Twelve community colleges will participate in a $2.9-million grant program to give students a brighter future. Brighter Futures 3.0, headed by the League for Innovation in the Community College, is a three-part credentialing program for the advancement of retail workers. It will build on the success of the Western Association of Food Chains’ (WAFC) retail management certificate. Each college will receive up to $100,000.
Colleges selected to take part in the program are Alexandria Technical and Community College (Minn.), Anne Arundel Community College (Md.), Austin Community College (Texas), College of Lake County (Ill.), Moraine Valley Community College (Ill.), Nashville State Community College (Tenn.), San Jacinto Community College (Texas), Sinclair Community College (Ohio), Umpqua Community College (Ore.) and Wayne County Community College District (Mich.).
It’s anticipated that more than 1,200 incumbent retail workers will be enrolled in the program, which seeks to break the retail management certificate into three portable and stackable certificate programs. Best practices from the project will be shared with other community colleges.
Holyoke Community College (HCC) has received a $75,000 federal grant to boost career pathways programs at William J. Dean Technical High School. The Career Technical Education (CTE) Partnership Implementation Grant will expand existing programs and create three new career pathway tracks: manufacturing and engineering, healthcare, and hospitality and culinary arts.
The target group is ninth graders in the school district’s new Freshman Academy. As part of the Freshman Academy, students take a new, mandatory explorations course to experience the different CTE pathways offered at Dean Tech.
Sierra College’s Hacker Lab got a little more high tech thanks to a donation of 100 virtual reality Google Cardboard goggles from Ceronix. The goggles will be provided to students in the new virtual reality development course. Hacker Lab is a community makerspace where students can take short-term classes, meet mentors and get feedback from others.
“With a new technology such as virtual reality, students can take short classes at Hacker Lab and come out knowing how to do something that employers are seeking,” said Don Whitaker, a principal at Ceronix.
Jefferson Community & Technical College (JCTC) will receive $15.2 million in bonds to build an advanced manufacturing and information technology (AMIT) center. The Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee approved the college’s proposal. JCTC estimates that more than 3,000 students and adults would be trained annually as a result of the new 50,000-square-foot center.
“We envision the AMIT building as a beacon to our community that serves to attract the future Kentucky workforce to gain the technical skills which have the greatest promise for economic growth and prosperity in our region and state,” JCTC President Ty Handy said in a release.
JCTC’s proposal was one of more than 100 submitted to a committee that was created as part of the governor’s Work Ready Skills Initiative. The $100 million bond initiative is aimed at building a trained, modernized workforce to promote sustainable incomes for Kentuckians.
Delgado Community College’s Charity School of Nursing received $10,000 from the Charity Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association. The donation is the private match for endowed scholarship funds for nursing students. The private match will be used to apply for a $10,000 public match from the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund.
College of the Mainland’s Gulf Coast Safety Institute will continue providing free safety workshops for professionals thanks to a $100,000 donation from Texas Mutual Insurance. The institute offered 23 courses last year that served more than 800 professionals.