Reporter’s notebook

  • In Columbus, a Promise and a FAFSA bump
  • West Virginia, chem company assist incumbent workers
  • An Indiana partnership in microelectronics training

In Columbus, a Promise and a FAFSA bump

The number of public high school seniors in Columbus, Ohio, applying for federal student aid has increased by 43% — from 891 to 1,278 — compared to the same time last year, with local college and city officials pointing to the new Columbus Promise program as a major reason why.

City officials said the goal for the first year of the Promise program is to enroll 425 students at Columbus State Community College, where the first cohort of grant recipients will attend this fall. That would represent a 30% increase compared to the last three years, when on average 327 students graduated from Columbus City Schools and enrolled in Columbus State the following fall, according to the college.

In addition to selected students attending free of charge and receiving services such as academic and career advising, Columbus State says it is working with partners to develop a learn-and-earn program to pair about two-thirds of the students who will want to work part-time with relevant paid internship and part-time job opportunities.

The program is a public-private partnership projected to cost $9.5 million through June 2025. The city and Columbus State have pledged $5 million to the effort. Philanthropic and private sector contributions have totaled $4.1 million, leaving roughly $395,000 to raise, according to officials.

West Virginia, chem company assist incumbent workers

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice last week announced a new initiative between WorkForce West Virginia, the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, and chemical company Chemours to provide an opportunity for more than 300 Chemours employees to earn their associate degree by fall 2025.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg and Chemours developed the new incumbent worker training program to provide associate degrees for hourly employees at one of the company’s sites in the state, according to a release. Workers can earn a degree in four industry-driven areas: production technician, area maintenance technician, electrical and instrumentation maintenance technician, and lab technician. Participants will receive a pay increase upon successfully completing the program.

An Indiana partnership in microelectronics training

Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College will team to help meet workforce needs in microelectronics, a field that is expected to add more than 100,000 workers over the next decade.

The agreement will provide a variety of collaborative educational opportunities for faculty and students in microelectronics and will explore ways to attract more talent to this area, according to a release from the institutions.

“The Purdue-Ivy Tech partnership will enable a comprehensive, robust solution to address the microelectronics needs across the entire workforce value chain, from associate to doctoral degrees,” Mung Chiang, Purdue’s dean of engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering, said in the release. “Considering the more than 70,000 students at each institution, this is virtually the largest partnership between a university and a community college for talent pipeline – perhaps the ultimate supply chain – in tech space.”

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.