The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) is the first community college to receive a grant through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative (MEI). The college received $500,000 to support its Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute (EII). CSM will work to attract and retain instructors to the newly envisioned Velocity Center, which will provide resources for activities related to entrepreneurship, innovation and workforce development and retention.
The vision for the center is to give CSM students the opportunity to take courses in a world-class facility surrounded by some of the brightest research scientists in the country. The initial facility will grow to be 20,000-plus square feet, with space for a prototyping facility, classrooms, open space, offices and more.
“This is truly transformational,” CSM President Maureen Murphy said. “It says something. This is our time in Southern Maryland.”
MEI is a state program created to spur basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields at the state’s colleges and universities. Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, College Park, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Commerce, also received funding.
Augusta Technical College’s Aviation Training Center has a new addition: an aircraft engine donated by Southwest Airlines. The turbofan engine, worth approximately $100,000, will give students hands-on training opportunities in troubleshooting, repairing, and maintaining industry-grade aviation equipment.
Gwinnett Technical College’s growing Move On When Ready program recently was recognized with a $20,000 grant through AT&T’s Aspire program. The grant will allow Gwinnett Tech to enhance community outreach for the program, as well as provide scholarships for students seeking computer science careers.
Move On When Ready allows students to finish high school with workforce-ready skills. They can continue to pursue a postsecondary education or go directly into the workforce. The program has seen a 50-percent increase in enrollment, with a record 1,575 Move On When Ready students at Gwinnett Tech during the 2016-17 academic year. The college has received nearly 2,000 applications for the upcoming fall semester.
Gwinnett Tech also received a $10,000 grant from the Sawnee Electric Membership Foundation to create scholarships to help single parent students with childcare tuition.
“When MCCC succeeds, the whole community, including the business community, is stronger as a result. It is an honor to support your educational goals in Trenton and throughout the county,” said Andre Maia, vice president and district manager of Greater Princeton for Wells Fargo.
Technical College of the Lowcountry will be armed with the latest technology, thanks to a $43,000 donation from Palmetto Electric Cooperative. The donation will fund a virtual weapons training system for the criminal justice program. The new system will be available to students in the program, as well as local law enforcement agencies for the continuing education and regular critical skills training of law enforcement officers.
Western Technical College will receive $325,000 in Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grants to upgrade the skills of workers at 11 area companies. The funding is part of $4 million from the state allocated to the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and awarded to its 16 member colleges.
Employees of the 11 companies will receive leadership and supervisory training, technical skills in electromechanical maintenance, robotics, project management, and computer engineering and design as part of customized training programs developed for WAT grant recipients.