Wisconsin’s Gateway Technical College has received a $539,660 donation from SC Johnson to support the college in providing the skills and training for students to earn a workforce certificate. The program is expected to have an annual economic impact of $5 million on Racine County.
The contribution will support the HOPE program – Highly Skilled Occupations for Professional Employment – which is helps dislocated workers regain the skills necessary for jobs in career paths such as construction, advanced manufacturing, information technology and health sciences.
“Gateway’s program goes beyond job training and equips students with the tools they need to succeed after graduation by connecting them to career guidance and job placement,” said SC Johnson CEO Fisk Johnson. “We hope this investment from SC Johnson will help Gateway break down barriers to employment and make a long-term positive impact on our community.”
The HOPE training scholarship program provides funding for tuition, fees, industry credentials and job-placement services. It will support 156 students to earn the certificate.
Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) received a $574,639 National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education grant to support an “advanced driver assistance systems” (ADAS) technician project. In response to the development of autonomous vehicles and intelligent cars, the project will help to produce skilled ADAS technicians for the automotive industry.
FSCJ will add ADAS systems and diagnosis instruction to its automotive service management technology associate in applied science degree. Additionally, the college will develop an ADAS technician technical certificate, which will be embedded in the degree program.
St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC) received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to create an advanced manufacturing training lab on campus. The college also is committing an additional $2 million to the project, which is expected to be completed by early 2023.
The lab will create a learning environment for students that more closely mirrors the real world of work. Programs that will benefit from this project include CNC and advanced machining, computer-aided design manufacturing and welding/fabrication.
In addition, the lab will expand training opportunities for incumbent workers and support the creation and retention of high-quality jobs, particularly for the unemployed and underemployed, throughout the region.
Metropolitan Community College (MCC) will use a $300,000 NSF grant to develop a distance-learning program that will train rural high school students in precision machining.
While MCC currently offers programs in computer-integrated machining and manufacturing (CIMM), the grant-funded program will serve high school students in the college’s service area who would find a daily commute to an MCC campus difficult. Participating high schools will provide equipment, as well as personnel to ensure student safety.
“Most of America’s highly skilled tool and die makers are over the age of 55, and many will soon leave the workforce,” said David Grady, CIMM program coordinator at MCC. “We need more students to enter the field.”
Forsyth Technical Community College can provide scholarships for short-term workforce training thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Unemployed residents can quickly gain job skills through the college’s CareersNOW program.
“In order for our community to thrive, we must work together to fill jobs with skilled employees,” said Forsyth Tech President Janet Spriggs. “Through job training and quality instruction, this program is giving underemployed or unemployed individuals an opportunity for a rewarding career.”
Reading Area Community College (RACC) has established an emergency student assistance fund with the help of a $25,000 donation from Customers Bank. The fund will support students encountering unexpected costs due to COVID-19.
“Even during these uncertain times, what is best for the students is at the center of every decision we make,” said RACC President Susan Looney. “That is why we prioritized getting funding out the door quickly to students who need it most. We don’t want unmet financial needs due to the coronavirus to derail their learning and ultimately their goal of completion.”
Eligible students can use the funds to help with costs related to childcare, housing, transportation, utilities, medical expenses and required college course supplies.