Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) will use a new grant of up to $100,000 for emerging workforce development and training. The grant comes from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA).
SWCC will provide scholarships to coalfield area residents and/or those who work in the VCEDA region. In particular, funding will support students choosing to enter fields such as information technology, unmanned aerial systems, agriculture/aquaculture, advanced manufacturing/industrial applications, renewable energy/energy efficiency, adventure tourism and outdoor recreation.
The college also will use the funds for instructional costs, customized workforce training for area businesses and costs of administering National Career Readiness Certificates and other workforce testing.
“The support is especially important as we emerge from the pandemic. Many residents are now looking to upskill for higher paying careers and most employers in the region are ramping up hiring as they optimistically look toward economic growth in our region,” said Randall Rose, SWCC’s dean of workforce and continuing education.
* * *
Virginia Western Community College has received a multi-generational, multi-million dollar planned gift from Edwin C. Hall, founder of the Roanoke-based real estate firm Hall Associates Inc.
Initial giving is valued at $1 million to support the Virginia Western Forward Permanent Endowment Fund. An additional $250,000 will go to the Virginia Western Rapids Response Student Emergency Fund. Generational giving will culminate in a further multi-million-dollar gift to the Virginia Western Forward endowment fund.
“Neither my (late) wife Glenna or I attended college, and we grew up without a lot of material goods,” Hall said. “We chose to support Virginia Western to make an impact on as many young people as possible, and many with similar backgrounds to ours.”
The student emergency fund was selected after Hall saw the urgent and unexpected needs of so many students surface during the pandemic.
“Aside from tuition, the needs of our students are not always on our radar,” Hall said. “But during Covid, we saw many struggle to pay their bills, buy food and access basic needs. Supporting this fund gives assistance to more students and helps them avoid a financial crisis.”
This is not Hall’s first time supporting Virginia Western. His previous giving includes $1.1 million to establish and support Virginia Western’s Hall Associates Career Center and $100,000 for the Edwin C. Hall Endowed Chair for Management: Entrepreneurship. He also established the Glenna H. Hall Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Women in Business.
Hall serves as chair of Virginia Western’s Educational Foundation’s Scholarship and Grants Committee and is a past president of the board of directors.
Eastern Florida State College’s dental hygiene and dental assisting programs will benefit from a $4,982 grant through the Community Foundation for Brevard. The funds will help to buy a new X-ray machine and disposable supplies to use with digital radiographs for student education and patient treatment.
* * *
Gulf Coast State College’s new Gulf Coast Guarantee Program got some early support with a $200,000 gift from the St. Joe Community Foundation. Starting in August, the program will provide a $1,400 annual financial aid award to current local high school graduates who meet certain criteria.
Nursing and allied health programs at Fletcher Technical Community College (FTCC) can expand thanks to $2 million in donations. Two local hospital systems – Ochsner Health and Terrebonne General Health System – are each donating $1 million to the college.
The money will help with the construction costs of a new training facility that will include classrooms, labs and state-of-the-art equipment. FTCC will bring hire more faculty and accommodate more students. The college also will have the potential to offer new programs to train radiologic technologists, certified medical assistants and more.
Hudson County Community College (HCCC) has received a nearly $300,000, three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) New to Advanced Technological Education grant to support local career opportunities through a better educated and more skilled workforce for area businesses.
HCCC President Chris Reber said the college’s Strengthening Community College and Workforce Partnership project will expand HCCC’s STEM offerings. The project will support the development of structured partnerships with local employers in associated industries, informed by a strong advisory board to ensure the rigor and relevance of the program.
“This grant is the outcome of three years of faculty and staff collaboration throughout the college, including the members of the Mentor-Connect technical assistance program,” Reber said in a statement. “We thank them for their diligence. This is the first time the college has received a grant directly from NSF, and the project will open the door to future NSF and other funding opportunities.”
A $100,000 gift to North Central Texas College will establish a new scholarship fund. The donation comes from Susie Shauf, along with her children, in honor of her deceased husband, Pete Shauf.
The Pete Shauf “GRIT” Award scholarship fund will help local students with a strong work ethic who have received a faculty recommendation stating that they embody gratitude, responsibility, integrity and tenacity – or GRIT.