Parker family donates $1M for NIC's Building the Future Campaign



Sniffing out each nook and corner during a recent tour of the new North Idaho College Career and Technical Education Facility, Sunny seemed at home. The same pup from Parker commercial fame, Sunny and her owners – Parker family members Doug, Jim and Diane – are thrilled to see the project almost complete. As the family walked through the building, construction workers were still putting on the final touches, but trades and industry equipment was already moved in, classrooms wired, and phones set up for the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 28.

The Parkers have made a $1 million donation to the Building the Future Campaign, which will help to ensure the Career and Technical Education Facility has the necessary equipment and scholarship support for students who enroll in one of nine career and technical programs offered at the facility. Programs at this time include Advanced Manufacturing/Mechatronics, Automotive Technology, Collision Repair Technology, Computer Aided Design Technology—Architectural, Computer Aided Design Technology—Mechanical, Diesel Technology, Industrial Mechanic/Millwright, Machining and CNC Technology, and Welding Technology. 

The NIC facility will be named the Parker Career and Technical Education Facility in honor of their vision and generous investment that benefits the entire region.

“We’ve been NIC supporters for many, many years – since the 70s,” Doug said. “This opportunity to help with a project that we believe in just gives us a really good feeling.”

Doug has been a major supporter of NIC, particularly the wrestling team, having attended more than 30 National Junior College Athletics Association national wrestling tournaments to cheer on the Cardinals. He also established the Shirley Parker Reading program in 2002 to honor his late wife, Shirley, who was a major supporter of both reading and wrestling. A partnership with the NIC wrestling team, the program has put 15,000 books into the hands of first-graders throughout the Coeur d’Alene School District.

Doug said North Idaho has been very gracious to him and his family for decades, so “It only seemed appropriate to do something in return.” He said the CTE facility will open doors for many students. “Trades people are highly sought after, they receive good salaries, and will be able to move forward because of what happens in this building,” he said.

Jim pointed to the high job placement rate and good wages available for students pursuing careers in the skilled trades. He emphasized this facility will not only benefit his company’s needs for qualified employees, it will enhance the overall economic stability and prosperity for the region now and for future generations. “We’re proud to support this project and the future generations that deserve opportunities this facility will provide,” Jim said.

“It’s wonderful that we’ll have something like this close to home so our young people have good career options without having to relocate,” Diane said.

The 110,960-square-foot CTE facility at 7064 W. Lancaster Road in Rathdrum (next to Kootenai Technical Education Campus) was built with $15 million from college capital funds coupled with donations secured through the Building the Future Campaign. The campaign is in the final stages of reaching its $5 million goal, with the Parkers’ donation bringing the total raised to nearly $4.4 million.

“We sincerely thank the Parker family for their commitment,” said NIC President Rick MacLennan. “We invite the community to come tour this incredible facility and learn about the programs and careers our graduates will qualify for as they enter the regional workforce.”

NIC Trustee Ken Howard added, “NIC is proud to respond to the growing regional demand from business and industry for the most highly skilled, adaptive workforce as a result of this new facility and expanded programming.” 

The community is invited to the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served and guided tours will be available.

To support the Building the Future Campaign, contact the North Idaho College Foundation at (208) 769-5978 or, or, visit Gifts of all sizes are appreciated.

Posted: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

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