Written by The Herald-News
Fort Peck Community College recently received three federal grants that will go toward developing and expanding the college’s programs.
The first is a grant for $1.5 million dollars from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program as part of a consortium of Montana’s two-year colleges.
The TAACCCT grant is a nearly $2 billion initiative that focuses to expand training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.
The lead applicant, Great Falls College of Montana State University, will administer the grant.
The program emphasizes the use of evidence-based program design, collection of student outcome data and evaluation, to add to the growing body of knowledge about which strategies best develop skills that lead students to jobs.
Colleges that were awarded the grant, including FPCC, had to demonstrate several qualifications, such as: local labor market need for enhanced training in specific industries, strong engagement with employers in the design and delivery of training activities and work-based learning and a commitment to evidence-based program design and a third-party evaluation.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker stated that employers should partner with colleges and the government to help develop curriculum and programs to ensure that American workers possess skills they need for their businesses to succeed.
“This round of grants has an increased emphasis on creating the types of training programs that will prepare community college students for the jobs in which they are needed, which is good for employees, employers and the strength of our economy,” Pritzker said.
The press release said the initiative goes with President Barack Obama’s goals of ensuring that all United States citizens have one year of college education. The grants also build on the administration’s goal of providing individuals with the information they need to choose education and training programs.
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, stated that community colleges play a role in training citizens to meet the needs of employers.
“As our economy continues to rebuild, businesses are looking for employees with the skills their company needs to stay competitive, and America’s students and adult workers want tobe equipped to fill those roles,” Duncan said. “These grants help to meet those demands, providing critical investments in education and supporting key partnerships.”
Dr. Florence Garcia, EdD, president of Fort Peck Community College, said the college is excited to have the opportunity to develop vocational programs at the college. She also said that FPCC was happy to be a part of the consortium of colleges in Montana.
“This will help develop our welding program, which is a popular program,” Garcia said. “This will make it better to fit the needs of the community.”
The second grant awarded to FPCC was a $1.1 million Indian Professional Development Grant Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education Bureau of Indian Education.
This four-year grant will provide funding to education Native American teachers across the reservation. The goal of the grant is to assist 25 students into transferring to Montana State University - Northern in Havre to complete a teaching degree. FPCC staff will be advising prospective applicants in the coming months.
The third grant award to FPCC is the Native American Career and Technical Education Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This two-year grant, in the amount of $469,785, is designed to attract students to vocational and technical fields such as welding, building trades, electrical line work, truck driving, business technology and computer technology. The NACTEP grant will assist with funding approximately 100 students each year.
For more information on these awards or to apply as a student at Fort Peck Community College, call 768-6300 or visit www.fpcc.edu.