Submitted by: Whatcom Community College

Alcoa Foundation awarded Whatcom Community College a $25,000 grant to support the College’s expanding pre-engineering program. The Alcoa Program for Engineering Student Development/Career Success will provide the essential equipment and materials for students preparing for futures in engineering. The yearlong grant, which begins in October, is expected to benefit 150 students annually.

“Alcoa Intalco is proud to partner with Whatcom Community College through the support of Alcoa Foundation in its efforts to expand opportunities in our community for engineering education. The critical thinking, problem solving and technical skills these students will gain are exactly what we need in our future workforce,” said Laura McKinney, Alcoa NW Government Affairs and Public Relations Director.

The grant will provide state-of-the-art robotics and circuit lab kits, laptops students can check out to design projects, a laser cutter to bring projects to life and more. The college also plans to develop a multi-purpose student lab and maker space, equipped with 3D printers, to help prepare students to work in the engineering field.

“These improvements will propel our engineering program to the next level, allowing Whatcom students to gain important hands-on experience with the equipment and work environments they will face in the real world,” said Heidi Ypma, WCC’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Division Chair.

WCC offers pre-engineering courses and engineering transfer options through the Associate in Science-Transfer (AS-T) degree.


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