Funding roundup

San Bernardino Valley College professor Berchman “Kenny” Melancon observes as Enrique Allen Mar of Advanced Training Systems demonstrates a commercial truck driving simulator that the college is acquiring for its expanded clean vehicle technology curriculum. (Photo: LaVar Godoy)

San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) in California will use a $75,000 grant from Edison International to support the clean energy hybrid and electric vehicle technician program and to provide scholarships to SBVC students.

SBVC’s clean energy hybrid/ev technician program grant award totaled $50,000. Funding will help increase the availability of electric vehicle (EV) training, reach additional students who are interested in the training and give students sought-after clean energy/EV skills that makes them more competitive for higher-wage job opportunities.

The program also includes campus outreach activities, which consists of faculty attending career fairs at local high schools and community events, developing informational materials about the program, and disseminating the materials to promote electric/hybrid clean technology programs.

The remaining $25,000 of the Edison International grant provided scholarships to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students.

Also in California, the West Hills Community College District will receive a grant of more than $1 million from the U.S. Labor Department through its National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) to provide career services, training services, youth services, related assistances and housing services to eligible migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents.

The awards through the program fall into two categories: NFJP Career Services and Training Grants, aimed to help farmworkers retain their current jobs in agriculture and to acquire new skills to start careers that provide higher wages and stable-year-round employment, and NFJP Housing Grants, which help create safe and sanitary housing for farmworkers.


Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) received a pledge of $500,000 from Judy-ann Zoghby, establishing the Zoghby Learning Commons.

The Learning Commons will create a student-centered hub for academic success on the first floor of the college’s Learning Resources Center. Designed as a modernized space, the space encourages both independent and collaborative study.

Zoghby is a longtime supporter of NWFSC, often focusing on the college’s arts programs. She also contributes to NWFSC’s First Generation Scholarship program, providing aid to need-based students whose parents do not have a bachelor’s degree.

An initial investment of $250,000 from Zoghby will help to initiate the construction and implementation of the project. To secure the future of the Learning Commons, Zoghby has pledged a second investment of $250,000 as an endowment to provide continuing support for improvements for years to come.

With a pledge of $500,000, Judy-ann Zoghby (center) has established the Zoghby Learning Commons at Northwest Florida State College. (Photo: NWSFC)

Palm Beach State College (PBSC) has received two five-year U.S. Department of Education grants totaling more than $2.78 million to continue its longstanding TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program and to launch a new one solely for veterans.

With the first $294,725 per year SSS grant, the college will serve 175 low-income, first-generation college students or those with disabilities each year through its existing program, which was initially funded in 2001.

The new SSS Veterans grant of $261,888 per year for five years will allow PBSC to provide services and support for 120 student veterans who meet the same criteria as participants in the SSS program. The idea is to remove barriers specific to their unique needs as they transition from military to civilian and college life.

The SSS Veterans program will complement numerous services the college already offers its more than 1,100 veterans and their families through its veterans resource centers.


Miles Community College (MCC) has teamed with the Montana Farm Bureau and the Montana Meat Processors Association to offer a meat-processing program, helped along with a $117,397 Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant (MMPIG). The MMPIG program was designed to help aid small- and medium-sized businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis through the adaptation and advancement of meat-processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana.

For the past several years, MCC has worked to develop plans for a professional certificate in meat-cutting.

“Meat-cutter programs are ideal for community colleges because they offer excellent career technical training,” said Kim Gibbs, agricultural instructor at MCC. “We knew there was a need, and we knew that MCC could fill that void.”


Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) is set to receive $96,815 to train veterans or their spouses for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  


Bucks County Community College’s “Means to Succeed” campaign got a boost with a $10,000 challenge grant from Penn Community Bank.

The campaign raises funds for the newly established Bucks Student Emergency Fund, launched in response to economic uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic. The fund provides microgrants to Bucks students for emergency expenses like laptop computers, food, transportation or childcare in an effort to keep students enrolled and pursuing their educational goals.

The Penn Community Bank Challenge encourages other donors to contribute to the “Means to Succeed” campaign.


The Alamo Colleges District will prepare young adults to enter high-demand industries in the region through a $4.47 million Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grant. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The district will expand and establish new pre-apprenticeship training and registered apprenticeship programs (RAP) for individuals ages 17 to 24. The program will take place primarily at Palo Alto College and will serve 1,200 underserved youths, including students in the AlamoPROMISE program and foster youth aging out of foster care in the district’s eight-county service area. The program is scheduled to launch in mid-fall 2020.

Grant partners include Cox Manufacturing, BB&T Bank, Workforce Solutions Alamo, San Antonio Works, Educate Texas and the Bexar County Children’s Court.

The Alamo Colleges District is one of 14 organizations – and the only awardee in Texas – to receive a Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grant from DOL.

Lone Star College-Houston North students affected by COVID-19 will get additional help thanks to the Gulf Coast Community Services Association, Inc. The association has announced that it will provide up to $300,000 in aid to eligible students.

“We have some of the hardest-working and most resilient students in the entire Lone Star College system,” said LSC-Houston North President Quentin Wright. “However, when there are social and economic disruptions, such as what has happened with COVID-19, they are often disproportionately impacted.”

Students who live in Harris County and have median household incomes within 200 percent of the federal poverty line will be eligible to receive $500 Walmart gift cards.

About the Author

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