Funding roundup

U.S. Assistant Commerce Secretary John Fleming (center) with Tallahassee Community College President Jim Murdaugh and others from TCC and the community. The college will use a $1.2 million state grant to support its welding technologies laboratory. (Photo: TCC)

In Florida, Tallahassee Community College’s (TCC) new welding technologies laboratory is closer to becoming a reality thanks to a $1.2 million state grant. The new lab will provide hands-on education for students taking welding courses at TCC’s Kim B. Williams Advanced Manufacturing Training Center (AMTC). The project includes the renovation of nearly 6,000 square feet of space at the center.

The new lab “will help the region’s businesses compete by providing a state-of-the-art facility that will help train students for in-demand jobs,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fleming, who visited TCC to announce the grant.

The lab will allow TCC to create a day-time career and technical certificate (CTC) welding technology program, a night CTC advanced welding technology program, and as needed, a stationary American Welding Society (AWS) certified assessment center for CTC students, employees and employers.

“This grant will expand our capacity to provide more individuals with the opportunity to pursue a high-demand career while also addressing our region’s increased need for industry professionals due to the hurricane damage,” said TCC President Jim Murdaugh.

Elsewhere in Florida, Northwest Florida State College students will benefit from a new scholarship endowment. Brian and Kim Pennington have pledged $250,000 to establish the endowment through the college’s foundation. The scholarship will help students with financial need and give priority to first-time college students.

Brian Pennington has served on the college’s board of trustees since 2007, serving as chair since 2013.

“Being a part of a community means participating in the community,” he said. “Kim and I have long believed in the promise of education and how it can change lives. That’s why we choose to give.”


California’s community colleges are working to develop and strengthen online career education programs. Seventy grants of up to $500,000 each will go to community colleges and college districts through the Improving Online CTE Pathways grant program developed by the California Community Colleges’ California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative.

The funding will help community colleges develop online programs that either lead to short-term, industry-valued credentials, or enable students in a career pathway developed by the new California online community college to continue their education in a career pathway offered by a traditional community college.

One-time funding for the program, $35 million in all, came via the 2018-2019 state budget. Grants are administered by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which serves as the fiscal agent for the initiative. A full list of grantees is available here.

Among the grant recipients are Chabot and Las Positas colleges. Chabot’s grant, totaling approximately $326,000, will help develop six online CTE certificates, improve online course accessibility, and create and curate zero-cost textbook materials. Las Positas’ grant of $177,187 will help develop an online supervisory management certificate of achievement, provide for faculty professional development and fund course accessibility coordination.


Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) will expand its Center for Business Innovation using a $1.1 million grant from the Phillip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation. The center serves CCBC students and alumni interested in learning how to turn their ideas for new products, services, business and organizations into reality.

The grant provides instructional support to develop new courses and workshops and increases the amount of start-up capital available to those competing in the annual Business Plan Competition. A total of $62,500 is available to support the competition with the first-place winner receiving $20,000 to support his or her business endeavor.

“Acquiring startup capital is often one of an entrepreneur’s biggest challenges. This grant from the Ratcliffe Foundation will definitely give some lucky entrepreneurs – armed with a solid business plan – the opportunity to see their ideas develop into actual businesses,” Dennis Sullivan, executive director of the Center for Business Innovation, said in a release.


Washtenaw Community College (WCC) will use a ‘Power of X’ grant worth $11,376 to bolster its student emergency fund. The grant comes from TargetX.

The emergency fund assists eligible students with up to $500 to address financial emergencies such as groceries, child care, car repairs, book vouchers, utility payments and other expenses that may prevent them from completing their college education.

North Carolina

Randolph Community College can provide 30 student scholarships of $500 after receiving the State Employees’ Credit Union Bridge to Career Scholarship from the SECU Foundation. The purpose of the scholarship is to help remove financial barriers for students seeking to obtain state-regulated or industry-recognized credentials. Scholarships will go to qualifying students in basic law enforcement training and the emergency medical technician and therapeutic massage programs for 2019-2020.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) has received a $50,000 grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation as part of the foundation’s Inclusive Public Art initiative. The college is the only North Carolina community college to receive the grant.

RCCC will implement a project that centers around community engagement, storytelling and sharing personal narratives that emphasize diversity and inclusion in the community. Faculty will work with students to record community members’ stories. The goal is to increase community collaboration and highlight how racial, cultural and ethnic diversity makes communities stronger and more resilient.

South Carolina

Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) and Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) both received a share of $150,000 in grant funding from the Duke Energy Foundation for initiatives to help enhance and diversify the energy industry’s workforce.

FDTC will use its share to recruit and retain women and minorities in the engineering technology field through a mentorship program that pairs students with leaders in engineering. TCTC will support a marketing program to increase the number of women, minorities and veterans pursuing engineering and mechatronics degrees.

About the Author

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