Cloud Co. Comm. College Receives $1 Million Grant From Sunderland Foundation


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Cloud County Community College has received a $1 million grant from the Sunderland Foundation. These funds represent an award received by CCCC’s Foundation, and will be used for construction of the college’s Technical Education and Innovation Center. The new facility will provide modern access to quality education in critical need, high-demand careers in Kansas.

“We are honored and elated that the Sunderland Foundation invested in Cloud County’s project to grow and retain a strong Kansas workforce,” said Cloud County Community College President Amber Knoettgen. “We are grateful for their partnership in recognizing the value of a modern educational center in our local community.”

The approximately 35,000 square foot Center will house Renewable Energy, which includes Wind and Solar Energy and Drones; Nursing and Allied Health, which also offers high-demand career education for EMT, CNA, CMA, Home Health Aide, and IV Therapy; and Agriculture and Industrial Technology, including welding and CDL training.

The project began with a sound partnership between the college and its Foundation, as the Foundation committed $1.5 million to demonstrate their dedication to the mission and purpose of the project. With the Foundation’s lead gift, the college was able to pursue industry partners for additional support. Salina Regional Health Center and its affiliates, major partners of the college’s Nursing and Allied Health Programs, donated $1 million toward the project. Another significant partner was the Kansas Legislature, with a direct appropriation of $4 million from Federal American Rescue Plan Act Appropriations. The Sunderland Foundation becomes the most recent major partner in the project with its $1 million investment.

Cloud County is in the late stages of fundraising for the Tech Center, and naming opportunities for additional donors are still available.

The project will begin in fall 2022, with construction expected to be completed in spring 2024. Due to inflation, the estimated total project cost for the Center is now $13.9 million.

The Kansas City-based Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945. Since its inception, the Foundation has focused on supporting construction projects and awarding grants to tax-exempt organizations. In 2021, the Sunderland Foundation awarded more than $140 million to hospitals and health care organizations, human services nonprofits, higher education institutions, and arts and culture projects.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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