Funding roundup

Students in Aims Community College's unmanned aerial systems (UAS) basic operator certificate program are benefiting from a donation of drones. (Photo: Aims)

A donation of drones and related equipment to Colorado’s Aims Community College has led to more work-study opportunities for students. Juniper Unmanned provided the equipment – valued at approximately $100,000 – to Aims in late 2021.  

The college launched an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) basic operator certificate program last year to train people for the growing drone industry. With the new equipment, students already have mapped 14 construction sites for Weld County. Students also will work on a Toyota commercial with Colorado Film School.

“Students are learning what the industry is using and opened their eyes to future possibilities,” said Jake Marshall, UAS chief instructor pilot for Aims.   


More than $10.5 million in state funding was awarded to 11 colleges across Florida to expand apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.

“This $10.5 million will provide opportunities for an additional 4,200 students in the next year and will encourage more businesses to start their own apprenticeship programs to meet industry demands,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a release.

Among the grantees is Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC), which will receive $956,346. The college will begin two new one-year apprenticeship programs this summer: the construction and design apprenticeship and the apartment maintenance technician apprenticeship.

“This critical grant funding will support PHSC’s focus on ensuring that we continue to meet our district and regional workforce needs via a variety of training formats,” said Stanley Giannet, PHSC’s executive vice president, chief academic officer and college provost.

Hillsborough Community College received more than $1.5 million to expand its apprenticeship/pre-apprenticeship programming.

“It’s important to us to continue paving the way for students to receive hands-on training that will better prepare them for their future careers,” said John Meeks, associate vice president of postsecondary adult vocational.


Three individual gifts of $1 million will expand scholarship opportunities for Hagerstown Community College (HCC) students.

AC&T Co., Inc. is one of the donors. In recognition of its gift, HCC will rename its students center after the company. The center houses, among other things, the offices of student affairs, retention and registration, and the Veterans Connection Center.

The Jone L. Bowman Foundation’s $1 million gift to HCC will enhance the foundation’s existing scholarship. The college’s new workforce center will be named the D. M. Bowman Family Workforce Training Center. Construction on the new center is set to begin this summer.

The Bowman Center will provide a central location for all of HCC’s off-campus training programs, including commercial truck driver training, diesel tech program, forklift instruction, GED program and English as a second language classes.

The Board of Washington County Commissioners has approved $1.5 million to assist in the renovation and construction of the facility.

The third $1 million gift was provided by an anonymous donor.

“These wonderful gifts represent two things,” said HCC President Jim Klauber. “First, the generosity of this community to help those in greatest need is most impressive. Second, it shows that HCC is addressing the critical education and workforce needs of this community and that is being recognized by donors who want to partner in that effort.”

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Montgomery College (MC) has received a $350,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for a biopharmaceutical technician education project.

The project will address the rapidly growing demand in the Montgomery College service area for biotechnology technicians, especially in cell and gene therapy. Working with industry partners, the principal investigators will develop a cell and gene therapy course, a cell and gene therapy certificate program and two micro-credentials that document specific cell and gene therapy skills.

The course and certificate program will produce workforce-ready cell and gene therapy technicians, and the micro-credentials will establish a baseline skillset for entry-level employment.

“The program’s outreach to underserved populations, and its focus on developing new curricula and certifications, will strengthen students’ readiness for employment and enhance their potential career pathways,” said MC President Jermaine Williams.

New Jersey

Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) will use a $20,000 grant to plan for its participation in the New Jersey Pathways to Career Opportunities initiative, in which it will be the lead college for the Center of Workforce Innovation in Advanced Manufacturing.  

Joining RVCC in the center are Camden County College, County College of Morris and Sussex County Community College.

RVCC also will serve as a community partner for the Center of Workforce Innovation in Cybersecurity.

The funding come from the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development.

New York

LaGuardia Community College has raised $15 million to help students whose education was disrupted by the Covid pandemic. The college’s foundation surpassed its $10 million goal for the Tomorrow Campaign in March, unlocking a $5 million gift from an anonymous donor and setting a fundraising record for the institution.

Proceeds from the campaign will benefit as many as 20,000 degree-seeking and workforce-training students through scholarships, paid internships, emergency aid and other awards.

“With $15 million in new resources, LaGuardia Community College can help lead an equitable economic recovery in Queens. For students whose college dreams were derailed by the pandemic, LaGuardia is the place to get back on track,” LaGuardia President Kenneth Adams said.

Among the Tomorrow Campaign supporters are many people who see their personal histories reflected in LaGuardia students, a majority of whom are low-income, first in their family to go to college or recent immigrant. In addition to financial support, some give their time as well — meeting with students to provide career advice and motivation.

“I was raised by immigrant parents in Queens and saw first-hand what resiliency means,” said Dipak Patel, founder and CEO of Alight Capital Management LP. “My family and I have been fortunate to spend time with LaGuardia students, and we’ve been impressed by their grit and intellectual curiosity.”


Umpqua Community College (UCC) will use $300,000 in grant funding for truck-driver training scholarships. The funding comes from Douglas County and the state of Oregon.

UCC will provide scholarships for up to 150 entry-level professional truck drivers, preparing them to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

“We are excited to enable more students to train and fill the dire need for truck drivers. While the truck driver shortage is not new, supply chain disruptions during the pandemic and surges in demand have made the crisis much more acute,” said Robin VanWinkle, dean of UCC community education and partnerships.


Retired Everett Community College (EvCC) history instructor Tom Gaskin and his wife, Sue, are donating $100,000 to the EvCC Foundation to start a Student Success Fund, which will provide emergency funding for students.

Sue and Tom Gaskin

“Everett Community College changes lives for the better. Sometimes students just need a bit of help to reach their goals,” said Tom Gaskin, who taught at EvCC for 36 years before retiring in 2012. Sue Gaskin is a retired elementary school teacher.

“This donation will help a lot of students who need short-term financial assistance. Tom and Sue know the value of education, and we are thrilled and grateful that they chose to support students at Everett Community College,” said EvCC Foundation Executive Director John Olson.

About the Author

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