CBC, WSU Tri-Cities to split $1M from DOE for project management, nuke programs

Columbia Basin College will offer a project management program with part of a $994,600 award from the Department of Energy to CBC and Washington State University Tri-Cities.

If DOE money is available under future budgets, up to $4.97 million could be awarded over five years, said Dawn Alford, CBC spokeswoman.

"This DOE Financial Assistance Award comes at a significant time in our community's economy, especially given the ongoing state budget cuts to higher education," said Carl Adrian, president of the Tri-City Development Council, in a statement. TRIDEC collaborated with CBC and WSU Tri-Cities to obtain the award.

It includes $611,140 to establish project management offerings at CBC and a subaward of $383,460 through CBC to WSU Tri-Cities.

The money will be used at both institutions to educate students for DOE and other projects, including building the next generation of project management, nuclear engineering and radiation safety professionals.

CBC plans to hire three full-time and two part-time employees to implement the project management programs. A portion of the program could be rolled out for fall quarter.

"Developing project management curriculum through the DOE funding ultimately will provide certificates, associate and baccalaureate degree options in project management," said CBC President Rich Cummins in a statement.

Plans call for offering a one-year certificate in project management, an associate in arts degree in project management and a bachelor of applied science degree in project management. CBC also will offer a project management professional curriculum, which will provide training to prepare managers for certification by the Project Management Institute.

A project management training center is planned, and CBC will be training students on Primavera, a commonly used project portfolio management software used by businesses. The award will cover about $200,000 in scholarships.

The initial grant will provide funding for one year, and a memorandum of understanding agrees that if money is available in the DOE budget CBC would continue to receive money over five years.

WSU Tri-Cities will use its award money to enhance a nuclear engineering graduate certificate and develop a health and safety graduate certificate. It also will create a career readiness web portal and support students with mentoring, tutoring, technical internships and scholarships.

"These graduate certificate programs will enable us to address two areas of significant demand from employers for professionals who have expertise in radiation protection and for engineers who understand advanced principles of nuclear engineering," said Dick Pratt, vice chancellor for academic affairs at WSU Tri-Cities, in a statement.

The proposal that won the award was supported by the Washington congressional delegation, Hanford prime contractors, the HAMMER training center, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 77 and the Hanford Site Future Workforce Subcommittee of Hanford contractors.

"(I) am confident that this investment will continue the success of CBC and WSU Tri-Cities," said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., in a statement.