February 24, 2021

Sedalia, MissouriFeb. 24, 2021 – The State Fair Community College Foundation has announced it has received a grant from the Sunderland Foundation for $500,000. These funds will be used to help build SFCC’s new Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center that will expand the college’s capacity to meet the growing demand for technical workforce training and strengthen the communities it serves.  

Since 1945, the Sunderland Foundation, located in Overland Park, Kansas, has provided funds for construction projects that benefit “higher education, youth serving agencies, health facilities, community buildings, museums, civic projects, and energy efficient affordable housing projects sponsored by qualified tax-exempt organizations. The Sunderland Foundation’s mission is to improve quality of life through reinvesting in the communities where the Ash Grove Cement Company has historically operated.” (Source: sunderland.org)  

SFCC Foundation Executive Director Mary Treuner, who is coordinating the college’s capital campaign for the Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center and Fielding Technical Center renovations, was pleased and grateful to receive the Sunderland Foundation’s grant. 

“We greatly appreciate the Sunderland Foundation’s generous investment in our Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center, “said Treuner. “Our foundation’s mission is to support and assist the college in serving the community by providing accessible, quality educational programs and services. This grant gets us closer to our $10 million goal that will build a stronger workforce and greater communities.” 

The campaign, Stronger Workforce, Greater Community: A Capital Campaign for the Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center and Center for Excellence was launched last year. The college broke ground on the new center in December 2020 on the site of SFCC’s original buildings, affectionately known as Plywood U. 

The Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center and the Fielding Center for Excellence will increase the college’s capacity to deliver workforce training by 200 percent and increase enrollment by at least 120 percent in career and technical areas. The new workforce training center will provide expanded lab and classroom spaces for training in welding, precision machining, industrial technology, leadership and supervisory skills and logistics. It also will house a new pre-apprenticeship program. Renovations to Fielding will provide a Center for Excellence that includes a climate, refrigeration and energy control (HVAC) lab and an advanced manufacturing and robotics lab. 

For more information about the Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center and SFCC’s commitment to workforce training, visit www.sfccmo.edu/OHWIC.

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