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Alcoa Foundation awards Whatcom Community College $25K engineering grant

Post Date:09/20/2017 10:03 am

Bellingham, Wash. – Alcoa Foundation awarded Whatcom Community College a $25,000 grant to support the College’s expanding pre-engineering program. The “Alcoa Program for Engineering Student Development / Career Success” will provide the essential equipment and materials for students preparing for futures in engineering. The yearlong grant, which begins in October, is expected to benefit 150 students annually.

“Alcoa Intalco is proud to partner with Whatcom Community College through the support of Alcoa Foundation in its efforts to expand opportunities in our community for engineering education. The critical thinking, problem solving and technical skills these students will gain are exactly what we need in our future workforce,” said Laura McKinney, Alcoa NW Government Affairs & Public Relations Director.

The grant will provide state-of-the-art robotics and circuit lab kits, laptops students can check out to design projects, a laser cutter to bring projects to life, and more. The College also plans to develop a multi-purpose student lab and maker space, equipped with 3D printers, to help prepare students to work in the engineering field.

“These improvements will propel our engineering program to the next level, allowing Whatcom students to gain important hands-on experience with the equipment and work environments they will face in the real world,” said Heidi Ypma, WCC’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Division Chair.

WCC offers pre-engineering courses and engineering transfer options through the Associate in Science-Transfer (AS-T) degree.

About Alcoa Foundation: Alcoa Foundation’s predecessor, currently known as Legacy Alcoa Foundation (and formerly known as Alcoa Foundation), was founded in 1952 as one of the few endowed corporate foundations in the United States. As a result of the separation of Alcoa Inc. into Alcoa Corporation and Arconic Inc. in November 2016, two new foundations were formed, into which the assets of Legacy Alcoa Foundation were transferred.  One of the newly formed foundations, known now as Alcoa Foundation, is the foundation associated with Alcoa Corporation.  Today, Alcoa Foundation invests where Alcoa Corporation has a presence, providing grants that contribute to environmental excellence around the world, particularly in the areas of biodiversity conservation and climate change research. Learn more at and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About Whatcom: Whatcom Community College is a regionally and nationally accredited college with an accomplished faculty and staff who serve 11,000 students annually. On its campus in Bellingham, Wash., and through online courses, Whatcom offers transfer and professional-technical degrees as well as basic education, job skills training, and community education classes. The College is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. For more information, visit

Contact: Marisa Ellis, Whatcom Community College PIO, 360.383.3310,

Media inquiries: For photos and other media resources, please contact the Public Information Office at 360.383.3310 or Thanks for your interest!



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