Funding roundup

Frank Gillette (center) and son Joseph (left) visit with Justin Pedley, veterinary medical technology animal facilities manager at Central Carolina Community College, at one of the program's examination labs. The family is creating a VMT student scholarship in honor of former CCCC employee Jill Gillette. (Photo: CCCC)

A former employee’s fondness for animals and appreciation for Central Carolina Community College’s (CCCC) veterinary medical technology (VMT) program has led to a new scholarship for students at the North Carolina college.

The family of Jill Gillette, who worked at the college as an administrative assistant from 2011 to 2019, has donated $10,000 to start the VMT student scholarship. She passed away in 2021 after a battle with cancer.

Jill Gillette

“Her love of animals led her to visit the VMT program. She would spend some of her lunch and break time visiting the VMT school and animals,” her husband, Frank, said in a release from the college.

After he had surgery several years ago, Jill Gillette surprised her husband with a beagle she got from the VMT program.

“She said that she got it to help motivate me to walk after the surgery. The dog’s name was Shadow. He was a blessing and did accomplish her goal of getting me walking after the surgery,” he recalled.

He noted that after his wife passed away, he and his children talked about ways to remember Jill and her love of people and animals.

“We thought it would be great to remember her for what she loved and enjoyed. We decided the best way, and we think Jill would agree, would be to help someone with their education. We established her scholarship for those in the VMT program at the school she felt so attached to,” Frank said.

The college will name a VMT classroom in her honor.

California

East Los Angeles College’s (ELAC) Family and Community Engagement Services (FACES) program recently got a boost: $200,000 in federal Community Project Funding.

The FACES program engages parents and caregivers, communities and families of K-12 scholars in ELAC’s service area to help with a seamless transition from high school to college.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-California) helped secure the funding. She joined ELAC, Los Angeles Community College District and Alhambra Unified School District leadership for a check presentation.  

“The college preparation process can be difficult to navigate, particularly for students from underrepresented backgrounds such as first-generation students or those from low-income families,” Chu said in a statement. “This funding for the FACES program will lower the barriers to higher education by providing resources to help students, parents and families not only prepare for college, but also to succeed once they get there.”

Rep. Judy Chu (second from right) presents a $200,000 check for East Los Angeles College’s FACES program. Chu helped secure the federal Community Project Funding. (Photo: ELAC)

* * *

The Chabot-Las Positas Community College District (CLPCCD) is partnering with the Communications Workers of America District 9 (CWA) on a $5.8 million grant project to support California’s broadband buildout.

The U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Building America grant will help to expand apprenticeship programs for fiber technicians, with focus on raising industry labor standards and connecting underrepresented populations to high-quality job opportunities.

This work comes as California is investing billions of dollars to expand broadband access, which will require a statewide workforce of well-trained fiber technicians.

* * *

A $1.2 million grant to the San Diego College of Continuing Education Foundation’s Employee Training Institute (ETi) will lead to more trained people to help prevent wildfires in California. The grant, from San Diego Gas & Electric, supports arborist/utility line clearance training.

The tuition-free program runs for 200 hours over five weeks. It trains participants to clear trees away from utility equipment and lines.

The training led Sandra Marquez, 27, to a new career path. She planned to start an internship with the San Diego sheriff’s department after studying for a master’s degree in forensics psychology and earning a bachelor’s degree in criminology.

“My goal was to become a detective. That dream was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “I did not want to stop learning just because of the pandemic. I heard about the opportunity for arborist training and fell in love with it. Climbing trees is really a physical and mental challenge.”

Marquez began the arborist training in July and is set to complete the program this fall.

Representatives from SDG&E present a check for San Diego College of Continuing Education Foundation’s ETi. They are joined by pre-apprentices training to become arborists. (Photo: SDCCE)

Montana

Little Big Horn College has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for more than $250,000 to help provide employment and training services to low-income and unemployed Native Americans and create pathways to middle-class careers. It will receive $164,307 for adult programs and $88,796 for youth programs.

The funding comes from DOL grants totaling $70.8 million awarded to 166 Indian and Native American entities to deliver services such as academic, occupational and literacy skills development to individuals in Native American communities to help to compete in the workforce.

New York

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) has received four grants via New York state’s education department totaling $4.25 million to boost literacy, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes and computer skills training.  

The five-year, federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity (WIOA) Title II funding will support three “literacy zones” in impoverished neighborhoods bordering BMCC’s lower Manhattan campus. Each of the literacy zone programs will receive $150,000 a year for five years, strengthening their efforts to create a pathway to college and careers.

The BMCC Center for Continuing Education Workforce Development Adult Continuing Education program, DigitalWorks, also will receive $400,000 a year for five years to provide contextualized ESOL classes linked to Microsoft Office specialist training in partnership with the Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center and Sanctuary for Families.

* * *

Dutchess Community College (DCC) will expand workforce development offerings thanks to three grants totaling $1.8 million from the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The grants will support various elements of the county’s workforce development landscape.

The largest grant — $1.49 million — will help to establish a SUNY Future of Work Center at DCC’s new Mechatronics and Workforce Development Labs. The center will create short-term, degree-eligible and non-degree credential programs to address employer needs and prepare job-seekers for careers in high-growth industries. The grant provides the start-up funds needed to develop curriculum and deploy marketing tactics to prospective employers and students.

In addition, a $200,000 grant will strengthen DCC’s noncredit-to-credit pathways and micro-credential initiatives. And a three-year $70,000 sub-award supports DCC’s role in a workforce consortium that is part of SUNY’s Cannabis Workforce Development Grant Program.

Wisconsin

With a $500,000 donation from the Gene Haas Foundation, Gateway Technical College will help former students return to college and finish their degrees. Through the Promise 2 Finish program, adults who have earned 12 or more college credits and have been out of college for at least two years will the opportunity to finish their degree tuition-free.

The foundation also will donate $40,000 to apply toward scholarships for computer numeric control students. It will award up to 16 scholarships over the next two years to students at $2,500 each.

In honor of Gateway’s long partnership with the Haas Foundation, a space in the college’s SC Johnson iMET Center will carry the company’s name.

About the Author

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