Funding roundup

Seven community colleges will be working to create an entrepreneurship education continuum by establishing and strengthening relationships between K-12 students and their local community colleges.

The colleges received three-year grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

With guidance from the EdVenture Group, the colleges will infuse entrepreneurship education into existing lessons for K-12 students. Then, working with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) with guidance from Behavioral Business, events will be developed that highlight entrepreneurship opportunities.

The program serves distressed, coal-impacted counties throughout Appalachia.

The seven community colleges receiving grants are West Virginia’s Bridge Valley, New River and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical Colleges; Big Sandy, Hazard and Southeast Community and Technical Colleges in Kentucky; and Mountain Empire Community College in Virginia.


Harford Community College received an $8,000 donation from the Society of Italian American Businessmen and Saint Margaret Parish. The gift will support student scholarships for Harford students in continuing education allied health programs.


Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) received $1.6 million from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). The college will renovate and equip a new medical laboratory facility, improving the quality of hands-on training for students.

MWCC’s grant is part of $39 million in MLSC capital grants awarded to K-12 and postsecondary institutions across Massachusetts.

“Investments in the vitality of the Massachusetts workforce are critical to ensuring long-term growth in our economy,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a release.


Delaware County Community College will use a $100,000 grant from Sunoco Logistics to support students studying process control technology.  Students can complete the Process Control Certificate Program in less than one year and transition into jobs in automated manufacturing and production facilities.


Virginia’s Community Colleges will prepare more people for careers in renewable energy, thanks in part to a grant of $150,000 from the Dominion Foundation. The grant will fund new energy labs and equipment at seven community colleges, allowing them to offer solar panel technician training and other renewable energy courses. The community colleges benefitting from the initiative are John Tyler, Northern Virginia, Tidewater, Virginia Highlands, Mountain Empire, Southside Virginia and Central Virginia.

“Virginia can’t afford to miss out on a growing industry like solar energy because our workforce lacks the training and skills to seize the opportunity,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges.


Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) won the OneMain Financial Empowerment Award, which comes with a $25,000 prize. NWTC was chosen for its work helping students improve their financial literacy skills. With the award, the college can strengthen and expand its program, which includes a Financial Wellness Center. The award came from OneMain Financial and Achieving the Dream.

“Keeping a student engaged in learning and increasing his or her ability to focus more time on his or her studies leads to greater persistence and completion rates,” NWTC President H. Jeffrey Rafn said in a release. “The college provides financial counseling and planning services to students so that by the time they leave college they are better able to address unexpected financial expenses and create a more stable financial environment for themselves and family.”

About the Author

Tabitha Whissemore
is a contributor to Community College Daily and managing editor of AACC's Community College Journal.