Northern Essex Community College (NECC) was the first public two-year college in Massachusetts this summer to adopt Handshake, a career network that comprises 500,000 employers, including all of the Fortune 500 companies. The college recently received a $44,693 grant from the Boston Foundation and SkillWorks to implement Handshake at all the state’s community colleges. When completed, the colleges will be able to work collaboratively, sharing events and career and internship opportunities.
“This is all about equity. Our community college students, many of whom are of color, low income or nonnative English speakers, now have access to the same career opportunities that are presented to students at four-year colleges and universities,” said Ashley Moore, NECC director of career services, who is leading the statewide effort.
Four months after Handshake was launched, 882 employers had already connected with NECC and there are 1,362 active job and internship postings available, Moore said. Since August, 618 NECC students and 30 alumni have activated their Handshake accounts. The college hopes to grow that to 2,000 by the end of the academic year.
Santa Rosa Junior College’s (SRJC) Affordable Student Housing project got a boost with a $1 million grant from Kaiser Permanente.
“We are beyond grateful for this tremendous gift from Kaiser Permanente,” SRJC President/Superintendent Frank Chong said in a release. “This partnership and funding will provide support for housing and education in our community for generations to come.”
SRJC initiated the housing project following the 2017 wildfire that devastated Sonoma County, destroying more than 5,000 structures and affecting nearly 1,000 SRJC students who lost homes. That exacerbated the struggles of a community already dealing with high housing prices and widespread homelessness.
“This generous gift won’t just fund a building – it lays the foundation for fundraising to help subsidize rental costs and other essential needs the future residents may encounter,” said J Mullineaux, executive director of the SRJC Foundation.
Tallahassee Community College (TCC) has received a $10,000 grant from the Truist Foundation. It will use the grant toward the college’s efforts to assist transitioning inmates in partnership with the Florida Department of Correction (DOC). The college operates several workforce programs throughout the region that include electrical, culinary, masonry, carpentry, HVAC and GED prep.
“The generous grant award from Truist will afford us the opportunity to establish a pilot program, Hope ReImagined, that will provide transitional services for those returning back to their home community,” said Kimberly Moore, vice president for workforce innovation and TCC2WORK/Be Essential. “By establishing this program coupled with the education that they are receiving while incarcerated, it will position them to become productive citizens while reducing risks of recidivism.”
Since launching the workforce training programs with DOC, more than 800 industry-recognized certifications have been awarded.
Savannah Technical College (STC) received $1,000 from Cuyler Community Improvement Association, Inc. (CCIA) to help students offset costs for GED testing. The scholarship will support up to 25 students in STC’s adult education program with GED exam fees.
“These students, who work tirelessly to obtain this credential, do so amidst severe financial hardships,” said Thomas Bullock, the college’s dean of adult education. “The scholarship allows students to reach many goals, both personally and toward their continuing educational and career pursuits.”
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will continue building bridges to success for science scholars through a $2.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Research Training Grant is designed to help community college students develop into future scientists, with a focus on increasing degree attainment for underrepresented groups in biomedical fields. The program connects two-year institutions with four-year colleges and universities for continuation of study.
Tri-C is partnering with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and Cleveland State University (CSU).
The new grant will provide scholarship support to 75 students over the next five years. As part of their studies, participants will work on research projects with faculty mentors from Tri-C, CWRU and CSU and present their findings.
The foundation announced the Circle of Partners during a virtual fundraising event in October with the goal of raising $100,000. An anonymous donor matched each donation, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000 in the first 24 hours, helping the foundation surpass its goal.
“In 2019-2020, our students had a total unmet financial need of more than $62 million. We are off to a strong start in addressing that need,” said Jay Browning, the college’s vice president of advancement.
Hill College received a $25,000 endowment scholarship through Brookshire Grocery Co.’s (BGC) Focus on the Future scholarship program.
The program rewards students in BGC’s market areas for their dedication, hard work and outstanding academic achievements. The donation will serve undergraduate students with a financial need.
“The scholarships that will be possible as a result of this endowment will directly help students attain a college degree that they otherwise may not have been able to afford,” said Hill College Director of Development Leigh Ebner.
Victoria College (VC) will use a $375,000 donation from Dow Seadrift Operations to renovate VC’s William Wood Building. The funds will help to expand and modernize classrooms and labs for instrumentation, electronics technology and welding classes.
The college expects to complete the renovations by May or June.