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Maricopa County community colleges receive STEM funding

PHOENIX - Some of Maricopa County's community colleges will soon receive a welcomed boost in funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM programs.

On the heels of Maricopa County passing a $2.2 billion budget, the Maricopa County Community College District has been award an additional $1.4 million for STEM programs.

"This is the first funding we've gotten in this line since 2009," said Dawn Wallace, director of government relations for MCCCD.

The $1.4 million endowment will be broken down into a few areas, with three colleges directly receiving money.

"We're allocating $400,000 to Chandler-Gilbert (College) for the updating of labs and equipment associated with their aviation and composite manufacturing programs," Wallace said.

Wallace said $400,000 will also be going to Estrella Mountain College for expansion of the schools energy program, and $400,000 will go to Mesa Community College for 3-D printing and manufacturing programs.

Funding will also be supplied toward recruiting new students into STEM programs, Wallace said.

Continuing to fund STEM education is important, Wallace said, because educating students in these fields is important for the future growth of not just the students, but Arizona.

"It's critical, it's absolutely critical," she said. "Not only are we an academic resource to the state but we're also part of the economic pipeline."

The district will receive the money at the start of the 2015 fiscal year, which begins on Tuesday.

About the Author

A southern California native, Mark Remillard began working in radio in 2010 while in community college as a host of late night and weekend programming for publicly supported 88.5 FM KSBR. While working through college, Mark also interned for the Bill Handel Radio Program at Los Angeles' KFI AM640, where he began his work in journalism. Mark moved to Arizona in August 2012 to finish his bachelor's degree at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and graduated in August 2014. Mark began working as a reporter for KTAR in November 2012.


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