Building on the success of the last two years, the College now moves into the final days of its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, which is on track to reach or even exceed its $10 million goal by June 30, 2011.
The College’s Board of Trustees and the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation Board led the way in this Campaign with significant gifts and 100 percent participation. That early support allowed the launch of the public phase of this effort with the confidence of success.
While the College leadership is working to successfully finish the campaign, faculty, staff, alumni and retirees are pitching in with enthusiasm. The College Family Tree Campaign, launched in September 2010, has brought in more than $240,000 through gifts from more than 170 donors. Some departments are setting their own campaign goals. The Computer Technologies department grouped their contributions to start an endowment for students pursuing degrees in computer technologies. “Our goal is to reach $25,000 as a department. This is a way for us to help our own students outside of the classroom,” said Chuck Herbert, chair of the department of Computer Technologies.
Another very special donor to the College has made an anonymous gift of $50,000 to address the dire need for emergency funding for the College’s students. This fund provides students with financial assistance when the unexpected happens—the loss of books due to fire, theft, homelessness or some other challenging circumstance in their lives. The same donor also established a fund to help students who are heading to the finish line of their college careers but are in need of that last financial boost to help them attain their degrees. Thinking outside the box when establishing scholarships helps address the day-to-day struggles of our students and makes a direct impact on their success.
Gifts like these are what will put the College over the top in reaching its campaign goal.
All of these gifts count toward the goal of $5 million in private support. Once that goal has been reached, the College will receive $1.2 million from one of The Kresge Foundation’s prestigious Challenge Grants. All told, more than $9.1 million has been raised in public and private support for the Expanding Possibilities Campaign.
Reason, indeed, to celebrate.
A sergeant in the Philadelphia Police Department, Brian Sprowal, was looking to move up in his career. He enrolled at Community College of Philadelphia and took classes at the Police Academy, on the College’s Main Campus and at Cambria Community Center prison as part of the College’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which provides opportunities for college students and prison inmates to have transformative learning experiences. Sprowal benefitted from multiple Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation Tuition Grants, an initiative that is a joint venture between the College’s Foundation, the Kal & Lucille Rudman Foundation, and the Philadelphia Police Department.
Sprowal graduated in 2009 with highest honors, earning an associate’s degree in Justice. Last October, he was promoted to lieutenant. He is now platoon commander of the 16th Police District, where he manages 47 officers. Aware of the advantages gained by education, Sprowal is pursuing a bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Management at Gwynedd-Mercy College and is weighing his options for obtaining a master’s degree.
The Center for Small Business Education, Growth and Training at Community College of Philadelphia’s totally transformed Northeast Regional Center (NERC) serves the myriad growth and development needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises throughout Northeast Philadelphia. Led by a team of veteran educators and economic development experts, it:
The Center for Small Business Education, Growth and Training is dedicated exclusively to advancing and advocating for small businesses, thanks to two U.S. Small Business Administration grants enabling the College to proactively provide training and employment skills to Philadelphia residents. NERC thus becomes an economic hub for Northeast Philadelphia by educating students to support industries critical to Pennsylvania’s current economy and future growth.
Through its Chamber alliance, the Center for Small Business Education, Growth and Training gains access to their 900-plus members. The intent is to sharpen the competitiveness of small businesses in today’s regional/global economy by providing tailored services capitalizing on collegiality, smart classroom technology and interactive learning via workshops, roundtables, information sessions, breakfast seminars, consulting services and special events.
By providing an essential and timely value-added resource throughout Northeast Philadelphia, the Center for Small Business Education, Growth and Training’s ultimate goal is to match small businesses with workforce-bound individuals who, together, can fuel vital economic growth while ensuring mutual sustainability. In short, the College plays an integral role in educating Philadelphia’s workforce and providing education that facilitates employment with self-sustaining wages and viable career paths.
A Corporate Solutions project federally funded under the American Recovery anbd Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Job Ready Training Program initiative establishes pathways to green manufacturing or construction and weatherization careers. The College and its partners expect to train 250 participants over two years. So far, 77 individuals have enrolled in the 10-week manufacturing program, and 61 individuals have enrolled in the construction and weatherization program.
Pathways Out of Poverty program director, Wendy Ardagna of the College’s Corporate Solutions team, says that employers are impressed by the quality training and the industry-recognized certifications trainees receive. “Employers save a lot of time and money by not having to advertise and screen applicants, plus they know what they are getting,” she says. “Philadelphians get employed and companies avoid high turnover costs.”
Ardagna cites numbers that speak to program efficacy to date: 100% (vs. 61% national average) of those enrolled in the program get training; and 75% (vs. 29% nationally) trained here have completed one or more credentials. Seventeen trainees have been placed in jobs, with an 87% retention rate, and four grant participants have enrolled in academic credit programs at the College. A “high touch” approach is considered key by the U.S. Department of Labor, which executes strict entrance, continuance and completion requirements and requires intensive case management throughout.
In sum, says Ardagna, “We are fighting poverty and all its social and physical consequences to program participants, while doing rapid response training and placement, while also making everything as green as possible!”