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MAC Foundation kicks off annual Enhancement Grant Campaign

Mineral Area College Foundation’s Kevin Thurman listens to Technology Professor Paul Fritch explain about injection molds. The injection mold was one of the many purchases the Technology Department was able to make, due to the Enhancement Grant $3 for $1 match offered from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The landscape of the economy and workforce is ever-changing, but Mineral Area College’s longstanding tradition of partnering with surrounding communities in preparing highly-skilled and employable graduates remains constant.

To that end, the Mineral Area College Foundation is re-launching its annual, fall Enhancement Grant Campaign. From now until the end of the year, Dec. 31, the foundation is accepting financial contributions that are matched $3 for each $1 raised. The Enhancement Grant has been crucial to providing MAC programs such as Allied Health, Law Enforcement, Fire Academy, Advanced Manufacturing and Agriculture with up-to-date technology, equipment and teaching models.

“Last year we were able to raise over $50,000 and with that we were able to purchase over $200,000 worth of items thanks to the people of this community and beyond that support Mineral Area College,” said Kevin Thurman, MAC Foundation’s director of development.

All contributions are tax deductible. The Enhancement Grant Campaign will run from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. Online giving is available at and click give or call 573-518-2114. Donations can also be sent to the Mineral Area College Foundation at P.O. Box 1000, Park Hills, MO 63601.

For years, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has recognized the high cost of meeting the dynamic needs of students and provides a partial-grant funding opportunity to augment the efforts of academic institutions. The incentive provides an up to $3-for-$1 match for development and expansion of quality career education.

“The MAC Foundation is offering the opportunity for the community to assist in this important funding campaign that allows donations to go further and provide more help than any other fundraiser that we do,” Thurman said. “The $3-for-$1 match provided by DESE makes this campaign unique. A gift of $20 gives the college up to $80 in purchasing power and gift of $100 provides up to $400 in purchasing power, which makes a profound impact on our efforts.”

Thurman said the region’s generosity has had a direct impact on the quality of education at MAC.

“We have grown beyond obtaining knowledge just from books,” he said. “So much of what we do here at the college requires book knowledge coupled with hands-on learning. We are preparing nurses, farmers, conservationist, fire fighters and law enforcement officers.

"I think the community will agree, when we send our graduates out into the workforce, we want to ensure that the training has encompassed a great deal more than the traditional classroom experience. I can tell you that our graduates are sought after because they have been well trained with up-to-date technology.”

Technology Professor Paul Fritch agreed, since the grant made it possible for the Technology Department to make such purchases as a 3D printer, ProMill 8000, bandsaw, drill press and miter saw.

“We’ve had industry leaders tour our Advanced Manufacturing Lab and they’ve been impressed with our equipment and the way it’s set up,” he said. “We were able to make our Enhancement Grant dollars go very, very far, and it’s made all the difference to the quality of education we provide students, who leave MAC for very lucrative careers in the manufacturing technology field. It’s a definite game-changer.”

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