In Kansas, Johnson County Community College is preparing for the largest campus transformation project in its history. That project got a boost recently with a $2 million donation from entrepreneur Hugh Libby. His donation will help fund the construction of a 69,000-square-foot career and technical education facility that will house programs such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical technology and automotive technology.
“There’s a real need for the technology center because I think a lot of young people are graduating high school and they’re not really prepared, or not that interested in a four-year degree,” Libby said. “Some of them are interested, but then they come out of college and incur a lot of debt, and they still can’t find a job.”
Libby, the son of a welder and a hairdresser who grew up in the 1930s, quickly learned the value of hard work. He created his own profitable future in manufacturing. He owned the Libby Corporation, with two manufacturing facilities in Kansas City, Missouri. There, employees made military generators and starters for fighter jets, among other items.
With his donation, Libby hopes to extend those values of diligence and pride in a job well done to the next generation of technicians and craftsmen.
Blackfeet Community College will launch a tribal language and culture project using a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The college’s liberal arts department will develop, for the first time, an in-depth cultural curriculum that integrates the Blackfoot language and lifeways into students’ learning experience.
“The project we are about to embark upon will create digital, in-class learning materials that will help our students learn essential aspects of niitsittup•pyaapii from legitimate cultural experts,” Sterling Schildt, the Writing Center and liberal arts cultural curriculum director, said in a release. “These materials will allow current and future generations of Blackfeet Community College students to hear, learn and appreciate our beautiful language, culture and history while also beginning to understand themselves and their identity in a much deeper and more significant way.”
Lone Star College (LSC) students affected by Hurricane Harvey will be able to continue their education thanks to a $20,000 Scholarship America Foundation award to the college, which provided 40 students with $500 each for fall 2017.
“We know many of our students needed extra financial support after the hurricane,” said LSC Chancellor Stephen Head said. “The money provided by Scholarship America will have a positive impact on our community for years to come.”
In total, the LSC Foundation has provided more than $950,000 in relief to more than 2,000 LSC students who were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Pierpont Community & Technical College’s Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center will get some needed upgrades thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The grant supports the Aerospace Center’s goal of meeting the growing need for well-trained aerospace technicians in the aviation field.
The center is the only Federal Aviation Administration-approved training program in West Virginia.
Western Technical College can better support student parents after receiving a $268,680 grant for on-campus child care services. The CCAMPIS (Child Care Access Means Parents in School) grant comes through the U.S. Department of Education and will fund 100 percent of the annual operating costs over the next four years at the La Crosse YWCA Child Center.
“Student parents having access to quality care will help to increase college completion and educational attainment rates, household income, as well as positive outcomes for the children who receive early childhood education services through the program,” Quinn Walraven, resource development specialist at Western, said in a release.