Saniflo SFA, a global manufacturer of above-floor macerating and grinding toilets and drain pumps, recently awarded a Virginia Technical Institute (VTI) student with a donation to go towards his tuition. 

Thomas Sullivan, a second-year VTI student, received part of Saniflo’s recent donation of $3,000 to defray his tuition fees at the plumbing school. VTI is a nonprofit, located in Altavista, Virginia, that provides hands-on training in various fields, including electrical, plumbing, heating and air, welding, pipe-fitting, carpentry, masonry and multi-craft industrial maintenance. 

“Saniflo was thrilled to present Thomas with this award, as students like him are the next generation of tradesmen,” says Rob Weed, who has served as an independent sales representative for Saniflo since 2001. “It’s nice to see that we can contribute even a little bit to their future. We’re happy to be a partner in their schooling to help teach them about the new technologies Saniflo offers.” 

Sullivan is enrolled in VTI’s plumbing program and is working towards his journeyman’s license, using the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum. 

Sullivan was chosen to receive the tuition donation from a class of 25 students. VTI evaluated candidates for the donation through a series of character-related questions, such as where they see themselves in five years and how they plan to balance work, school and life. Sullivan has a bright future ahead of him and will have close support and guidance from his father, Thomas Sullivan Sr., who is also in the trades and owns his own plumbing company.

VTI plumbing instructor Bob Heffner presented the donation to Sullivan during a small gathering in January, hosted by the school with Sullivan’s parents, siblings, and best friend present. Weed and Saniflo business development manager John Glass also attended.

After the presentation, the group received a tour of the school’s plumbing lab and saw how the students received hands-on training with Saniflo products. In addition to the tuition donation, Saniflo also donated products to the school, so that students gain installation experience with the brand’s innovative plumbing solutions.

“VTI is very grateful for Saniflo’s donations to the plumbing program,” says Heffner. “Supporting these students and investing in their future is how we can build up the skilled-trades workforce.” 

Notes Brett Hall, VTI Dean of Instruction: “Being a nonprofit, it is harder for us to obtain funds, which is why we like to work hand in hand with manufacturers like Saniflo. Partnering with manufacturers is mutually beneficial, because many of our students are new to the industry. When they work with these tools or products, they become acclimated to them and are more inclined to use them when they are out in the field.” 

“Saniflo has been extremely generous to our organization, and the relationship is only getting stronger,” continues Hall. “Saniflo has conducted numerous macerator and grinder product installation training sessions at VTI’s plumbing school, including training on the installation of HVAC and electrical components. Saniflo has contributed a long-term and very valuable addition to our plumbing department.”

He plans to select another student to receive the remaining funds donated by Saniflo before the end of the school year.