Funding roundup

A Guilford Technical Community College rig used to train truck drivers. (Photo: GTCC)

Bank of America recently donated $10,000 to Guilford Technical Community College’s (GTCC) truck driver training program, which was created last year to meet local demand. The funds will help the college market the program to recruit students and provide opportunities for unemployed and underemployed workers, according to GTCC.

“We have a long-standing commitment to advancing economic mobility, and this partnership with GTCC supports skill-building opportunities for local residents and will create more pathways to employment,” said Derek Ellington, Bank of America triad market president. “Our focus on workforce development and investments like these for GTCC’s truck driver training program make a positive impact for the people of this community and region.”

The program addresses vehicle inspection, defensive driving, range maneuvers, motor carrier’s safety regulations, trip planning, cargo handling, size and weight laws, general maintenance procedures, hours of services and vehicle accident prevention. The demand for heavy-duty truckers in North Carolina will increase by 7.7% by 2026 with nearly 7,000 job openings annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

California

Bakersfield College (BC) and the Kern Community College District (KCCD) have received nearly $2 million for a workforce training partnership. The initiative, known as the Kern Regional Workforce Coalition, aims to create a stronger, more economically resilient community by focusing on equity, education, industry security and job quality.

In collaboration with the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment and the University of California’s Merced Community and Labor Center, KCCD and BC will scale several initiatives to improve regional outcomes around health, employment, energy, education and poverty by 2030. The coalition will work with local industry stakeholders and contributing partners to conduct research, strengthen and expand regional workgroups, and invest in worker-centered workforce training, development and economic diversification. 

“Our purpose in higher education is to be the vehicle of upward mobility, both for individual students and the greater community,” said KCCD Vice Chancellor John Means. “With this coalition, we are committed to bringing different voices to the table, to engage in the dialogue which is necessary to drive strategic and united action so that we can strengthen and build a dynamic homegrown workforce and expand well-paying jobs here in Kern County.”

* * *

College of Marin’s (COM) astronomy department welcomed three telescopes, donated by retired faculty members Tinka Ross and Bernd Enders, and from a local community member who wished to remain anonymous.

Both Ross and Enders worked in the physics department and wanted to give back to COM after long and rewarding careers at the college.

“All of us in the physics and astronomy departments believed in the value of direct, personal experience with the objects of our study,” said Enders, who also taught math and computer science during his career at COM.

Illinois

Heartland Community College has received $25,000 donation from McLean County Farm Bureau that will establish a scholarship fund for agriculture students. The college recently expanded its agriculture programs to match the employment picture of the area. 

“Funding from community partners makes a huge impact in providing accessible education pathways for students,” said Chris Downing, executive director of the Heartland Community College Foundation.

Louisiana

A $20,000 donation to South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) will establish an endowed scholarship for the college’s power lineman and electrical programs. The donation comes from power company Cleco.

In 2018, Cleco contributed $50,000 to SLCC to help establish the power lineman program, which recently celebrated the graduation of its fourth class.

“This additional funding is part of our commitment to not only invest in the communities we serve but to help sustain workforce training programs for future generations,” said Bill Fontenot, president and CEO of Cleco Corporate Holdings. 

Ohio

Terra State Community College’s foundation has been helping children in Sandusky County find a love of reading through its affiliation with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The foundation recently received a $7,500 donation from the Sandusky County Board of Developmental Disabilities to boost the number of children with access to books.

“Children introduced to reading early on tend to read earlier and excel in school compared to children who are not exposed to language and books at a young age. It is the goal of the Imagination Library to provide children with a library of 60 books by their fifth birthday,” said grant writer Beth Bower, who noted the donation will provide 250 children with a book each month for a year.

About the Author

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