Funding roundup

Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson spoke at a National Apprenticeship Week event at Howard Community College. During the event, the college announced new grant funding from the state labor department and plans to create two new apprenticeship programs. (Photo: HCC)

Howard Community College (HCC) has announced that it is expanding its apprenticeship programs with the help of a $250,000 grant from the Maryland State Department of Labor. The announcement was made at an event celebrating National Apprenticeship Week.

The apprenticeship expansion will include two new career pathways for students and aspiring professionals. The college will create a new surgical technician apprenticeship program and a new CompTIA technology support apprenticeship program. They both align with the increased demand for skilled workers in healthcare and information technology.

“HCC has looked past the traditional community college role of providing credit and noncredit education, and instead imbedded apprenticeship into their institution,” Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson said at the event. “These new grant funds will not only support the registration of an additional 75 apprentices, but will allow our residents to launch careers where they will become some of the most highly-skilled workers in their industries, and they will do so with no college debt.” 

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Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) will use a $149,940 grant to purchase a Robinson R-22 Helicopter Simulator for its helicopter pilot associate degree program and select continuing education coursework.

The grant is from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

CCBC is one of only two not-for-profit, higher education programs in Maryland training aviation professionals, and the only one training helicopter pilots. CCBC’s new helicopter simulator will be the only one available to civilian (non-military) flight students pursuing their initial Federal Aviation Administration helicopter licenses within an approximate 500-mile radius of Baltimore.

The college also received a $137,283 Career and Technical Education (CTE) Innovation Fund grant from the MSDE to develop an associate of applied sciences degree in data science. CCBC will create three data science courses. They will supplement an existing course that was created through another CTE grant.

These courses will enable students to prepare for jobs in one of the fastest-growing professions in the nation. Data scientists are employed across many industries, including Fortune 500 companies, tech start-ups, cybersecurity, IT, government and nonprofit organizations and market research.

Arizona

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation has received a $75,000 grant from the Arizona Public Service Foundation to support STEM programs throughout the college district.

The largest portion of the grant, $35,000, will support STEM-focused, mentored, work-based experiences for underrepresented STEM students at Phoenix College. The goal is to increase interest, persistence and completion rates in STEM degrees and certifications, as well as to develop a model for community colleges to establish faculty-mentored research and work experiences.

Mesa Community College will use $17,200 to support the annual Girls Get It! Conference. The meeting brings together female 9th-12th grade students within the Mesa Public Schools and professional women from various local industries. Participants learn about educational and professional opportunities available for women in IT and make connections with other girls and young women interested in studying or already working in the field of IT.

Estrella Mountain Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College will receive $22,800 for the Hermanas program, which introduces STEM careers and education to middle and high school Latina female students.

“Young Latina girls aren’t aware of the opportunities in technology. They don’t realize that it’s an option,” said Hermanas Program Manager Maria Reyes. “This is a segment of our population that is most at risk of being unprepared to enter the workforce of the future.”

Since its inception in 2005, Hermanas has served more than 6,500 students from more than 50 schools across Maricopa County.

Florida

Tallahassee Community College (TCC) will provide new apprenticeship opportunities thanks to a $169,901 grant through the Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant from the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). The college plans to establish an electrical pre-apprenticeship program under its existing partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections and the Independent Electrical Contractors.

“Apprenticeships are a win-win for businesses and job seekers, allowing business to hand-pick talent and teach necessary skills,” said Kimberly A. Moore, vice president for workforce innovation and TCC2WORK. “TCC is committed to our goal of creating opportunities for good-paying jobs and a qualified workforce in our community.”

North Carolina

A $50,000 grant to the Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center will help create a new business start-up program in partnership with Innovate Carolina (UNC Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development). The NEXT LEVEL program will target entrepreneurs building scalable businesses with a potential for national or worldwide reach.

The Regional Impact Grant from NC IDEA will allow the partners to develop programming to reach a group previously underserved through existing programs – prospective high-growth business owners. The goal is to help program participants validate their business concept and become ready to advance their product or service to the next level. 

“This program will fill a gap for high-growth entrepreneurs who require more advanced support than traditional start-up programs, but may not be ready for an accelerator program,” said Terri Brown, director of the CCCC Small Business Center. “Participants that successfully complete the program may receive access to mentorship, introductions to investors and potential strategic partnerships.”

Oregon

The Bright Futures Umpqua program has a bright future thanks to a $200,000 Workforce Readiness grant awarded to Umpqua Community College (UCC). Bright Futures Umpqua, an initiative of Douglas County Partners for Student Success, provides career-connected learning for youth in the county.

With the grant funds from the Oregon Department of Education, the college will hire a career-connected learning facilitator to support a new UCC pre-apprenticeship option for high school youth and young adults in Douglas County. That person also will support the Expanding Horizons career exploration camps and events with a focus on rural communities.

In addition, UCC will provide a talent advisor to local schools through a partnership with the Southwestern Oregon Workforce Board to develop workforce readiness and connect students to job shadow and internship opportunities. Grant funds also will cover some costs for supplies and fees for the pre-apprenticeship program and Expanding Horizons camps and events.

Tennessee

Cleveland State Community College (CSCC) has received two Governors Investment in Vocational Education 2.0 (GIVE) grants from Gov. Bill Lee, totaling $1.8 million in new funding. The funding will support two mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) programs to meet the growing needs in Southeast Tennessee.

The funds will allow CSCC to establish a program with the Monroe County School District that provides students with several industry certifications and a postsecondary certification in HVAC and refrigeration. Equipment purchased with the funding will allow the college to provide training to students at the CSCC Monroe County Center.

The funding also will prioritize learning opportunities in the college’s rural counties and enhance career and technical education statewide.

“The Cleveland State service area is largely rural,” said CSCC President Bill Seymour. “In many respects, rural areas were hit harder by the pandemic than urban areas. In addition, fewer individuals in rural areas seek postsecondary credentials. These grants will provide great opportunities in three of our counties that truly need workforce development enhancement.”

About the Author

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