Funding roundup

Leaders of various Houston area organizations and JPMorgan Chase announce a $3.3 million grant for disaster resilience and workforce efforts. (Photo: HCC)

JPMorgan Chase has committed $3.3 million toward a disaster resilience and workforce collaborative led by Houston Community College (HCC).

The collaborative unites 17 local community partners to offer resiliency career training. Local community partners will receive $1.8 million of the total investment and the remaining funds will support various climate and sustainability initiatives in Houston. HCC will lead the collaborative and provide the curriculum and offer new certificates and credentials in resiliency-related fields across its 22 learning locations throughout Houston.

“HCC has embraced a vision to train half a million Houstonians to help mitigate the loss of life and property when impacted by weather or man-made disasters,” said HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado. “Soon the college will break ground on a $35 million Resiliency Operations Center to train people from across the region in real-world emergency rescue techniques.”

The job sectors will include clean energy, disaster response, resilient jobs, utilities, trades and manufacturing. Graduates will receive recognized training certificates and U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeships. An important element of the collaborative is employers changing some of their hiring practices to emphasize specialized training certificates over traditional four-year degrees.

“This collaborative provides a ‘go-to place’ for Houstonians to learn skills that will lead to good-paying jobs. It is a better system because it’s set up to fulfill needs that already exist in the workplace,” said Dorian Cockrell, vice president of global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase.

* * *

Dallas College has received a $1 million federal grant to increase the number of underrepresented student nurses who can provide high-quality, culturally sensitive care in underserved communities.

The college will use a three-year U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant to fund about 70 scholarships and recruitment efforts on potential students who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) for its associate-degree nursing program and anticipated nursing bachelor’s degree program. The college also aims to boost BIPOC representation among its nursing program’s teaching staff.

“The need for highly skilled nurses is especially acute with Dallas County federally designated as a ‘medically underserved area,’ where many residents face numerous barriers to healthcare, including not having health insurance, lack of transportation and a shortage of medical information translated into other languages,” the college said in a release.

* * *

Austin Community College District (ACC) is celebrating a $250,000 gift from NXP Foundation.  

The donation will help fund engineering technology scholarships at the Texas college as well as the new NXP Advanced Manufacturing Lab. The training tools provided at the lab will support and extend educational curriculum and resources for both adult and high school students entering the semiconductor industry and other advanced manufacturing occupations. 

Austin Community College District Chancellor Richard Rhodes kicks off a reception to celebrate the college’s partnership with the NXP Foundation, which donated $250,000 to the college. (Photo: ACC)

Florida

Indian River State College (IRSC) is the first college in the state to receive a grant from Adobe to connect Creative Cloud tools with student learning outcomes.

The $42,000 grant will: support hands-on workshops, training and peer-to-peer technical support for faculty; improve resources for students working with tutors at IRSC Academic Support Centers; and expand instructional integration of Creative Cloud. Innovation Awards will recognize faculty advancements that promote student success and students who use Adobe tools to create compelling personal brands.

The funding announcement comes a year after IRSC became the first community college in the nation to comprehensively offer Adobe Creative Cloud applications, without cost, to all students, faculty and staff.

The grant also supports Adobe integration through the College Writing Academy, a joint venture between IRSC and the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation that identifies gaps in instructional resources (dedicated to supporting student writing) and creates needed resources using Adobe Creative Cloud tools.

Louisiana

Southwestern Energy (SWN) is donating $300,000 to Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) to increase technical and career scholarships.

With the $100,000 annual investment over three years, SWN expects to support 40 to 50 students annually, and the company is working with LCTCS — including Bossier Parish Community College, Northwest Louisiana Technical Community College and SOWELA Technical Community College — to develop a summer intern program that fosters post-graduation career opportunities. LCTCS is also expanding their energy-sector-focused offerings to include education programs for lease operators, I&E technicians, control room operators and air emission specialists.

“Access to a trade or technical program should never prevent enrollment,” SWN President and CEO Bill Way said in a release. “We’re proud to invest in scholarship programs that help bridge the funding gap and maintain academic and career goals. As we look to recruit and hire locally, the community and technical college programs are critical to preparing Louisianans for energy careers with Southwestern, and more broadly.”

New Jersey

A $339,000 grant to the New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) will fund the development of a new grassroots journalism training program for community college students.  

“This program presents a vital opportunity to strengthen communities and create trusted information hubs at a time when many NJ residents are seeking to become more informed and media savvy,” a NJCH press release says.

The program involves collaboration between NJCH and Journalism + Design at the New School. The goal is to equip citizens with skills to tell the stories of their communities through the creation of free, noncredit certificate programs at community colleges. The partners piloted a similar training program in South Jersey this spring as part of NJCH’s Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative.

“Community colleges, which have long excelled at democratizing learning and meeting local needs, are the perfect sites for this project, as they foster the exchange of ideas and opportunities for understanding among their diverse populations,” said NJCH Executive Director Carin Berkowitz.

The training program will begin in 2023 with the selection of community college sites and continue through 2024. The grant comes from the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium.

New York

Hostos and LaGuardia community colleges each received U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grants of nearly $3 million to train hundreds of culturally competent community health workers (CHW).

Over a three-year grant period, LaGuardia will train 255 new and incumbent individuals from disadvantaged communities to serve their communities as community health workers. Training involves courses in communication skills, health and wellness, and how to navigate healthcare systems. CHW trainees must then complete 130 hours of on-the-job experience as interns with partner organizations.

Hostos will train 270 workers as community health workers, who will have the opportunity to participate in either a CHW field placement experience or in a CHW registered apprenticeship.

North Carolina

Central Carolina Community College will use a $50,000 grant from Duke Energy to boost workforce and economic development efforts, specifically to develop and provide workforce training in support of area employers.

Indira Everett (front left), Duke Energy director for the East region, presents a $50,000 check for workforce development training to CCCC President Lisa M. Chapman (front right). (Photo: CCCC)

Ohio

The Cleveland Foundation awarded a $19,995 grant to Lakeland Community College to launch a new veteran wellness initiative, Cultivating Veteran Wellness through Agriculture.

Program participants will take part in a structured, holistic approach to veteran mental health through targeted agriculture and wellness initiatives. They will practice stress management, self-regulation and communication strategies, mindfulness and personal growth as they simultaneously develop agriculture skills.

“Our veteran students can face a variety of challenges as they transition to civilian life. This new initiative uses the unique approach of agriculture to demonstrate how the skills and experiences they have had can translate to all aspects of life,” said Lakeland Veterans Center Manager S. Rhonda Osagie-Erese.

About the Author

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