HACKETTSTOWN, NJ - The Center for Kitchen & Bath Education and Research (CKBER) has honored two companies by awarding them with the first "Cornerstone Awards," the NKBA-affiliated organization announced.

The Cornerstone Award recognizes companies "whose generosity has paved the way toward building the professionalism of the kitchen and bath industry for the future," according to the Hackettstown, NJ-based NKBA

Kasmar Publications, publisher of Designer Kitchens & Baths, Designer Baths, The Kitchen Collection and Kitchens magazines, was the first donor to support CKBER. Kasmar donated kitchen and bath CDs to more than 40 NKBA Endorsed Programs student labs. They also contributed $40,000 to be used for scholarships, leadership conferences, student Web events, and seminars for students pursuing careers in the kitchen and bath industry.

Planit Design, a division of Planit Solutions, Inc. pledged more than $4 million in high-tech computer software, equipment, technicians and training to the NKBA Endorsed Programs for students and instructors to utilize in the labs. Planit also donated $12,000 toward a leadership conference, the NKBA added.

"We congratulate Kasmar Publications and Planit for their support in the recruitment, promotion and development of qualified professionals, as well as their dedication to funding the growth and vitality of the kitchen and bath industry through education," said CKBER president Steven Kleber.

CKBER, a non-profit foundation established by the NKBA, is aimed at addressing the needs of trained professionals in the kitchen and bath industry, through various workforce development programs.