Funding roundup

A gift to Waubonsee Community College will support students in the HVAC program. (Photo: WCC)

Waubonsee Community College recently received a $50,000 donation to support students enrolled in the Illinois college’s HVAC program.  

Worth Hill, a former resident of North Aurora and part-time Waubonsee adjunct faculty member, provided the gift as a way to celebrate the memory of a friend who started his career at Waubonsee and to help students pursue a career in HVAC.  

During his career as a real estate agent, Hill relied heavily upon HVAC professionals to keep his business growing. Unfortunately, many HVAC specialists who Hill contacted for emergency jobs were not trained properly or certified through a reputable body.  

“I tribute my friend’s success to what he learned at Waubonsee. Along the way, my friend also helped me succeed in my real-estate business. I will never forget that,” Hill said.


Wallace Community College-Dothan (WCCD) is among 20 community colleges awarded grants by Lumina Foundation to boost efforts to increase adult student enrollment. Each college will receive a grant of up to $75,000, along with technical assistance in behavioral design and planning for sustainable enrollment efforts.

WCCD will use grant funds to expand its Wallace on Wheels initiative.

“The grant funds will enhance our efforts to enroll and reengage adults aged 25 and older through our Wallace on Wheels initiative connecting diverse groups of individuals with educational opportunities,” said Buffae Howard, WCCD adult recruiter.

WCCD will increase the number of locations visited by Wallace on Wheels, especially within communities of color. Visits will be expanded to off-site workforce development classes and adult education locations to transition adults into degree/certification programs, and the college will implement annual re-engagement activities targeting adult learners with incomplete credentials.

The grants are part of Lumina’s Prioritizing Adult Community College Enrollment initiative, which aims to identify and support promising strategies for increasing adult participation — particularly among Black, Hispanic, Latino and Native American students — in quality credit-bearing and non-credit programs.

Achieving the Dream, Ideas 42, rpkGroup, Equal Measure and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors are partnering to support the colleges.


The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) will use a $499,987 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help with the development and implementation of a student success technology suite called ASSIST (Academic and Student Success Integrated Support Technology).

ASSIST provides advisors and other student service professionals with access to holistic student data. At its core is an inexpensive, fast and scalable cloud-based data layer that uses student information from many disparate systems.

“The tools in this suite span several product categories, from traditional CRM capabilities to early alert and case management. Not only do we plan to help many of our students across our 10 colleges with this technology, but we hope to find ways to share our work with other institutions facing similar challenges,” said Joseph Licata, the technology lead for ASSIST and associate vice chancellor for information technology.


Tuition cost will not be a concern for many Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) Georgetown-Scott County dual-credit and Middle College students thanks to a $250,000 donation from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK). The donation establishes an endowment to fund scholarships for high school students interested fast-tracking to college or career.

“BCTC is a long-standing partner of Toyota’s and an excellent resource for Scott County, particularly its dual credit and Middle College programs for junior and senior high school students to get a head start on an advanced degree,” said TMMK President Susan Elkington.


A $1 million gift to the Washtenaw Community College (WCC) Foundation will fund 10 annual full-ride scholarships for WCC nursing students. The gift is from Agnes and Stephen Reading, longtime supporters of WCC.

Reading Scholars will receive tuition, books, exam fees and equipment needed to complete three years at WCC. The Readings said they were motivated to focus on strengthening this region’s nursing profession based on their own personal experiences.

“Nurses are the soul of a hospital. Ensuring excellent nursing care for people in our community is of utmost importance to us,” Stephen Reading said. “I’ve been in the hospital a lot and have met many nurses. Agnes and I have been moved by the care we’ve received from nurses and have made good friends.”

Philanthropists and longtime Washtenaw Community College supporters Agnes and Stephen Reading. (Photo: WCC)

New York

Rockland Community College (RCC) has received a four-year federal grant totaling roughly $300,000 to help provide students who are parents with access to quality childcare. The grant is part of the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) from the U.S. Department of Education.

The grant will help subsidize childcare costs for low-income, Pell-eligible students enrolled at RCC. The program will serve five to 10 students in the first year, increasing to the full capacity of approximately 15 students annually in 2022 and beyond.


Dallas College will be able to provide new opportunities for the next generation of high-tech workers with the help of two state grants totaling $2.5 million.

A project to create an information technology workforce pipeline received $2 million from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Dallas College, Tarrant County College and Paris Junior College will partner on the project.

“This consortium will enhance, develop, align and implement IT micro-credentials to strengthen course and program offerings across the region,” said Gloria Smith, associate vice chancellor for career connected learning at Dallas College. “We really want to create a network of services so we can partner with other community colleges, especially those in rural areas.”

The second grant is an award to Dallas College of $500,000 from THECB. It will finance a collaboration among Dallas College, University of North Texas at Dallas, the city of Dallas and Dallas County to develop a public safety workforce pipeline, funding training to certify security officers, 911 dispatchers and basic peace officers.


Projects at four Wisconsin community and technical colleges are being funded through the state’s Workforce Innovation Grant Program. They are among 12 regional projects awarded nearly $60 million aimed at developing long-term solutions to Wisconsin’s workforce challenges.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing the workforce challenges across our state, so these funds are critically important to encourage regions and communities to develop cutting-edge, long-term solutions to the unique workforce challenges they face,” said Gov. Tony Evers.

Chippewa Valley Technical College will receive up to $10 million to address the need for skilled workers in metal fabrication across the manufacturing sector through outreach, short-term training with integrated educational pathways and contextualized and work-based learning opportunities.

Gateway Technical College, with a grant of up to $5.6 million, will offer a four-week pre-HSED (high school equivalency diploma) program, followed by a 16-week Work Ready (WR) HSED program. Courses will be offered in-person and online, offered both during the day and in the evening. Transportation and child care services will be sourced as needed, and individual case management will provide support services and guidance to keep students on track. 

Madison College will use a grant of up to $2.9 million to develop in-demand skills training in childcare, advanced manufacturing, health care and information technology.

With a grant of up to $9 million, Mid-State Technical College, along with several partners, plans to build a regional collaboration around workforce challenges in the central region of Wisconsin to target 2,500 unemployed, underemployed, underserved communities and youth with skill training and barrier-removing support services. Included in the grant proposal was the construction of the Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering Technology and Apprenticeship Center in the region. 

About the Author

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