The Masco Corporation Foundation has made a corporate gift of $250,000 to WCC—the largest corporate gift the College has ever received.
To help support a growing community of military veterans who attend WCC, the Foundation has committed $100,000 of the $250,000 gift to support the WCC Veterans Center.
The money will be used to develop the online “Tools for Vet Success” course, which provides veterans exposure to career opportunities and access to on-campus counseling and support services.
The grant will also provide veterans enrolled in the WCC Construction Technology program with a Masco sponsored toolbox. This toolbox consists of physical tools that will be needed for the WCC Construction Technology program. In addition, the grant will help support career-enhancing tools such as employer events or facilitate introductions to professionals who can talk about what is required for success in the construction industry.
“We are very honored to receive this grant from Masco Corporation and its Foundation on behalf of the hundreds of military veterans who choose to pursue their higher education at WCC,” said WCC President Dr. Rose Bellanca. “This financial support will allow us to use our resources to assure our valued veterans acquire the skills and knowledge they need to successfully transition into jobs that are in high demand in today’s economy. I want each veteran to know they will be helped on an individual basis, be well prepared as they look for employment, and given the resources they need to achieve a College certificate or degree.”
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, within the United States Michigan currently ranks 11th in terms of numbers of military veterans, but is ranked fourth lowest for the rate at which veterans access their federal veterans’ benefits.
Michigan also has the highest veterans’ unemployment rate in the nation, at 29.4 percent. That’s over twice the state’s overall unemployment rate of 10.3 percent.
The number of veterans enrolling at WCC is growing at a rate faster than the traditional student population. To support this growth, in 2012 the College opened the Veterans Center to specifically serve the needs of men and women who served the United States in the military.
According to the American Council on Education, veterans often face unique challenges as they adjust to the higher education environment that can include academic skill deficits, mental health issues, financial challenges, or an unstable home environment.
“Masco values the service and sacrifice of our U.S. veterans, active military, and their families,” said Tim Wadhams, Masco’s president and CEO. “We are proud of our new partnership with Washtenaw Community College, which recognizes and supports the unique learning environment of returning veterans and provides outreach programs to better prepare them for a successful college experience.”
The Masco Corporation Foundation supports not-for-profit arts, culture, housing, and environmental initiatives. Additionally, the Foundation makes limited grants to a number of specific civic, educational, and human service programs in the communities where it does business. The Masco Corporation Foundation was founded in 1952 and is funded with contributions from Masco Corporation. Masco Foundation’s “America’s Heroes: A Million Thanks” initiative will be awarding over $1 million in grants directly supporting veteran-focused organizations.
For more information about the WCC Veterans Center, call 734-477-8560. Center hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.