O’FALLON, Ill. – Southern Illinois Builders Association is helping support vocational education efforts in Southern Illinois high schools with cash grants.

The eight Metro East schools receiving $500 grants are: Alton, Belleville Township for “The CAVE,” Bunker Hill,  Carlyle, Central Community, Highland, Triad and Waterloo.

About 90 high schools throughout Southern Illinois were invited to apply for the grants and 30 grants are being awarded, according to SIBA CEO Donna Richter.

“The Builders Association has been awarding scholarships to new high school graduates,” said Richter. “This year, our members also wanted to support a larger percentage of students during their formative high school years, while they are preparing for the world of work. We found that many classrooms needed visual learning aids and that nearly every vocational program was seriously short of hand tools and electrical equipment. Some woodworking classes needed a larger supply of lumber. The cash grants are meant to help keep good tools and necessary materials available to students and teachers