Colleges Plan To Use Grant Money Differently - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Colleges Plan To Use Grant Money Differently

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BOZEMAN -

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a $25 million grant for Montana Colleges Wednesday. The grant is made possible by the trade adjustment assistance community college and career training program Senator Max Baucus created in 2009 and secured funding for in 2010.

The 13 two year colleges in Montana must use the combined $25 million dollar grant to develop skills and jobs related to manufacturing, transportation, health care, science, technology, engineering and math.

This is the second multi-million dollar grant this week for Flathead Valley Community College.

The largest community college in the state plans to use this latest grant to hire new faculty, build a new fabrication lab to build prototypes and add more academic coaching and advanced manufacturing program.

This is the third time the college has applied for the grant.

"It's fairly competitive, but we felt pretty good about the state's effort this time and our contribution to that so I wouldn't say we're shocked, but we were hopeful," said Brad Eldredge, FVCC Director of Institutional Research.

Missoula College officials are still trying to decide how they will spend their share of the grant.

Surgical Technology Program Director Debbie Fillmore said she's hoping for equipment updates.

"A lot of hospitals have gone from open procedures to scopic procedures, and so we need the equipment to train our students to do that," said Fillmore.

Gallatin College Dean Bob Hietala said they are starting from scratch at the Bozeman school.

They plan on using the money to create a new program.

"It is targeted to start an advanced manufacturing program," said Hietala. "This is a program that our local manufactures in Gallatin and Park counties wanted for a number of years."

Hietala said they plan to have students in the program next fall.

The grant goes into effect October 1.

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