Grant coordinator seeks money for CTC

Facing an $8 million bill for a new Career Technology Center, along with several years of budget cuts, has put MCCC in desperate need of money.  The college’s new coordinator of grants and major gifts, Eric Slough, plans to do as much as he can about that.
Slough has a background in major gifts and fundraising.  Before joining the staff at MCCC last spring, he was a fund-raiser at the University of Toledo. He also has worked as the Executive Director of the Make a Wish Foundation in Northwest Ohio.
Slough’s principal roles as coordinator of grants and major gifts are seeking federal, state and foundation grants, and working with donors. He works in the Institutional Advancement Department.
“We’re the financial arm, from a scholarship/endowment standpoint,” Slough said.
In 2009, the department received a $1.6 million Title III federal grant, a five-year grant that supports institutions that are building fund-raising capacity.
The Institutional Advancement Department used some of that money to increase the size of its staff, hoping to build the department so that it can be self-sustaining, Slough said.  
“The people are able to be here to raise the dollars to go back into this institution,” he said.  “We’re really ramping up our campaign.”
There is a lot of work that goes into fund-raising besides just asking for money, he said, including a lot of “homework.”
“It’s the relationship building, the engagement, the connections,” Slough said.  “It’s those things that take time.”
Many faculty and students are confused about why budget cuts are being made while a new Career Technology building is under construction, Slough said.
The college’s portion of the cost, after the state pays for half, is roughly $8 million.
“People get confused because it’s two completely different pots of money,” Slough said.  
The money from the state is for a specific, one-time project.
“It’s a unique opportunity because those are dollars, if you pass them up, you aren’t going to get them back,” he said.
To pay for the college’s portion of the building, Slough said the money was taken out of the college’s reserve fund.
“Our campaign is paying the college back, rebuilding the college’s rainy day fund, and looking toward the future,” he said.  “It’s an opportunity to build up our infrastructure and engage a lot more people that we might not have been able to engage.”
Slough said the college also is working on new grant opportunities for the Technology building, as well.
The college is looking to advance its programs and curriculum, he said. The Career Technology Center will offer a wider array of courses that will be more flexible with tomorrow’s job market.
“There is some talk about doing a middle-college for advanced manufacturing,” he said.
The college already provides a middle college for students seeking a degree in a medical profession.  A middle college offers high school students the opportunity to blend their high school and college studies, giving them a college degree more quickly.
Slough emphasized that he isn’t limiting himself to raising money for the Career Technology Center. He wants to take MCCC to a new level.
“My goal is obviously a lot higher than that; I’m setting the target really high,” he said.