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PGT Innovations’ Executive Participates on Florida Chamber Foundation Prosperity Initiative Panel

July 27, 2020

NORTH VENICE, Fla. – Debbie LaPinska, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at PGT Innovations (NYSE: PGTI), is presenting as part of a panel on child care and families for the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Prosperity Initiative’s virtual event series.

Part two of the Florida Business Leaders’ Summit Series on Prosperity & Economic Opportunity virtual event, It Starts at Home: Child Care and Families, will take place on Wednesday, July 29 from 10 a.m. – noon. LaPinska will be joined on the panel by Jack Levine, Founder of 4Generations Institute; Karen Moore, President of The Moore Agency; and Kim Sineath, Director of The Learning Pavilion.

As part of the Florida Prosperity Initiative, the upcoming webinar will allow for an in-depth discussion on bridging the gap between businesses and child care facilities to help ensure there are high-quality programs available as Florida continues to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel will also address the impact of healthy relationships and mental health for those who are seeking to move from poverty into prosperity.

LaPinska will discuss PGT Innovations’ vision and pioneering approach to assist its workforce with a cost-effective and accessible child care center and the company’s on-site wellness center, which handles health care concerns from common colds to serious issues.

“A majority of PGT Innovations’ workforce travels from south of our headquarters,” said Debbie LaPinska. “When speaking to our team members regarding their biggest challenges, the costs of housing, child care, and health care always top the list. We knew we could find a way to help with the costs of health care and child care. Our leadership team recognizes the importance of serving the community, working families, and our employees and made it our mission to fulfill this impactful vision to help our team members and most importantly, the children.”

The five-part series’ theme surrounds ending inequality of opportunity in Florida. Business and industry leaders, elected officials and other community voices will analyze a path to prosperity for each of Florida’s zip codes. The series will also discuss best practices around the state, how they can be replicated, and more. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s research shows the 10 root causes of generational poverty are jobs, education, housing, health, food, safety, child care, justice, transportation, and agency-community voice. Each webinar conversation will focus around several of these root cause topic areas.

“In Florida today, there are 870,505 children living in poverty,” said Michael Williams, Director of the Florida Chamber Foundation Prosperity Initiative. “The Florida Prosperity Initiative believes business leaders must engage their employees and their local communities at the zip code level if we are to accomplish our goal of cutting in half Florida’s under-18 poverty rate by 2030. We are thrilled to have Debbie LaPinska on our panel of experts to share PGT’s innovative solution to the child care and health care needs of their employees.”

According to a 2019 report from the Council for a Strong America, during a typical year, employers lose about $13 billion in potential earnings, productivity, and revenue due to inadequate child care resources.

PGT Innovations unveiled the 7,500-square-foot Sunshine Education Academy to the community in April 2019. Prior to opening the facility, its leadership team visited the YMCA-run child care center of Disney World in Central Florida and received helpful guidance and ideas from the staff. Operated by the Venice branch of the SKY Family YMCA, the Sunshine Education Academy offers affordable, convenient child care with a focus on early childhood development programs and services to PGT Innovations’ families with young children, as well as parents who work in the Triple Diamond Commerce Park and the surrounding area in North Venice.

The PGT Innovations-owned facility accommodates parents working various shifts and operates six days a week from 4:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., with flexible pick-up and drop-off hours to best fit the needs of working parents. Staffed by professionals trained by the YMCA and operated as a licensed and accredited facility, the center offers curriculum-based programs, healthy meals, and an outdoor playground to children aged six weeks to five years old.

PGT Innovations currently employs more than 1,700 at its North Venice facility and is the largest private sector employer in Sarasota County.

To register for the upcoming virtual event, click here.