a trade school located in Tampa, FL, and in partnership with the Gulf Coast Chapters of Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), equips adult learners with the tools they need for high-paying careers in the construction trades. Additionally, they offer programs for the hospitality industry. FTA’s pre-apprenticeship studies and hands-on work experience sets students and employers on a path to success. To learn more about Florida Trade Academy, please call (813) 404-1598 or visit them online at

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