TEEC receives more than 1.7 million in grant funding

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) Advanced Technology Environmental Education Center (ATEEC) has been awarded more than 1.7 million in grants this year, the latest award received just this month.

The grants span seven years of work, supporting the organization’s mission to advance environmental technology education through curriculum development, professional development and program improvements.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the largest grant, totaling 1.4 million, to ATEEC’s Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute (HMTRI). HMTRI is housed at Scott Community College’s main campus and provides occupational safety and environmental compliance training to business/industry professionals from across the country.  The grant will help HTMRI provide technical assistance to communities looking to start Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Programs (EWDJT). These programs are located in cities impacted by contaminated brownfields sites and provide funding to train unemployed or underemployed individuals with the skills needed to find jobs and careers in their communities.

In addition to the EPA grant, ATEEC was recently awarded four supplemental grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support two larger, ongoing grants. Totaling more than $340,000, these funds will allow ATEEC to purchase additional software/technology equipment and create a variety of augmented and virtual reality training modules with the help of students enrolled in EICC’s Virtual and Augmented Reality Academy.

“We’re really excited to be selected for these numerous grants,” said Heather Ballou, ATEEC’s Education Coordinator. “Virtual reality training is a very important, vital tool that will provide much needed supplemental learning. We’re looking forward to the work ahead.”

The modules will provide training for water technology technicians, with a particular focus on equipment used in agriculture. A virtual tour of Nahant Marsh will also be developed. The interactive experience will provide a look at how the Marsh has evolved over years, serving as a case study for how environmental decisions can have a big impact.

To learn more about ATEEC and the services it provides, please visit eicc.edu/ateec