Funding roundup

Robert L. Paserba, right, and his sister-in-law, Gail PaserbaRobert L. Paserba and his sister-in-law, Gail Paserba, a Butler County Community College trustee, visit the college to announce that the Paserba family will pledge $200,000 to establish the Robert L. Paserba Education Teaching and Learning Lab. (Photo: BC3)

In Pennsylvania, a $200,000 pledge to the Butler County Community College (BC3) Education Foundation will help to serve early childhood education students.

With support from the Paserba family, BC3 will establish the Dr. Robert L. Paserba Education Teaching and Learning Lab, where early childhood education students can gain hands-on experience by creating settings in a simulated classroom and evaluating intended lesson-plan outcomes.

The lab’s namesake has served as a teacher and superintendent in K-12 schools for more than 60 years. He currently is educational director and strategic planner for the Extra Mile Education Foundation in Pittsburgh.

“I would like to see this lab have BC3 recognized as the first stepping stone in the educational process to become one heck of a teacher,” said Gail Paserba, his sister-in-law, family spokesperson and a BC3 trustee.

BC3 will renovate and merge adjacent classrooms and a resource library to create by fall 2025 the 1,735-square-foot lab in the college’s humanities and education building, said Brian Opitz, BC3’s executive director of operations.


Nearly 200 were in attendance at the Indian River State College (IRSC) Eastman Advanced Workforce Training Complex this month when Gov. Ron DeSantis announced an award of $4 million to IRSC. The college will use the grant to create advanced technology workforce development programs and build an innovative Center of Ballistics and Emerging Technology.

The funding is through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund (JGGF), which makes strategic investments in programs that build stronger communities and support workforce training across the state.

The Center for Ballistics and Emerging Technology will serve as a collaboration point for industry partners, law enforcement agents, workforce training professionals and IRSC students and faculty. The project plans to create more than 300 new advanced manufacturing-trained graduates over the next 10 years.


The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has awarded $766,000 to 12 Illinois community colleges to help implement virtual reality (VR) equipment into career and technical education programs.

Recipient colleges can use the funding to purchase VR hardware and software to recruit and instruct students in a variety of workforce training programs for industries such as healthcare, criminal justice, manufacturing and HVAC. Grants range from $23,000 to $100,000.

The grant recipients are:


Howard Community College (HCC) will use a $60,000 grant from the local county to grow cybersecurity workforce development programs. Specifically, the funding will expand the HCC cybersecurity apprenticeship program to serve 34 emerging professionals in IT protection and help-desk careers.

The Howard County government also has supported workforce development expansion through a recent $11 million commitment to building the college’s skilled trades center. The 50,000-square-foot facility will offer hands-on training in industries such as HVAC, plumbing, construction management, cybersecurity and manufacturing mechatronics. The center is scheduled to open in 2026.

New Jersey

County College of Morris (CCM) recently received two grants totaling more than $535,000 from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL).

A $237,109 grant from the Pre-Apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE) program will support 40 participants in CCM’s advanced manufacturing pre-apprenticeship boot camp. Most of the funds will go directly toward tuition and participant stipends.

CCM hopes to increase the number of apprentices from underrepresented groups. Many organizations in Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties help recruit participants and support those facing barriers. Following the boot camp, CCM’s advanced manufacturing team stays connected with those placed in registered apprenticeship programs, connecting them with additional support through related technical instruction.

The $299,556 grant secured through the Growing Apprenticeships in Nontraditional Sectors (GAINS) program will help 25 participants in CCM’s registered apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing. The college will use the funds to add the robotics technician apprenticeship program, maintain key personnel in established, successful RAPs and enhance related technical instruction (RTI), which is classroom and lab instruction that provides theoretical knowledge and technical skills.  


The Tomball Star Academy Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) program – a  partnership among Lone Star College-Tomball, Tomball ISD and HCA Healthcare Tomball – recently received an $86,000 grant from Educate Texas at the Communities Foundation of Texas. The funds will be used to expand course offerings at LSC-Tomball this fall.

The Tomball Star Academy P-TECH program trains students to work in the healthcare industry. It opened in fall 2023 with the first cohort of 25 ninth-graders taking rigorous academic coursework through LSC-Tomball and shadowing HCA Healthcare Tomball mentors on medical rotations.

“This strategic alliance offers P-TECH students incredible access and exposure that are invaluable in one of today’s most viable and in-demand fields, health care,” Katerina Wingfield, LSC-Tomball dean of academic affairs, said in a release. “Unlike most high school programs, students will learn directly from healthcare professionals in a world-class hospital and clinical facility.”

The Tomball Star Academy P-TECH program received an expansion grant to offer students more healthcare courses and credentials at Lone Star College-Tomball this fall. (Photo: LSC-Tomball)

About the Author

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