Funding roundup

(From left) Virginia Community Colleges System Chancellor Glenn DuBois; Virginia Foundation for Community College Education Corporate and Foundations Manager Susan Nolan; Anthem’s Director of Marketing and Member Engagement Thomas Raper; and President of Anthem’s Virginia Medicaid Plan Jennie Reynolds. (Photo: VCCS)

Students at 14 Virginia community colleges will benefit from a $100,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation to expand food emergency offerings to students. The goal of the grant is to address the growing issue of food insecurity on campus.

“Student success is not just a matter of what occurs inside a classroom,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Being hungry, uncertainty over where you are sleeping tonight – these are real world challenges for many of our students who need our help.”

The grant will help expand 11 existing food pantries on rural community college campuses and allow three campuses to open pantries. Colleges that will benefit from the grant are:
Blue Ridge Community College
Dabney S. Lancaster Community College
Danville Community College
Eastern Shore Community College
Lord Fairfax Community College
Mountain Empire Community College
New River Community College
Patrick Henry Community College
Paul D. Camp Community College
Rappahannock Community College
Southside Community College
Southwest Virginia Community College
Virginia Highlands Community College
Wytheville Community College


Gadsden State Community College has received a $435,169 National Science Foundation grant to develop program curriculum and purchase equipment for an automated industrial line.

“The equipment and the program curriculum will train skilled technicians in advanced manufacturing to help close the skills gap and fulfill the needs of Alabama’s advanced manufacturing workforce,” Gadsden State President Martha Lavender said in a release.

The college will offer a new advanced short-term certificate in mechatronics and robotics as a part of it’s industrial automation program. The program will enable students to receive synthesized training in the latest technology required to operate, troubleshoot and maintain intelligent machines and computerized smart equipment used in the industry.


Highland Community College can integrate new technology into its precision agriculture program thanks to a $2,000 grant from the Frontier Farm Credit’s Working Here Fund. The college purchased the FarmBot Genesis system, which is a small-scale robotic farming system that attaches to a raised garden bed and covers the principles of small-scale horticulture production.

“FarmBot automates the growing process and is data-driven, giving out students a first look at the next phase of agriculture technology,” precision agriculture instructor Darcie Gallagher said in a release.


Grayson College and several companies will use a $1.2 million Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) grant to partner on industry training. The TWC Skills Development Fund grant has the college joining with Fisher Controls International, GlobiTech, Presco Polymers, Renlita Custom Opening Solutions and Tyson Fresh Meats. Together they will provide customized training to 627 new and incumbent workers. Training topics will include leadership development, boiler operation and safety, corporate income taxes and Excel.

Texas State Technical College, along 3M Brownwood, also received a Skills Development Fund grant. The $78,771 grant aims to improve 35 workers’ skills at the 3M Brownwood facility. Employees will receive training in electrical safety and craft skills training.


Nearly 200 construction and industrial trades apprentices from 15 Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) received a total of $298,500 in scholarships from Ascendium Education Group  (formerly Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates). Ascendium’s Tools of the Trade Apprentice Scholarships help with expenses beyond tuition, such as purchasing tools, clothing and other supplies.

The scholarship program is in its sixth year. Since the program’s inception, 95 percent of Tools of the Trade scholarship recipients have completed or continued their apprenticeships the following semester.

Jordan Jordan, a sheet metal apprentice attending Milwaukee Area Technical College, is one recipient of the $1,500 scholarship. His goal is to complete all five years of his apprenticeship, become a journeyman and provide for his growing family.

“As you can imagine, just starting out, it can be rough financially, especially providing for a family of five with one income,” Jordan said. “This scholarship will provide money for tools I can use for work, so it removes a major weight off my shoulders.”

About the Author

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