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With the increased demand for workers with training in industrial technologies, West Virginia Northern Community College’s subsequent programs and initiatives have resulted in gifts that total more than $55,000 to add to $455,000 in state funding.
The more than half-million dollars is earmarked for scholarships for students seeking to enter various technology programs and for equipment to supplement or update those programs.
In a joint statement, Dr. Martin J. Olshinsky, WVNCC president, and Dr. Mary Marockie, president of the WVNCC Foundation Inc. Board of Trustees, said the state and donor funding “has thrust Northern to the forefront of training for these highly skilled jobs.”
The state of West Virginia’s Community and Technical College System provided $220,000 each to Northern’s Petroleum Technology and Mechatronics programs along with $15,000 in matching monies for scholarship purposes, Olshinsky explained. “This is start-up money for high demand technical programs in the region to purchase equipment, develop curriculum and employ faculty,” he said.
Marockie said the Foundation is appreciative of the grants provided through several area trusts, including the John C. Williams Charitable Trust that gave funds for Mechatronics equipment on the Weirton campus; donations for scholarships by the Chevron Fund and the Ken Dennis Scholarship Fund, both through the Community Foundation For The Ohio Valley; the Schenk Trust; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
The scholarship funding, it was explained, will have varying requirements and will target the new technology programs. For example, Marockie said, some scholarship dollars will go to applying high school seniors to attend Northern during their second semester while other scholarships can be sought by any Northern student.
Olshinsky said some donated funding will be used in a partnership with Marshall County Schools to provide an opportunity for middle school female students to study robotics. The first program, he said, will be for 16 girls and can be continued in subsequent years.
More information on applying for the programs and/or scholarships can be obtained by calling the Wheeling campus at 304-233-5900; Weirton campus, 304-723-2210; or New Martinsville campus, 304-455-4684.