Florida VFW Creates Endowed Scholarship for Combat Veterans

The Department of Florida Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has created an endowed scholarship at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) for combat veterans taking classes at SCF. The $25,000 endowed scholarship was a VFW project led by Amber Putnam, immediate past state commander.

Putnam chose a year-long service project and decided to focus on the future for younger veterans. She chose SCF because she wanted to focus on a college that had strong ties to the community. She was impressed that SCF had three campuses, making it convenient, and also saw Manatee and Sarasota as a good area for returning veterans.

“One of our core causes is to help veterans reintegrate after being on the battlefield,” Putnam said. “They are the future of VFW and the community. We want to offer them help in getting an education so that they can continue to contribute.”

Putnam worked with a team of VFW members, but had enormous help from VFW posts in Manatee and Sarasota counties. She said Mike Clinesmith of Post 9226 in Ellenton helped make sure they met their $25,000 goal, even passing the hat at the very end when they were short.

“I felt really honored and humbled that everyone else wanted to see that goal met,” Putnam said.

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must be enrolled a minimum of six semester hours at SCF, with a minimum 2.25 grade point average and pursuing an Associate in Arts, an Associate of Science, a Bachelor of Applied Science or a Bachelor of Science degree. They must be an honorably discharged veteran who is eligible for VFW membership, be accepted or enrolled in a public service program at SCF and be a Florida resident.

Mosaic Awards SCF, Manatee-Sarasota Technology Grant

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has received a grant from The Mosaic Company for more than $350,000 to be awarded over two years for a Manufacturing Opportunities for Skills Advancement and Innovation Collaborative. The collaboration will enhance SCF’s Engineering Technology (ET) program to offer 10 new employer-requested manufacturing courses beginning in Fall 2017.
“This expanded SCF and Mosaic partnership fills a critical advanced manufacturing skills gap and strengthens our community’s economic development with increased job opportunities for students and well-trained graduates for local employers,” said Dr. Carol Probstfeld, SCF president.
The grant is earmarked to help SCF purchase equipment and build a lab for the manufacturing program on its Bradenton campus. The purchased manufacturing and quality assurance equipment, software and classroom technology will offer students hands-on training and experience. The College also will retrofit existing classrooms for the program with training equipment for pumps, motors, AC/DC electrical systems, mechanical processes and manufacturing processes.

“This important partnership started two years ago as State College of Florida and Mosaic sat down together determined to make the right training for mining and production jobs accessible in Manatee County,” said Walt Precourt, senior vice president of Phosphate Operations. “The development of this curriculum is a meaningful step toward that goal and makes it possible for those entering the job market to call Mosaic or many other local industries home, while growing their future and the future of Manatee County.”

A Manufacturing Skills Gap study indicated that the need for regional manufacturing jobs continues to be critical. The new curriculum, including industry certifications such as Manufacturing Skills Council Certificate (MSSC), will provide students with a variety of foundational, technical and soft skills for a career in advanced manufacturing. Additionally, this expanded SCF-Mosaic partnership allows SCF to offer more industrial management and maintenance opportunities in credit and noncredit classes, as well as customized workforce training.

For more information, contact Cassandra Holmes, executive director of the State College of Florida Foundation, at holmesc@scf.edu.