Funding roundup

On Giving Tuesday, Portland Community College received a food truck delivery from Fred Meyer, and a $300,000 grant to help battle food insecurity. (Photo: PCC)

Oregon’s Portland Community College (PCC) has received a $300,000 grant and a food truck delivery from Fred Meyer. The grant is the largest single philanthropic investment to support direct anti-hunger initiatives at PCC.

The grant was a perfect start to the PCC Foundation’s Giving Tuesday. Fred Meyer and the Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation matched all gifts to the PCC Foundation 2-to-1 during the day.

The college will use the money to improve access to food, expand pantry infrastructure with refrigerators and freezers and support the hiring of PCC students to expand the pantry’s hours of operation.

“As the cost of living continues to grow in Portland, we see more of our students dealing with food and housing insecurity,” said PCC President Mark Mitsui. “Our students are faced with impossible situations: Do they put food on their table for themselves and their families or do they pay for books? We see our students coming to class hungry. They’ve skipped multiple meals. Focusing is nearly an impossible feat. Hunger is not a rite of passage for college students. Food insecurity undermines academic success.”


Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) received a pledge of $15,000 from Janice Eichorst, in memory of her late husband. The funds will establish the Kurt K. Eichorst Scholarship Endowment.

“Our love for the college, combined with Kurt’s belief in the importance of education and hard work, makes this the perfect way to honor his memory,” Eichorst said.


Southeastern Community College (SCC), the Burlington School District and two local construction companies will partner on a pre-apprenticeship program using a $30,000 Employer Innovation Fund state grant. The grant is part of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa initiative. SCC’s portion of the grant is $18,000.

The pre-apprenticeship program will help students looking for careers in construction trades. Students who complete the program will earn college credit, a building construction certificate, and an OSHA 10 General Construction credential.

Great Western Bank also has committed $30,000 to support the program locally.


Monroe County Community College (MCCC) has received two grants totaling $330,000 from the DTE Energy Foundation to help underserved populations access educational and employment opportunities.

The first grant of $300,000 will help to recruit and retain about 1,500 students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through a new STEM Scholars Program. The program will create an active learning community of students who will have success coaches helping them reach their educational and career goals

The second grant of $30,000 will go toward a new Program to Accelerate Student Success (PASS), which will provide personalized support services to at least 50 first-generation, low-income and differently abled students. Program participants will receive comprehensive, one-on-one counseling and wraparound services, including tutoring, drop-in assistance, and study and coping skills sessions.

“These students will have their very own learning ‘agent’ to assist and encourage them to build a pattern of success,” said MCCC President Kojo Quartey.

From left: MCCC President Kojo Quartey, MCCC Board Secretary Aaron Mason, MCCC Board Chair Lynette Dowler and DTE Energy Foundation Manager Dana Williams. (Photo: MCCC)

South Carolina

Florence-Darlington Technical College’s choir will buy dress clothes using a $2,500 grant from the Florence Regional Arts Alliance. The choir will get 10 black tuxedos and 10 black gowns for performances.

Piedmont Technical College’s new manufacturing center is a step closer to completion thanks to a $30,000 donation from Eaton, a power management company. The funds will help with construction and equipping the William H. “Billy” O’Dell Upstate Center for Manufacturing Excellence.


Columbia State Community College received a Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education grant of $841,000 to bring cyber defense courses to high school students. The college will purchase a mobile unit to offer the courses at Williamson County Schools.

The mobile unit will offer traditional classroom seating and areas for students to brainstorm and work in teams. It will also give high school students dual-enrollment and dual0credit opportunities. The pilot program will begin in fall 2020.


Gateway Technical College will use a $40,000 contribution from the Gene Haas Foundation to support student scholarships and career-related competitions. Of that amount, $37,500 will fund 15 scholarships for students in the college’s computer numerical control or tool and die programs. The remaining $2,500 will support Gateway students competing in the Skills USA competition.

About the Author

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