North Idaho College was awarded a $6.4 million federal grant in order to partner with three other Idaho colleges to meet workforce demand in the healthcare industry through a collaborative network of training programs.
The $6,438,050, four-year grant eclipses the $2.97 million grant that NIC received in 2012 to build the NIC Aerospace Center for Excellence, making it the largest grant in NIC’s history. NIC was the only college in Idaho to be awarded funding from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) competitive grant program, which is co-administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education.
NIC will take the lead in a collaboration with three consortium member colleges – Lewis-Clark State College, Eastern Idaho Technical College, and Idaho State University College of Technology – that targets the healthcare industry in preparing program participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations. The project addresses the shortage of a skilled workforce by expanding and improving the ability to deliver education and corresponding student support programs suited for workers eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers program.
Career pathways and program areas that will be developed or expanded include surgical technology, medical lab technology, pharmacy technology, military medic 2 paramedic, dental assisting/dental hygiene, and medical assistant.
For the third year, NIC hosted a Special Needs Basketball Extravaganza in Christianson Gym. The extravaganza was a chance for our special needs athletes to experience the bright lights and wild atmosphere of a big time college basketball game. Athletes were introduced on the court with smoke machines and laser lights while being announced on the loudspeaker. NIC basketball players and coaches also helped make it a special night for all the players.
NIC men’s golfer Angus Montgomery was honored as the National Junior College Athletic Association Freshman Golfer of the Year. Montgomery, now a member of the Gonzaga University team, received the 2014 Phil Mickelson award by the Golf Coaches Association of America, as well as first team NJCAA All-American honors.
Also, NIC sophomore Adam Talley was named the Northwest Athletic Conference Baden Athlete of the Year for NWAC men’s soccer. Talley’s 20 goals led the league in scoring and broke the NIC mark of 18 set by Garga Caserta in 2005.
For the 20th year, children of NIC students who are stretched thin financially were served through the St. ASNIC program, which includes a visit with Santa as well as food and games for children and families. NIC employees take an ornament complete with a child’s gift requests from the St. ASNIC Tree of Giving in the Edminster Student Union Building and help fulfill the requests. The program is coordinated by the Associated Students of NIC student government and student events along with support from other student clubs and organizations.
Twelve North Idaho College students were each awarded a $5,000 scholarship through the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium.
The grants are made available through NASA for students to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Students can apply the money to finishing their degree at NIC or at their transfer institution. Most plan to earn degrees in engineering, but the computer science, biomedical, and mathematics fields are also represented in this group. The students will participate in STEM-related activities to qualify for 100 percent of the money
Students in several of NIC’s Trades and Industry programs took home gold, silver and bronze medals from the annual Idaho SkillsUSA competition in Nampa.
SkillsUSA is a 50-year-old national, nonprofit organization that serves teachers, high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade occupations as well as technical and skilled service trade occupations. NIC competed against both two-year and four-year colleges from around the state.
Four area high school students were awarded nearly $8,000 from the North Idaho College Foundation Scholarship program, with all students planning to attend NIC. Two students are entering NIC’s Computer Information Technology program and two are entering its Aerospace program.
The four students participate in the Idaho PTECH Network, which is a pilot program funded by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Its mission is to bridge the gap between education and industry by providing students with the credentials and skills needed to secure well-paying jobs in Idaho’s high growth industries while giving businesses access to a qualified pipeline of employees.
North Idaho College was awarded a $202,500 Idaho Department of Labor grant to start three programs of study in the healthcare field: Mental Health Assistant, Restorative Aide, and Patient Care Coordinator.
NIC will partner with three healthcare providers in North Idaho, Kootenai Health, Valley Vista Care and Northwest Hospital Alliance, to help develop and implement the Health Career Pathway Project. Northwest Hospital Alliance is putting up a $50,625 match. The Health Career Pathway Project is designed to expand the ability of industry to increase employment and wages of Idaho workers in our region. It will address skill gaps in high-demand occupations within the healthcare sector.
According to grant requirements, the program will have 135 participants in the next two years. The College of Western Idaho and the University of Idaho also received a portion of the $900,000 total in worker training grants provided by IDOL.
Members of the North Idaho College American Indian Student Alliance (AISA) presented a $6,000 check to the NIC Foundation this year. The money was raised through the annual Che’nshish Golf Scramble and American Indian Heritage Week, which has raised about $30,000 for scholarships in six years.
NIC earned a certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to open Aviation Maintenance Technician training at NIC. Students who commit to the 12-month training program through the NIC Aerospace Center can become eligible to sit for the required FAA Airframe Mechanic exams by August 2016. The program certification was the result of collaborating with the FAA for more than 18 months.
NIC received a nearly $3 million federal grant in late 2012, which helped create the Aerospace Center in Hayden that has offered Advanced Manufacturing programs since the fall of 2013. To date, 87 students have been taught hands-on skills fabricating and repairing composite parts, operating a CNC mill, or learned about non-destructive testing methods in that program.
A $1,237,920 federal grant was reauthorized to fund the NIC TRIO Student Support Services program for five years allocated at $247,584 a year.
This is the fourth time the TRIO program has been renewed since 2001. It is 100 percent federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education and serves 160 NIC students a year.
To ensure a workforce that is responsive to a dynamic global marketplace while maintaining and building the economic strength of our community and region, NIC broke ground on a new Career and Technical Education Facility in June 2015. The 110,960-square-foot facility at 7064 W. Lancaster Road in Rathdrum -- next to the Kootenai Technical Education Campus will create a state-of-the-art training center for several programs: Automotive Technology, Collision Repair Technology, Architectural and Mechanical Computer Aided Design Technology, Diesel Technology, Industrial Mechanical/Millwright, Machining and CNC Technology and Welding Technology. As part of the planning for the facility, the NIC Board of Trustees set aside capital reserve funds to provide $15 million for this investment.