Piedmont Tech Awarded $8 Million in Grants

In these tough economic times, Piedmont Technical College is maximizing all possible funding resources. PTC was recently awarded three new grants, bringing the fiscal year total to more than $8 million.

The three newest grants awarded to the college are the Title III grant totaling $2 million, the Predominately Black Institutions (PBI) grant from the U.S. Department of Education for $2.4 million and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (TAACCCTG) for $1.65 million.

“One of our strategic goals is to identify new sources of funding to improve the college’s services,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, president. “By pursuing these grant opportunities, we are able to provide tools and programs to achieve our ultimate goal – the success of our students.”

The Title III Program is a United States federal grant program to improve education. The project funded by this grant, entitled Supporting Opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), or SOS, will focus on assisting students in engineering technology, associate in science, associate degree nursing, respiratory care and radiologic technology. The project will provide support systems that include peer study groups, registration assistance and counseling to ensure the students succeed in their programs.

“We are implementing this program in order to get more students through these STEM programs and be successful graduates,” said Becky McIntosh, vice president of student development.

“Project Genesis: Where Success Begins” is the project that will be funded through the PBI grant. This initiative will address the PBI program goal “to improve the capacity of minority-serving institutions…to improve student success and provide high-quality educational opportunities for their students,” by focusing on African American male students in the associate in arts, criminal justice, computer technology, industrial electronics technology and heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology programs. The project will work to prepare these students for these programs and then help them complete their degree and potentially transfer to a four-year college or university.

“Genesis aligns with PTC’s mission to ‘transform lives and strengthen communities by providing opportunities for intellectual and economic growth,’” said McIntosh. “Our focus is on areas where some African American males tend to struggle. We want to identify where these struggles are occurring and provide support for each participant.”

The TAACCCTG, provided through the U.S. Department of Labor, is a three-year project, called Accessible Support Services and Instruction for Sustainable Transition (ASSIST) to Work, which will provide training for students resulting in industry recognized credentials and degrees, employment, job retention and family‐sustaining wages in high‐tech, high demand jobs. The project’s activities will serve unemployed workers, incumbent workers and workers eligible for assistance under the Trade Adjustment Act.

“The TAA grant will provide funding to develop hybrid courses in a number of technical programs to support a more flexible educational learning environment and provide new training equipment that the college currently doesn’t have to help train future technicians,” said Keith Lasure, dean of engineering and industrial technology. “The hybrid curriculums and equipment will be developed and acquired over a three year period to support current and future industry needs. Most of the equipment will support the new Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Laurens.”

These three grants, along with others, are just part of the trend by institutions to supplement funding cuts. Piedmont Tech pursues approximately 12-15 grants each year.

“The number of grants we are pursuing continues to rise each year,” said Bryan Campbell, grants coordinator. “As we refine our procedures and do continuous improvement, it will be a more efficient process, allowing us to continue to seek these financial opportunities.”