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College wins runner-up grant award for the national Rethink Adult Ed Challenge

PMG FILE PHOTO - Mt. Hood Community College pre-apprenticeship program design was one of the five winning program designs out of 85 submissions from across 31 states, Guam, and the District of Columbia.The U.S. Department of Education awarded Mt. Hood Community College $100,000 through its Rethink Adult Ed Challenge on Sept. 9.

Adult education programs were asked to send in pre-apprenticeship program proposals, with the top five designs winning grants to fund the program. The challenge's winner received $750,000. The first runner-up received $200,000. The challenge's following three winners, which included MHCC, each received $100,000 awards.

MHCC will use the funds for its construction pre-apprenticeship that will help English language learners build academic, language, and workplace skills. The program will provide career pathways to refugees, immigrants and adults learning English, while meeting local industry employment surges.

"Mt. Hood Community College serves one of the most diverse college districts in Oregon, and we have been challenged to rethink how we approach higher education to meet the community's needs in better ways," said Lisa Skari, MHCC president. "Pre-apprenticeship programs will bridge the gap between students who are working on their English skills and the apprenticeship programs that lead to family wage jobs."

The challenge's judging panel brought experts in adult education, workforce development, and social services to select the five winning program designs out of 85 submissions from across 31 states, Guam, and the District of Columbia.

The Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education launched the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge to invite adult education providers to design innovative and high-quality pre-apprenticeship programs.

"These opportunities have the potential to drive greater and more diverse participation in apprenticeships and the broader workforce," said Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education, during his announcement of the challenge winners. "This challenge received an overwhelming response, proving the demand for training opportunities that are responsive to the evolving needs of American businesses and our adult learners."

MHCC rakes in grants

With this latest award, MHCC has received more than $3.8 million in grants between the months of September and August, including:

  • The Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success awarded the college with a $450,000 grant to create a Veterans Services Center on campus.
  • The Department of Education awarded MHCC with a $3 million grant that will assist in meeting the basic needs of students. The college's Basic Skills Response Center will oversee the grant, of which much of the funds will go directly to students as well as toward staffing the center.
  • The college also received $277,375 from the Department of Education to fund the TRIO Talent Search program. The project will assist low-income individuals and first-generation college students.

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