Cloud Co. Comm. College Breaks Ground On Technical Education & Innovation Center

Cloud County Community College will host a groundbreaking for its new Technical Education and Innovation Center on Wednesday, March 29 at 2 p.m. The event will be on the site of the new building – along College Drive between the College and Walmart. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

β€œI am honored and excited to celebrate the groundbreaking of this monumental facility,” said Cloud County President Amber Knoettgen. β€œIt is a culmination of the dedication and collaboration of our local and statewide partners who support maintaining a vibrant workforce for rural Kansas.”

The now $18 million 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.

β€œThe Cloud County Community College Foundation is pleased to support the Technical Education and Innovation Center,” said Heather Gennette, Foundation Executive Director. β€œThis state-of-the-art facility will benefit not only our students, but allow Cloud to continue as a leader in providing a highly trained and qualified workforce.”

Funding for the Center has come from the following partners and grants: $4 million in ARPA funds; $1 million from the Sunderland Foundation; $500,000 from The Patterson Family Foundation; $1 million from the Salina Regional Health Center and Foundation; $1.5 million from the Cloud County Foundation Board; $40,500 in tax credits; $10,000 from ITC Holdings; and $10,000 from Central National Bank.

Construction on the new 33,725-square-foot Center will begin in April, and is expected to begin serving students in Fall 2024. McCownGordon Construction is serving as general contractor on the project.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.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 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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