News & Events


Press Release



January 13, 2017


Cowley approved for grants totaling $91,998

Cowley College recently received some good news when they were awarded a pair of grants totaling $91,998.

Cowley received approval for a machining grant totaling $25,998, as well as $66,000 in College and other local funding.

The Department of Commerce - Jobs and Innovative Industry Skills Training (JIIST) Grant totaling $25,998 will be used to purchase new CNC programming equipment. As part of the grant, Tina Grillot, Associate Vice President for Business & Industry, is working with Galaxy Technologies, GKN Aerospace, Tect Aerospace, and Vector Tooling Technologies, to commit to guaranteed interviews, internship agreements, and scholarship support for current and future students.

Cowley College will also be working with Cowley and Sumner public workforce systems to develop career plans for emerging, underemployed, unemployed workers as well as Cowley and Sumner County high schools for the development of the career pathways and course scheduling that meets the unique needs of the two counties.

“Tina Grillot did a superb job of working with Ricky Squires and area business and industry leaders on her grant,” Cowley College Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Harold Arnett said. “I am very pleased and proud of what she accomplished in a very short turnaround time frame.”

Cowley College, in collaboration with industry partners, seeks to increase the number of qualified CNC programmers, CNC machinist, and machine tool-machinist in the Cowley County and Sumner County areas. According to industry contacts, there is a need for qualified and trained machinists and CNC programmers and operators with a projected growth between 9-20% over the next several years. In order to meet this need, Cowley College plans to expand classroom capacity with the addition of a Machine Tool program at the future Wellington campus, effectively allowing Cowley to offer the growing machine tool program in the counties of our most active CNC/Machinist employers, Cowley County and Sumner County.

Dr. Arnett worked jointly with Kammy Downs (Arkansas City Chamber of Commerce Director) to submit a grant proposal to the Kansas Department of Commerce. Dr. Arnett also worked with Mark Flickinger (Visual and Performing Arts Chair) and graphic design instructor Mark Dykes, focusing on graphic design, web design and social media marketing.

Downs provided integral assistance with the graphic design proposal and garnered $2,000 in cash commitments. The total proposal included $37,699 of cash and in-kind commitments and requested $20,880 from Commerce. It will include workshops for area business and industry, develop a certificate/associate's program and provide for internships, including some to be paid internships. The grant will be used to establish the “Cowley Design Academy” which will conduct a series of “Boot Camps for Business” to provide training in Graphic Design, Marketing, Customer Service, Social Media platforms, Branding Your Business, and using Business software to create and improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Downs said she was thrilled the grant was funded.

“This will provide Chamber members high quality training through Cowley’s Design Academy,” Downs said.

The Grant money will be used to purchase new computers to outfit a drastically updated graphic design lab. The College will also be developing a technical program for Graphic Design that they hope will qualify for Perkins funding.

Another key aspect of the program will be to establish college student internships with local and area businesses. Some of the internships will be paid; the grant will cover half the cost and participating businesses will cover the other half. Other internships will be voluntary; all will provide valuable experience for students and service to participating businesses.

“This will get college students interested in working in the local community,” Downs said. “It will also help students know if they are going in the right direction and give them the chance to apply what they have been learning in class.”

Dr. Arnett is proud of the work that Mark Flickinger and Mark Dykes did in working with Downs to pull together the Graphic Design proposal.

“Kammy’s work through the Chamber was absolutely a key part of that proposal’s success,” Dr. Arnett said. “Both of these projects are going to involve a lot of work but the payoff for the College, the community and our students is going to make it very worthwhile.”