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The MCTC News Blog

MCTC Part of Federal TAACCCT Grant Award

Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC Machine Tool Technology studentMCTC and a dozen other institutions were awarded a $15 million grant from the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. The grant was awarded to the Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MNAMP), a collection of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) colleges.

Vice President Joe Biden recently announced $450 million in grants to colleges and universities around the country for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. The grants are part of a four-year, nearly $2 billion national initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.

“Minnesota’s greatest economic strength has always been our highly-skilled workforce,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “This initiative will help train hundreds of Minnesotans for good jobs in high-demand industries. It is the new initiative we need to build on the momentum of our state’s growing economy.”

MCTC will use its portion of the grant—totaling over $1 million—to:

  • Create seamless career pathways that offer industry-recognized credentials in advanced manufacturing
  • Create and update educational programs in advanced manufacturing to match employer needs and industry-recognized credentials
  • Develop long-term, collaborative partnerships with employers in advanced manufacturing
  • Improve enrollment, retention and completion within these programs and job placement of participants in advanced manufacturing programs, including participants from underrepresented groups

“This grant provides a strategic resource for MCTC to enhance and grow long-term, collaborative partnerships with employers in advanced manufacturing,” said Reede Webster, dean of External Relations and Workforce Development.

MCTC Receives Greening Award

Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments
MCTC rain gardenThe Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) has awarded MCTC a Greening Award for Best Open Space Green Infrastructure for environmental updates made to its outdoor plaza during recent workforce development renovations.“With the high caliber of projects recognized as nominees in your category, and the level of public participation in the nomination and voting process, this recognition is a strong statement about the quality of the work you have done to make your property and Downtown Minneapolis overall a greener and more welcoming place,” DID wrote in its award letter.

The Greening and Public Realm Awards recognize property owners, businesses and community groups who have created and maintained public green spaces that help to enhance downtown Minneapolis. MCTC also received Greening awards in 2013 for its Fine Arts plaza as well as for its Urban Farm Collective student club’s urban agriculture presence.

“We are proud to receive this award for green infrastructure,” said Roger Broz, MCTC facilities director.This project improves campus and neighborhood communities by providing a green corridor connection between Harmon and Loring Park. The design significantly reduces surface water runoff as well, and supports our campus climate commitments.”

In 2009 MCTC signed on to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Campus initiatives like the plaza renovation, urban garden and the Three-legged Frog environmental club support this initiative through on-campus events, activities and campaigns.

Photo: One of several new rain gardens on the MCTC campus.

Biotechnology Program Named Finalist for Tekne Awards

Posted on: September 22nd, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

TekneBiotechSTORYThe Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) named Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s Biotechnology Program as one of 36 finalists for the 15th annual Tekne Awards, which will be held on Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The program is a finalist in the workforce development award category, which honors innovative approaches to training workers in transition or youth with technology skills and successfully matching them to jobs that meet the needs of Minnesota companies. Other category finalists include Creating IT Futures Foundation (Downers, IL) and Genesis 10 (St. Paul).

“For 15 years, the MHTA has honored the technological innovators of Minnesota,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president of MHTA. “We’re delighted to see such a fantastic display of technological advancements this year, and are proud to shine a light on our state’s outstanding science and technology industry.”

Finalists will gather to be recognized for their vast achievements in the state’s tech-based economy. The finalists span twelve categories recognizing the organizations, products and leaders driving technological innovation locally. The Tekne Awards honor those who have played a part in discovering new technologies impacting the lives and futures of people living in Minnesota and all over the world.

“MCTC’s biotechnology program is interdisciplinary, leading to multiple career paths and diverse higher education opportunities, serving biotech students and science majors. We are very grateful to MCTC and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities support for making this happen,” said Chemistry and Biotechnology faculty Rehka Ganaganur.

This nomination comes two years after the College announced a biotechnology partnership with the University of Minnesota and Ganganur recognizes how local academic and industry partners have come together to make Biotechnology a unique, award-worthy program.

“Minnesota’s scientific industry, and the universities of higher education including the University of Minnesota have made the program robust through extending a wide range of partnerships, transfer of courses, equipment, internships, jobs, scholarships and research opportunities,” said Ganaganur. “We also thank the LifeScience Alley, BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and national centers of bioscience such as the BioLink and Cold Spring Harbor Labs, for all the support and partnerships they have provided in many ways.”

MCTC Student Receives National Award for Research

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

20140730_1501323432Following an invitation to present her findings at the Minnesota capitol recently, MCTC student Shequaya Broadus was honored at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Conference in Boston this summer for her research on bacteria in the Mississippi River. 

ASM awards undergraduate and graduate students every year for their biology research with the Capstone Award. MCTC Biology faculty and ASM member Dr. Renu Bhagat Kumar saw the award as an opportunity for student recognition and informed research students, including Broadus who was undertaking pertinent research, of the award.

“It’s a very prestigious award that few students receive,” said Dr. Kumar.

Broadus and two other students, had begun research the previous summer on the effect industrialization and modern agricultural practices have on bacteria in environmental soil and water. Samples taken from the Mississippi River showed the bacteria had tolerated higher concentrations of metal in the water.

“Our aim was to understand the possible mechanisms of metal resistance these different microbes use and harvest it for bioremediation and possible metal reclamation,” Broadus said.

The three students received assistance throughout their research from multiple MCTC Science instructors, other college lab assistants as well as access to laboratories in the Science Center. The students are also members of the MCTC Science Club, which helped fund their research.

Through a grant awarded to Dr. Kumar from the Education Minnesota Foundation and financial support from MCTC, Dr. Kumar accompanied Broadus to the ASM conference where the research was presented to scholars and peers from around the world.

“Naturally, I felt honored,” Broadus said, “and maybe a bit nervous because I hadn’t ever presented at a scientific convention at the local level, let alone nationally.”

Dean Chuck Paulson commends Broadus and the other students on their accomplishment.

“This is a big deal,” he said. “It’s a rare accomplishment for a community college.”

After finishing up the last of their research, the students hope to see their work published in an academic journal. Dr. Kumar’s students are the latest example of impressive research to come from MCTC students as well as the high-quality academic experience provided at community colleges.

According to Broadus, her experience performing research at MCTC has encouraged her to pursue a career in biomedical research.

Grant from Great Lakes Will Help Students Stay on Track

Posted on: August 5th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC campus lifeMinneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) is one of four schools within Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) which have been awarded a total of $988,408 by the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation as part of its flagship College Ready and College Success grants. The funds will be used to improve graduation rates for students who have the most to gain from higher education: those from low income households, students of color and students who are first in their families to attend college.

MCTC will use its $179,962 College Success Grant to launch an “early warning” navigator program to provide early and more individualized intervention for Pell-eligible, first-year students grappling with academic performance or attendance issues. Faculty and staff will work together to assess and address students’ needs in math, English and introductory business classes. The College received $179,962 to launch the program.

“Our state colleges and universities are a place of hope and opportunity for all Minnesotans,” said Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor. “We share Great Lakes’ commitment to increasing college completion among students facing the greatest challenges. The College Ready and College Success grants will make an enormous difference in our ability to help students succeed.”

“We are called to action by the mounting evidence that too many students enroll in college underprepared academically, and too many leave before earning the degree, diploma, or certificate they set out to earn,” said Richard D. George, president and chief executive officer of Great Lakes. “We fund programs that understand the root cause of what holds students back and take bold steps to overcome these obstacles.”

Through community investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs to help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed in excess of $100 million in funding to programs that share these goals. For additional information, visit community.mygreatlakes.org.