The Building Industries Exchange of Reading (BIEX) provided a place for contractors and builders to view blueprints and designs in the age before digital files made the hard copies obsolete. In 2013, BIEX used its remaining assets to create a fund at Berks County Community Foundation to support capital projects at Berks County nonprofit organizations and to provide scholarships for those going into the trades.
Grants from this fund support construction or renovation projects for Berks County charities. This fund also provides scholarships for Berks County residents who are pursuing post-secondary education in building trades or construction design.
Grant funding will be awarded to a nonprofit organization in Berks County to support the construction or renovation of a facility it owns or which is owned on its behalf. Preference will be given to renovation projects that take environmental stewardship into account. Examples of environmental stewardship include the use of alternative energy sources, reduction in water usage, energy conservation through the use of efficient lighting and equipment, and the use of recycled materials and/or those that limit environmental harm (such as low-off-gassing paints and varnishes). The grant must be fully spent by the organization within one year of receiving the grant. Applications are due March 15. Organizations will be selected based on the following criteria:
- A nonprofit organization in Berks County.
- The urgency of the need for renovation.
- The use of environmental stewardship.
- The submission of estimates and drawings for the proposed work.
- An estimate of operating costs the organization will incur or reduce based on the renovation.
- The financial stability of the organization.
Typically, one grantee is selected each year.
To apply, click on “Apply for a Grant” under the “Scholarships + Grants” section of the website menu.
To donate, click here.
An example of a project that received support (a grant of $23,200) from this fund is the Reading Area Firefighters Museum.
See below for some media coverage of that project.
Click on the article below for a PDF of it to read.