Cloud Co. Comm. College Receives $500k Grant From Patterson Family Foundation

Cloud County Community College has received a $500,000 grant from the Patterson Family 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 extremely grateful for this generous gift from the Patterson Family Foundation, which puts us even closer to our fundraising goal,” said CCCC President Amber Knoettgen. “Construction of the Center aligns well with the Patterson Family Foundation’s mission to advance health care, education and strengthen communities, particularly in rural areas.”

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.

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

“It is humbling to see the overwhelming support across the state of Kansas for this project,” Knoettgen said.

The $13.9 million project will begin in late 2022, with construction expected to be completed in spring 2024.

The Patterson Family Foundation was established in 2007 to reinvest in rural communities and cultivate values of education and hard work for current and future generations. Based in Kansas City, Mo., the Foundation is a family-led foundation extending the legacy of Neal and Jeanne Patterson.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
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 2020 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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