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STLCC Receives Federal Appropriations for Key Projects

March 25, 2009

St. Louis Community College will receive more than $1.4 million in federal appropriations for three key projects aimed at training students for jobs of the future.

Through the efforts of Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond and U.S. Rep. William “Lacy” Clay Jr., STLCC will receive these targeted investment funds to build out and equip laboratory space at the Bio-Research and Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center; develop education and training programs at the new Harrison Education Center; and promote academic study in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM) and life sciences among students in urban and rural elementary and secondary schools.

“We are grateful for the strong support from both Sen. Bond and Rep. Clay for these projects that are key to the future economic well-being of the region and state,” said Robert Nelson, chair of the STLCC Board of Trustees.

Said STLCC Chancellor Zelema Harris: “These targeted funds are critical to enhancing our ability to provide workforce training that leads to a productive future and a better life for the youth, adults and families we serve.”

STLCC will receive $500,000 to support its BRDG Park project, which will serve as the home for the college’s Center for Plant and Life Sciences. The funds will be used to build out and equip 10,500 square feet of classroom and laboratory space, as well as operate the Bio-Bench Project, a fee-for-service laboratory that will provide students with internship opportunities and on-the-job training for major life sciences companies within the BRDG Park development such as Monsanto, Nidus and Divergance, as well as others within the region.

STLCC also will receive $190,000 to support skills training for underserved populations through the Harrison Education Center. The center, scheduled to open in fall 2010, will bring educational opportunities to individuals living in north St. Louis City, an area underserved by higher education institutions. The funds will be used to develop short-term curriculum in environmental worker training, small business entrepreneurship, automated office skills, health care and culinary arts, areas that will lead to stable, living-wage employment for those who complete the programs.

STLCC also will serve as the fiduciary agent for a $714,000 investment in programming to encourage students in urban and rural elementary and secondary schools to pursue careers in the STEM and life sciences industries. The college will partner with the Missouri Biotechnology Association (MOBIO) and the St. Louis Science Center on this initiative.

“The biosciences provide us with homegrown solutions for our health, agriculture, environmental and economic challenges,” said Kelly Gillespie, executive director of MOBIO. “It’s critical that we cultivate Missouri talent to pursue these solutions, which is why MOBIO is a proud partner with STLCC in support of this educational initiative.”