Funding roundup

College of the Mainland held a celebration November 29 for the new Mitchell Chuoke, Jr., Plumbing Program. (Photo: COM)

It was an epic occasion at College of the Mainland (COM) as the family and friends of Mitchell Chuoke, Jr., gathered in November with COM officials to unveil a new plumbing certificate training program in the Texas college’s plumbing program named in his honor.

The new certificate program was made possible through more than $1.3 million in donations from community partners Matt and Debra Doyle, the Patrick F. Doyle family, the Lawrence J. Del Papa family, Joe and Ellen Chuoke, Texas First Bank and Beau and Erin Yarbrough.

“Our family has been in the plumbing business for a long time, and to have a program named after my brother is very special and a very nice memorial for him,” said Joe Chuoke. “I think that this is a perfect opportunity because [students] can come to this program – get acquainted with the tools, get acquainted with the terminology, and see if they want to pursue this endeavor further.”


Drake State Community and Technical College will use a $215,000 Innovate Alabama Network Grant to establish ReneuRedi, an innovation hub designed to support entrepreneurs, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, as they establish or expand businesses in STEM fields.

“This initiative aligns with our commitment to fostering innovation, diversity and economic development in Huntsville and north Alabama. By providing targeted support to entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds, we hope to create a more equitable and prosperous future for all,” Drake State President Patricia Sims said in a release.


College of the Canyons (COC) will use a $500,00 grant from the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) to develop High Road Training Partnerships (HRTP) with regional industry partners. 

The HRTP initiative was created to address income inequality, economic competitiveness and climate change through regional skills strategies designed to support economically and environmentally resilient communities in California. 

The project will focus on worker supply and employer demand of the labor market in the Santa Clarita Valley. Applying the HRTP framework, COC will work with industry partners to prioritize equity and job quality in alignment with the implementation of strategies for transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy.

“The HRTP model will assist our partnership in opening opportunities for students as trained technicians, technologists and students articulating into university engineering and related programs in advanced technologies,” said Harriet Happel, dean of career education and integrative learning at the college.


Criminal justice majors at Montgomery College (MC) will receive laptops and digital literacy training thanks to a $40,000 contribution through the AT&T Connected Learning initiative.  

The laptops will support criminal justice majors with financial need. They will have the opportunity to attend virtual sessions along with one-on-one assistance to help develop their digital literacy skills.

To date, MC faculty have used grant funds to purchase 25 laptops for police cadets and other criminal justice students to help them successfully complete their academic programs.


The West Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center, headquartered on Minnesota State Community & Technical College’s (M State’s) Moorhead campus, has received a $396,000 grant to support the startup, growth and success of the region’s diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The Small Business Assistance Partnership Competitive Grant comes from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Office of Small Business and Innovation.

One of nine regional Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in Minnesota, the West Central Minnesota SBDC serves nine counties, bolstering the success of small business owners and entrepreneurs by providing direct consulting, advising and technical assistance annually, at no cost to clients.

West Central Minnesota SBDC’s Associate Director Amy Anderson and Regional Director Ian Carlstrom stand near their office on M State’s Moorhead campus.  (Photo: M State)

New York

Stella and Charles Guttman Community College has received a $197,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Early-Concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) that will support the development of the college’s certificate in cybersecurity and an associate of applied science in health information technology degree. 

Guttman will work with its partners at the Greater New York Hospital Association to determine how to align the cybersecurity certificate program to the specialized workforce needs of the healthcare sector. IT faculty will work with industry partners to introduce more hands-on activities and experiential learning components into the curriculum.

In addition to creating a specialized healthcare cybersecurity training program at Guttman, the grant project also will result in four specialized cybersecurity sub-sector training programs developed at other education and training providers across New York City and a cybersecurity training provider portal/website created as a front door for use by NYC employers.   

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Computer science students at Jamestown Community College will soon find their learning experience is more immersive. With a $12,500 Innovative Instruction Technology Grant, the college has created a virtual and augmented reality room on campus that will allow for computer science students to write and test virtual and augmented reality programming.

“Virtual and augmented reality technology is becoming so ubiquitous that it is almost mandatory for students to not only know how it works, but be able to build off that knowledge base to create their own systems,” said computer science instructor Jonathan Blair.

North Carolina

Forsyth Tech Community College’s heavy equipment and technology (HEAT) program has a new addition: an advanced emissions system donated by TranSource Truck & Trailer Centers. The gift includes a cutting-edge exhaust-after-treatment system, crucial for training heavy truck technicians in modern maintenance and repair techniques.

Forsyth Tech’s associate in applied science degree in diesel and heavy equipment educates approximately 25 students annually in heavy truck maintenance and repair.

“Our goal is to graduate technicians who can immediately contribute to their employers after transitioning from the classroom to service department environments. These up-to-date training aids are instrumental in teaching contemporary diagnostic skills, preparing our HEAT students for rewarding careers in the workforce,” said Alan Doub, HEAT program coordinator at Forsyth Tech.

South Carolina

A $5,000 donation from Duke Energy will allow Central Carolina Technical College to purchase a new greenhouse that will serve as a hub for immersive, hands-on learning experiences for students.

Central Carolina science, natural resources management and environmental studies faculty, as well as biology club students, will use the greenhouse for many purposes, from cultivating plants to meet diverse curriculum objectives, to potentially featuring in the biology club’s annual fundraising sale.

About the Author

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