Amazon has boosted Borough of Manhattan Community College’s (BMCC’s) efforts to reduce food insecurity on campus by donating $100,000 for non-perishable and fresh food. Amazon also provided an industrial refrigerator so that the college’s pantry can stock more cold products, pre-prepared sandwiches and salads from Amazon Go.
BMCC’s Panther Pantry opened in 2018. From July 2021 through June 2022, it distributed more than 4,000 bags of food to about 1,800 students.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded several grants recently to community colleges, all to help construct or renovate workforce training facilities.
A $5 million grant to Lincoln Land Community College in Illinois will go toward renovating and expanding campus training facilities. The grant will support career development in several fields, including emergency medical services, agriculture, diesel technology, preparing students for in-demand positions in the region. The EDA investment comes with a match of $1.2 million in local funds and is expected to create 400 jobs, according to grantee estimates.
Illinois Valley Community College (IVCC) received $3.5 million grant to construct a new agriculture education facility. The grant will allow IVCC to train and upskill agriculture workers, aid in the development of new technology and develop sustainable practices. The investment comes with $1.1 million match in local funds. It’s expected to create 100 jobs and generate $500,000 in private investment.
In Iowa, Kirkwood Community College will use a $792,848 grant to renovate an aircraft hangar at the Cedar Rapids Airport into a learning facility for the aviation maintenance technician program. The project will add classroom space, a workshop and access to airport facilities, producing a highly trained workforce. The grant will be matched with $198,212 in local funds and is expected to create 100 jobs.
San Juan College in New Mexico will receive a $915,900 grant to renovate and repurpose a city building to support the Harvest Food Hub and Kitchen. The facility will provide commercial kitchen space, training and technical assistance for food entrepreneurs and businesses. The grant is paired with $228,975 match in local funds and is expected to help create 40 jobs, leading to economic growth in a region impacted by the declining use of coal.
And, thanks to a $4.2 million EDA grant, Lakeland Community College will renovate its Industrial Skills Training Center for Advanced Manufacturing, expanding training opportunities in northeast Ohio. The project is expected to create 300 jobs, retain 243 jobs and generate $5 million in private investment. The grant will be matched with $3.1 million in local funds.
Federal Strengthening Institutions grants
Community colleges comprise the majority of the 27 recipients in the U.S. Education Department’s (ED) latest round of Title III Strengthening Institutions grant awards. The funding helps postsecondary institutions improve and strengthen their academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability of eligible institutions.
Among the grant recipients is Hagerstown Community College in Maryland, which will use its $2.25 million grant award to improve retention and success. The college’s grant project includes intentionally engaging students, faculty, staff and the community by developing a strategic orientation, first-year experience, and an early alert system to identify students at risk of dropping out.
A $2 million grant to Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) will lead to enhanced services, programs and faculty training opportunities. The funds are targeted at M State’s STEER project (Striving Toward Equitable Engagement and Retention), an effort to address achievement gaps and increase student enrollment, engagement and retention rates, especially among BIPOC and part-time student populations.
Much of the funding will go toward personnel salaries and benefits, the hire of new student/peer mentors, professional development, website upgrades, student giveaways, student enrichment programming and internships and work-based learning opportunities.
With its $2.25 million ED grant, Everett Community College (EvCC) will work to improve college affordability and increase students’ access to resources and increase flexibility in how and when credit is earned. The Washington college also plans to develop practices and policies to ensure seamless transitions between pre-college and college-level academics and between learning and careers. Specific initiatives include the development of a student resource center, creating resources to facilitate academic credit for prior learning, and establishing a career-connected and experiential learning center at the college.
Ohio’s North Central State College (NCSC) received nearly $2.1 million for its Flexible Access Through Scheduling & Technology (FAST) program. The aim of FAST is to increase student access and success by a systemic adoption and implementation of advance instructional design, increased online and hybrid instruction and eight-week terms with related support systems.
With the grant funds, NCSC will hire additional support personnel for student and staff technological needs and course success counseling to students. The funds also will provide updated technology in order to strengthen advising support.
Download a list of the most recent institutions receiving Strengthening Institutions grants.
Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) received two investments to train the next generation of educators.
With a $394,487 grant from the Maryland State Department of Education, ACM will accept local high school juniors and seniors into its teacher education prerequisite and program courses next fall. The program’s design includes additional student support services and financial assistance for enrolled students. The hope is that high school students interested in the teaching field will eventually fill local educator positions, potentially offsetting the local teacher shortage. ACM is partnering with Allegany County Public Schools.
The second investment is a gift of more than $100,000 from Robert “Bob” Powell to endow the Jane Gates Scholarship for teacher education students. The college will award one $5,000 scholarship annually in perpetuity, with preference given to students of African-American heritage.
Powell’s gift to the ACM Foundation was presented during a recent Jane Gates Day celebration. Gates, a former slave, purchased her own home in 1871, signing the deed with an X. Her Cumberland, Maryland, home is being preserved as a museum and community center.
Terra State Community College has received a $349,535 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program. The college will use the funds to advance the electricity program curriculum towards a competency-based hybrid model of asynchronous style learning.
“Rather than having fixed class hours and 16-week semesters, this model allows more flexibility to cater to the student/employee and employer schedule,” said assistant professor of electricity Michael Holewinski. “Many of our students are apprentices and employees of local industrial partners, and it is our goal to help create learning objects, content and skills based on industrial partner needs.”
Funds also will go toward professional development training and conferences for faculty and staff.