The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) presented a check today for $2 million to Montgomery County Community College, the largest private gift ever given to the College.
The $2 million gift will establish an endowment within the College’s Foundation. Annual interest from the endowment will fund workforce development programs and scholarships for students pursuing high-demand industries that support the continued prosperity of the County and its citizens.
“This is a gift that will keep on giving,” said Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout. “The gift provides important new dollars to ensure student access to education and training programs that build the workforce pipeline in key areas.”
The gift comes as the result of an April 24, 2014 vote by the MCEDC Board of Trustees to dissolve the private, independent nonprofit organization and distribute some of its assets to the Montgomery County Development Corporation (MCDC) and the College to create efficiency in the administration of the County’s economic development programs. The selection of the College as a recipient of these funds reflects the College’s strong relationships with the County and business community as well as its past success in workforce development.
MCEDC has requested that the College leverage its gift by raising an additional $2 million in matching funds.
The endowment created by the MCEDC gift and matching funds from the challenge will support workforce projects at the College such as:
• Seed money for new programs and student scholarships in critical health sciences fields and other high-demand industries such as culinary arts, entrepreneurship, biotechnology, information technology, and environmental studies;
• Funding for innovative incumbent worker training to attract and retain businesses in the County; and
• Stipends for books, transportation, and childcare for veterans pursuing their education in high-demand or STEM fields, or for use of the College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies incubator to start a business.
“Montgomery County is strongest when we create an atmosphere to promote job growth, while at the same time having well-trained individuals to fill those positions,” said Josh Shapiro, chair of the County Board of Commissioners. “The generosity of MCEDC and the proven ability of Montgomery County Community College to create programs to answer the needs of its students and our workforce will help ensure a bright economic future for our county.”
“The MCEDC gift sets a great example we can build on,” Stout added. “We know that our tuition, while affordable, is not within financial reach for some residents in our area. For a long time, our focus was not on private fundraising. By establishing a tradition of philanthropy, Montgomery County Community College can achieve even greater progress in our workforce development efforts.”
To address the nearly $20 million in unmet student financial needs, the College launched the $9 million Futures Rising Campaign in November, during its 50th Anniversary year. This first-ever comprehensive campaign is designed to support student success, beginning with scholarships that broaden access to this education. The MCEDC gift is the largest the Campaign has received.
The gift recognizes the longstanding productive relationship between the County and the College and their joint ability to align training to business needs. One of only 50 institutions in the nation to offer training through the Global Corporate College international network, the College’s Center for Workforce Development partners with dozens of businesses annually to provide training.
The College recently added a Pennsylvania Real Estate Pre-licensing Fast Track Program and a Medical Office Assistant course, in addition to new certificate programs in Fall 2014 in the high-demand occupations of Biotechnology/ Biomanufacturing, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, and an expanded Dental certificate. Currently under development are training programs for Physical and Occupational Therapy Assistants.
~ by Denise Portner