Funding roundup

Quinsigamond Community College President Luis Pedraja, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta visited one of QCC’s nursing skills labs in June. (Photo: QCC)

The 15 community colleges in Massachusetts will each receive $735,000 as part of a $15 million state workforce training grant. The funding is to support the creation and expansion of training programs in high-demand industries.

“Education is at the heart of all economic growth and this type of revenue stream goes a long way in supporting our region’s employers, incumbent workers and potential workers,” Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) President Luis Pedraja said of the funding.

The remainder of the $15 million will be allocated to the colleges based on student demand for the training programs.

In late June, QCC also received $500,000 in state funding to train and help place more than 70 participants into biotechnology jobs.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta visited QCC’s Healthcare and Workforce Development Center to announce the grant. They also toured some of QCC’s healthcare labs and tried the college’s simulation equipment.

Alabama

Gadsden State Community College received a $5,000 donation from the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., to fund a scholarship for a student attending the Valley Street Campus, the area’s only campus with the historically Black college or university designation.

The scholarship will go to a minority student who has at least a 2.5 GPA.

California

State lawmakers in California are providing $1.4 billion in grants to 26 public campuses this year to build or expand student housing. The funding was included in the state’s 2022-23 budget.

Colleges applied to the California Department of Finance for the student housing grant. Among those receiving funds is the Compton Community College District (CCCD). With a student housing grant totaling more than $80 million, CCCD can build its proposed 250-bed student housing facility on the Compton College campus. Nearly 63% of students at Compton College experience housing insecurity.

Another grantee is Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC), which is set to receive $39.4 million to construct a 100-bed housing facility.

“LTCC has been working on bringing housing to South Lake Tahoe for nearly a decade,” said LTCC Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco. “Until now, the high cost of construction in the Tahoe Basin has made this project infeasible. This funding allows LTCC to fulfill its vision of bringing affordable student housing to campus and will help students enroll and succeed in their educational mission.”

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Riverside Community College District (RCCCD) benefited from the state budget as well. The college will receive $33 million toward the development of the Inland Empire Technical Trade Center. The center will involve collaboration between business, labor, community, governmental and educational partners.

RCCCD also anticipates $5 million in federal and state funding so that Norco College can continue to expand its Military Articulation Platform (MAP) statewide. MAP provides veteran students with college units for knowledge acquired while serving in the military.

Florida

Palm Beach State College (PBSC) will use a $3 million U.S. Department of Education grant to expand its Upward Bound TRIO college readiness program to two area high schools.

“Although we know that not everyone has to go to college to be successful in life, we know from experience that there are benefits to earning a college degree,” U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Florida), who announced the grant said in a statement. “This Upward Bound program gives young people a real opportunity to reach their full potential, so I’m very pleased to have Palm Beach State not only continue their program but add to their program with this $3 million over five years.”

Palm Beach State College Upward Bound Director Syla Alcin, PBSC President Ava Parker and Rep. Lois Frankel celebrate the news of the Upward Bound grant with students in the program. (Photo: PBSC)

Missouri

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department Health has awarded a $1.2 million grant to St. Louis Community College to expand its training program for community health workers and to increase the number of students enrolled in the behavioral health associate degree program.

There’s an urgent need for more behavioral health paraprofessionals in Missouri.

“These extreme behavioral health staffing shortages in Missouri, coupled with a state drug overdose death rate that is higher than the national average, has fueled the urgent need for more comprehensive and progressive training,” said Laurie Hawkins, senior health program manager for STLCC’s Workforce Solutions Group.

North Carolina

The Hope, Opportunity and Prosperity through Education (HOPE) program at Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) has received $2 million in American Rescue Plan funding through Cumberland County.  

The HOPE program provides accelerated training in high-demand skills to county residents without a college degree, including those with some college, a high school diploma or less.  

As part of the program, FTCC plans to partner with employers to provide HOPE students with work-based learning internships and on-the-job training experiences. Some of the funds will help provide cost-of-living stipends to students during the initial training and internship experiences. 

FTCC and Cumberland County representatives showcase a $2 million grant to boost FTCC’s HOPE program. (Photo: FTCC)  

Wisconsin

Madison College is leading a team of national community colleges to form the CREATE Energy Advanced Technological Education Center with $7.5 million in funding from the National Science Foundation. The center’s mission is to produce a skilled technical workforce that will help transform the world’s energy industries.

The center will provide a community of practice for more than 900 national STEM educators to share energy technology and serve as a source of professional development. Colleges participating in the NSF grant with Madison College are Central Carolina Community College, College of the Canyons, Delaware Technical Community College and Indian River State College.

“The world is in the midst of a once-in-a-century transformation of our energy infrastructure,” said Madison College instructor and CREATE Center Director Kenneth Walz. “Renewable energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the world and is projected to provide more than 90% of new electric power capacity through the next decade. This creates an enormous opportunity for students to secure well-paying, family-supporting jobs that cannot be exported, are not easily done by robots and benefit society at large.”

About the Author

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