Funding roundup

Dana President and CEO James Kamsickas (left) presents $1 million to Owens Community College President Steve Robinson for a new advanced manufacturing training center. (Photo: Schuller/OCC)

Owens Community College in Ohio received $1 million from Dana Inc. for a new advanced manufacturing training center that will carry the company’s name. The facility will help address the shortage of skilled workers in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

“The new Advanced Manufacturing Training Center will house all of our advanced manufacturing and skilled trade programs in one building, offering our students a more conducive environment for learning current and advanced technologies that are critical for the workforce in our region,” said OCC President Steve Robinson.

The college will renovate a 59,000-square-foot existing facility, which will feature six skilled technology labs to provide training in computer-aided design; computer numerical control and manual machining; electrical technology; HVAC and alternative energy; mechanical and pneumatics; and robotics and programmable logic control.

The state has approved $4 million in capital funding, and Owens will invest up to $3.6 million to support the project. The college is launching a capital campaign to secure the remaining $2 million to complete the training center.


San Bernardino Valley College has received $2.5 million from the state budget to begin a project to reconstruct the college’s applied technology building. The job training center, built in 1964, houses automotive, aeronautical, welding, electrical and HVAC programs.

“This is a victory for our students and our community, who deserve affordable access to 21st-century career education to enter the workforce,” said San Bernardino Community College District Chancellor Bruce Baron.

The $2.5 million is the first of a multiyear allocation, and the district will receive a total of $35 million in state matching funds for the project. Construction is expected to begin in early 2021.

Riverside City College’s (RCC) health and psychological services has received a three-year, $306,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funds will help RCC develop a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention.

The college will hire and train key gatekeeper staff, establish a peer-to-peer program, provide prevention education events and design a crisis intervention plan to make referrals for on-campus programs and community resources.


The College of Lake County has received a five-year, $996,848 National Science Foundation grant to encourage the enrollment, retention and transfer of students majoring in engineering and computer science.

The grant will help to provide 25 scholarships per semester (averaging $2,000 after financial aid) and educational support services for academically talented students, with an emphasis on students from underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups, including women, minorities and the disabled.

McHenry County College (MCC) is launching a comprehensive entrepreneurial initiative thanks to a $200,000 grant from Food: Land: Opportunity, a collaboration between Kinship Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust.

The MCC initiative includes a new entrepreneurial agriculture degree program and a new Center for Agrarian Learning that will prepare both degree students and food and farm innovators in the community for a successful and rewarding future in the regional food economy.

The new degree will combine production techniques, soil and plant science business, marketing and entrepreneurship fundamentals. Students will gain hands-on experiences in innovative practices, such as season extension through hydroponic and aquaponic systems and organic food production while also learning about food-based entrepreneurship.


Hagerstown Community College (HCC) received a $2,500 donation from the Hagerstown Lions Club to help fund HCC’s 2019 STEM Festival on October 12.

The free STEM Festival will have science exhibits, hands-on activities and competitions for K-12 students. It’s one of many similar events taking place during the month-long Maryland STEM Festival.


SJC Custom Drums founder Mike Ciprari donated a custom Pathfinder drum kit to Quinsigamond Community College.

The drum donation is a welcome addition to the music program, which has taken off in recent years, says President Luis Pedraja. SJC Custom Drums has made drums for such rock bands as GreenDay, Imagine Dragons, Slipknot and Panic! At the Disco.


A National Science Foundation grant will provide more than $3.5 million in scholarships and support to 120 students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math in Nebraska.

The grant supports the STEM Career Opportunities in Nebraska: Networks, Experiential-learning and Computational Thinking (STEM Connect), a partnership of Southeast Community College, Western Nebraska Community College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The grant provides scholarships to gifted students from low-income families – especially underrepresented minorities, women and first-generation or rural students – to help them build competency in math and computer science at a community college before transferring to the university.

New Jersey

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant totaling nearly $224,000 to the New Jersey Institute of Technology to build two renewable energy labs, one on its campus and one at the County College of Morris. The labs will focus on converting solar energy into electricity for commercial use.

The County College of Morris also received a $12,700 grant from the New Jersey Council of the Humanities to support its Legacy Project speaker series. That project offers speakers and panel discussions across multiple disciplines to faculty, staff and the public.

North Carolina

The Gene Haas Foundation has awarded Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) a $15,000 grant to assist students enrolled in manufacturing, machining and engineering-related programs. The funds will help support scholarships, department sponsorships and credentialing from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills.

RCCC offers an associate of engineering degree along with training in computer-integrated machining, electronics engineering technology, industrial engineering tech, mechanical drafting tech, mechanical engineering tech, mechatronics engineering tech and welding tech.

“We see a consistent demand in the industry for people who have these advanced skills,” said Van Madray, dean of business, engineering technologies and public services. “Students coming out of these programs will have a job for life.”

Up to $2,500 of the grant money could be used to help manufacturing and engineering project teams take part in competitions, such as SkillsUSA.

RCCC also received $2,000 from the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation to help stock the college’s on-campus food and resource pantry. The pantry provides free, temporary assistance for students who need food, toiletries and other items.

Duke Energy awarded a $97,500 grant to Alamance Community College (ACC) to help the college clean up and maintain the Haw River, which has been polluted by gas and oil leaks from a nearby parking lot.

Some of the funds will also help to create an outdoor classroom and to build a new access point for kayaks and canoes. ACC students will help create a natural piedmont prairie by planting native wildflowers and grass to attract wildlife. Once complete, the prairie will become a living lab for students.


Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) received a $48,000 IndustryReady 2.0 grant from the Denso North America Foundation. The grant will provide supplies and modules for three new instrumentation and process control training systems for electrical engineering technology students.

“Blount County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Tennessee in terms of job growth per capita, and employers in the county are adding hundreds of jobs each year, increasing the demand for highly skilled, college-educated employees,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise, Jr. “Pellissippi State is working to fill that need, and support from partners like Denso help us to provide the high-tech equipment necessary for talented students to complete their education and fill these jobs.”

The Regions Foundation presented PSCC with a $10,000 grant to support two new buildings on campus – the Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science on the Hardin Valley Campus and the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center on the Blount County Campus.

The Regions Foundation, a nonprofit initiative of Regions Bank, is the first contributor to the $10 million Campaign for Pellissippi State.

Pellissippi State assistant professor Curtis Holmes (center) supervises integrated robotics students as they try some of the equipment funded by the Denso North America Foundation. (Photo: PSCC)

About the Author

Ellie Ashford
is associate editor of Community College Daily.