Funding roundup

Domtar officials presented Mid-State Technical College with a $100,000 donation, which will support the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Apprenticeship Center. (Photo: Mid-State Tech)

Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin will use a $100,000 donation to help fund its planned Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Apprenticeship (AMETA) Center. The donation from Domtar’s Nekoosa Mill secures the paper-and-pulp product manufacturer’s naming rights to a space within the AMETA Center for the life of the building.

With a planned opening in late 2023/early 2024, the 50,000-square-foot facility is expected to annually serve more than 1,500 college students, high school students and incumbent workers.  The center will provide office space for the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, supporting the 14 apprenticeship programs at the college and the more than 400 current local apprentices. 

“This project will serve to provide education and training for a number of high-demand occupations, creating a strong pipeline of relevant, skilled talent with opportunities for excellent, family-sustaining careers in the area,” said Bobbi Damrow, Mid-State vice president of workforce development and community relations and AMETA campaign manager.

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Northwood Technical College’s Housing Opportunity and Mobile Education Solutions (HOMES) project got a boost with a $9.8 million Workforce Innovation Grant. Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes made the announcement last month at the college’s Rice Lake Campus.

HOMES will provide housing and train individuals in skills to help them enter jobs in the advanced manufacturing industry. The project, which will target the unemployed/underemployed and underserved populations in the college’s service region, will select sites in communities with strong employer support and a shortage of workforce housing.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (center) and WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes (second from right) visited Northwood Technical College in June to announce new funding. (Photo: Northwood Tech)


Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) will soon debut its automation and robotics program, supported by a $345,725 National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education grant. It’s the college’s first NSF grant.

The program will launch in August at the new Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing (PMC). Students in the automation and robotics degree path will learn how to operate and maintain automated systems commonly used in manufacturing.

“The college has consulted with our industry partners to equip the Plaster Manufacturing Center with the latest machinery and technology,” said Robert Randolph, executive director of the PMC. “When we send graduates into a career, they will be ready to work from day one because they’ve been trained on the most modern equipment. Plus, this grant will allow the college to engage with young students and encourage them to consider manufacturing as a career.”

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The State Fair Community College (SFCC) Foundation’s Stronger Workforce, Greater Community capital campaign is growing thanks to a $10,000 donation from Gary and Debbie Noland. The couple had long teaching careers at SFCC, and Debbie Noland even wrote a book about the history of the college, “The Legacy of Plywood U.”

The capital campaign is raising funds for SFCC’s Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center, which opened in June. The center expands the college’s capacity to meet the demand for technical workforce training and strengthen the communities it serves.

Earlier in June, Alro Steel donated $100,000 to the campaign.

North Carolina

With a $10,000 grant to its James French Dreamkeeper program from United Way, Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) can provide additional support to students facing emergency expenses.

The Dreamkeeper program, which began accepting applications in 2016, has as of fall 2021 provided $128,000 in support to 368 CCCC students and helped 78% of those students persist to the next semester.

In more good news, CCCC also has been named one of 30 winners in the Learning Engineering Tools Competition, a search for promising new education ideas, technologies and platforms. The college will receive $50,000 to develop and refine a software resource to help students better understand areas of study and how they align to possible careers and jobs. Students will use the software when they enroll to match their areas of interest to the college’s workforce and curriculum options.


Seven Tennessee community and technical colleges are receiving a piece of a $5.7 million federal Perkins READI (Recruit Engage And Develop for Innovation) Grant. The funds, awarded by the Tennessee Board of Regents, are aimed at boosting career and technical education (CTE) programs.

Among the recipients is Jackson State Community College, which received $673,000. The funding will help to buy equipment as well as a targeted marketing campaign to promote CTE programs at the college.

In addition, Chattanooga State Community College will receive more than $1.1 million and Volunteer State Community College will get $500,000.

About the Author

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