Funding roundup

During a visit to the San Diego College of Continuing Education, Rep. Juan Vargas presented a ceremonial check for $500,000, which will support a facilities upgrade. (Photo: SDCCE)

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-California) recently visited San Diego College of Continuing Education to present a $500,000 check for facility improvements at the college’s Educational Cultural Complex.

The $500,000 is part of nearly $2.5 million in funding allocated for the San Diego Community College District in the 2024 federal budget for facilities improvements at College of Continuing Education, Mesa College and Miramar College. 

The college will use the funds for long-overdue upgrades of restrooms at the complex, which have not been upgraded since the campus opened in 1976.


Gov. Kim Reynolds recently announced that four Iowa community colleges will receive grants through the state’s Career Academy Incentive Fund, a program to allow high school students to explore career paths while gaining work experience.

Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD) will use its $1 million grant on its Grinnell campus to expand its automotive repair technician career academy. It will provide for additional lab space to accommodate more students and support enrollment growth across six area high schools participating in existing academies.

“This grant will help us expand our reach and serve more students who are looking to get hands-on career training in numerous areas,” said IVCCD President Anne Howsare Boyes.

Iowa Western Community College’s (IWCC) $1 million grant will support a new regional center in Glenwood that will offer career academies in cybersecurity, robotics, precision agriculture and mass digital communication to students from five school districts.

Iowa Central Community College will receive a grant of nearly $618,000 to purchase health science equipment for its North Central Career Center, which serves four area school districts.

And Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, which received a $1 million grant, will develop new lab space at its Muscatine Industrial Technology Center.

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A retired farmer has pitched in for two new scholarships at Iowa Central Community College.

Joe Loebach has established the Ruth Ann and Joe Loebach Nursing Scholarship and the Joe and Ruth Ann Loebach Electrical, Ag and Industrial Tech scholarship. The endowed scholarships will provide $1,000 to one student in each of these fields.

Loebach was inspired to create electrical, agriculture and industrial technology scholarship by his time as an electrician. And the nursing scholarship is in memory of Loebach’s wife, Ruth Ann, who passed away in 2023. She was a certified medical assistant and earned a degree in residential care management.


Eleven community colleges will use Skills Capital Grants to upgrade and expand career training programs. In total, nearly $15 million in grants went to 65 Massachusetts high schools, colleges and educational institutions.

Among the community college grantees is Quinsigamond Community College (QCC), awarded $171,016 to purchase industry-standard lab equipment for its nursing assistant (CNA) certificate program and surgical technology associate degree program. Together, the programs prepare approximately 140 students each year for careers in the regional healthcare industry. This grant will allow QCC to add additional students to the CNA program and provide a pathway for more low-income, underrepresented and entry-level workers to launch healthcare careers in the local community.

North Shore Community College (NSCC) will use its $90,528 grant to buy robotics equipment to introduce robotics and automation technology into the curricula for the advanced manufacturing and engineering programs.

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Holyoke Community College (HCC) will use a $832,000 state grant to help train workers for clean energy sector jobs.

The two-year grant is part of an overall $3.4 million allocation to three higher education institutions for climate-related workforce training initiatives. In addition to HCC, Roxbury Community College and Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology each received $1.3 million.

Overall, the grants will lead to green industry specific training for an estimated 400 individuals, 150 of them through HCC.

The college and its community and industry partners will spend the next few months developing training programs in five areas: EV (electric vehicle) charging station installation, energy auditing, solar installation, green industry supervision and management, and green careers job readiness.

Also at HCC: the Holyoke Community College Foundation received a $5,000 donation from auto dealer Gary Rome to support the college’s Thrive Student Resource Center, which manages the HCC food pantry and provides other support services. 

The check is the result of funds raised via the college foundation’s annual 24-hour fundraising campaign, which brought in $164,313 for student-centered programs and scholarships. As a campaign promotion this year, Rome pledged to double all gifts from new donors up to $5,000.

Auto dealer Gary Rome presents a ceremonial donation check to Amanda Sbriscia, HCC vice president of institutional advancement and executive director of the HCC Foundation. (Photo: HCC)

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A $30,000 grant will support the Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) Child Watch program, which provides enrichment for the children of MWCC students.

The George R. Wallace Foundation grant will fund two new student workers for the Child Watch Program, providing more than 1,200 hours of coverage, including evening hours, which are in high demand. The program launched in spring 2022 to support parenting students seeking childcare during their kids’ February and April school vacations, which do not align with the college academic calendar. It became apparent that drop-in services were needed at other times, as well to allow parenting students to attend class, meet with advisors, join study groups, and participate in other activities at MWCC.

“The Child Watch program has been an amazing benefit for our students,” said MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “It directly increases educational access and equity for parenting students, eliminating a major obstacle on their journey to a degree.”

North Carolina

Central Piedmont Community College will build a new first responder training facility thanks to a donation of 23 acres of land from the Hendrick Automotive Group and local business leader Rick Hendrick.

The donated land is adjacent to the college’s Levine Campus. Plans for the training center include law enforcement, fire and rescue, EMS, forensics, detention and telecommunicator facilities. Outdoor training spaces will include a scenario training village and emergency driving range. Indoor facilities will provide a firing range and a fire and rescue area with specialized equipment for comprehensive training. The center will be constructed in phases, with the first phase opening in 2027, and phase two opening in 2028.

Central Piedmont has had a long relationship with the Hendrick family and Hendrick Automotive Group. In 2006, the college opened the Joe Hendrick Center for Automotive Technology, made possible by a gift from the Hendrick family.

“Institutions of higher education can flourish and make an enhanced impact only when they have corporate and community partners who are willing to collaborate and dream with them. Central Piedmont has such a partner in Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Automotive Group,” said Central Piedmont President Kandi Deitemeyer.

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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