Skilled Grant Application Entries

Contact Information
InstitutionKellogg Community College
School ofRegional Manufacturing Technology Center
Address450 North Ave.
Battle Creek, MI 49017
United States
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Contact Person/Position
Full NameJill Anderson
EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Phone(269) 565-2103
Before submitting, please confirm the following information is complete and accurate:
  • Contact information
Section I: Project Proposal Summery
HTML BlockProvide a summary description of the project:
Amount requested75,000
Funding Term2 years
The project falls into which of the following categoriesMechatronics programs
How will this project serve students and enhance the quality and experience of education?

KCC requests funding to a) add two DENSO Cobotta robot packages to a mobile display trailer and b) purchase a variety of hand tools. This project will significantly enhance the quality and experience of education for prospective and current students of the Kellogg Community College (KCC) Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC) by providing expanded immersive, hands-on learning opportunities in industrial trades.

The 2023 implementation of the Bruins Industrial Trades hands-on showcase vehicle, or BIT Mobile, served as a multifaceted tool for student recruitment, outreach, and education. A dedicated employee position for driving and operating the BIT Mobile was recently proposed in a funding application to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). KCC aims to increase visibility of the industrial trades programs with this 18-month funded position, which would provide driving and programming with the BIT Mobile. This means more students will be exposed to the opportunities at KCC and in the Industrial Trades, thus broadening our educational reach and impact.

Currently, the BIT Mobile features essential equipment including the Skill Boss Manufacturing System, AugmentedArc Augmented Reality Welding System, a Desktop CNC router, and various handheld tools crucial to the trades. However, the potential of the mobile training unit could be maximized by adding more equipment to provide a broader and deeper interactive experience to students.

With this 2024 request to add two DENSO Cobotta robot packages to the display trailer, KCC is taking a significant step forward in enriching the educational experience in mechatronics for our students. These robots will provide students with practical, hands-on experience with an upgraded mechatronics unit, complementing the existing training equipment and allowing students to engage directly with cutting-edge technology. By integrating this new robotic element into the BIT Mobile, we are creating an immersive learning environment where students can develop essential skills and competencies relevant to modern industrial trades. This hands-on experience not only enhances their understanding of theoretical concepts but also equips them with practical skills that are highly sought after in today's job market.

Provide a statement of need.

KCC operates within a service area characterized by a high demand for skilled labor, particularly in manufacturing and the trades. Over the years, KCC has collaborated with industry partners like DENSO to develop innovative solutions to address this demand. One such solution is the BIT Mobile, a mobile recruitment tool designed to bridge the gap between educational institutions, employers, and potential students.

The BIT Mobile initiative addresses a significant challenge faced by both educators and employers: the need to attract and engage students in skilled trades education and career pathways. Traditional methods of recruitment, such as field trips to manufacturing facilities, often strain school budgets and fail to reach diverse populations. The BIT Mobile circumvents these challenges by bringing hands-on learning experiences directly to students, regardless of their geographical location or socio-economic background. By showcasing the opportunities available in the skilled trades at schools, community centers, and public events, the BIT Mobile sparks interest and enthusiasm among individuals who may not have previously considered careers in these fields. Adding these robots to the BIT Mobile will expand learning opportunities for all who engage with the innovative vehicle.

Feedback from RMTC teaching staff pinpoints lack of baseline hand tool knowledge as a common trait of nontraditional students. With the purchase of a wide array of common tools, such as band saws, multi-tools, wrenches, and various attachments (and storage furniture for the tools), these students who did not have the benefit of learning incidental tool-use knowledge before attending the RMTC can be at a level playing field with students that have those tools at home.

State current conditions and the desired change as a result of this project. One page or less.

Data from KCC's Industrial Trades Program highlights the urgency of increasing diversity and inclusion in the skilled trades. Despite comprising a significant portion of the workforce, women remain underrepresented in industrial trades education, with enrollment rates fluctuating between 3.6% and 7% since 2009. Similarly, only about 6% of those now working in the trades are Black with 32% Hispanic or Latino. This lack of representation underscores the need for targeted recruitment efforts, such as those facilitated by the BIT Mobile, to attract non-traditional students to occupational programs in community colleges.

The RMTC, a remote campus of KCC, plays a vital role in training both current and future employees for local manufacturing employers. While the RMTC has a long-standing commitment to employer-driven training programs, there is a pressing need to expand its reach and diversify its student body. With over 350 unique company programs in place, the RMTC can significantly impact the pipeline of skilled workers entering the manufacturing industry. However, to fully realize this potential, greater emphasis must be placed on recruiting and retaining women and people of color, who are historically underrepresented in these fields, to the RMTC.

Investing further in this initiative by funding expanded and updated BIT Mobile equipment, grantmakers can support the development of a more robust and inclusive workforce, thereby ensuring the long-term economic prosperity of our community.

Provide a schedule of project milestones (i.e. a progress or event schedule)

The project milestones are limited, as this is an equipment purchase request.
First 6 Months:
• receive the awarded grant funding
• submit equipment order to DeWalt and DENSO
• install the Cobotta robots and secure tool storage furniture in BIT Mobile
• Assemble tools and add to inventory system
Following 18 months
• Program Manager BIT Mobile provides increased BIT Mobile programming

How will this project be promoted and acknowledged?

• Press Release/news article: Battle Creek Shopper, Battle Creek Enquirer
• Social Media posts associated with BIT Mobile events
• Through the regular KCC Communications channels at all KCC Regional Center locations: social media, print, hand-outs, flyers, video, etc.
• Communications department will tie into existing ‘Trade Up’ industrial trades campaign
• Continued reciprocal partnership with DENSO

How will the success of this project be measured?

Student growth in the mechatronics sector can be obtained through KCC’s student tracking systems. This will include the number of individuals who enroll in KCC Industrial Trades programs who were initially engaged via the mobile unit. While this number may not be known immediately, KCC will track students when they enroll to determine if they participated in a BIT Mobile event.

Identify objective(s) and then how you intend to measure the result. (Note: Grant recipients are required to report on these objectives supported with data, on an annual basis to the conclusion to the grant term).

The addition of the two DENSO Cobotta robot packages and dozens of hand tools to the BIT Mobile will enhance hands-on learning opportunities. It is expected these opportunities will enhance the outcomes of the overall project, including impacting the number of recorded exposure to prospective and current students. Feedback forms from students will provide data for the program manager on the success of individual events.

• K-12 schools and community-based manufacturing awareness activities offered in KCC’s service area of Calhoun, Branch and Barry counties (Goal: minimum of 12)
• K-12 schools and community-based MRTC tours utilizing the mobile unit (Goal: minimum of 15)
• Students and community members engaged in manufacturing awareness and skilled trades via the mobile unit (Goal: minimum of 1500)
• KCC Industrial Traces students enhancing their skills by using the equipment (Goal: minimum 150)

Section II: Financial Disclosure
1. List other project funding sources / major sponsors or contributors:
Source Amount Requested Amount Pledged Amount Received
Michigan Economic Development Corporation $114,800 0 0
2. Provide (or attach) a budget for the entire project if different from the request.
Budget Item Projected Cost
Program Manager 1 FTE Program Manager 18 months - Annual Salary $76,534 114800
Shipping 13747
Two CVR038A1/COBOTTA (PNP), Reach: 342mm, Payload: .5kg 610000-3098 34236
Mini I/O Cable (5m) with Breakout Board C2780-05M 1060
AC cable(US/Mexico/Thailand) 410141-6810 120
DCH773Y2 60V MAX* 2 in. Brushless Cordless SDS MAX Combination Rotary Hammer Kit 1400
Two DCG418X1 60V MAX* Brushless Cordless 4-1/2 in. - 6 in. Grinder with KICKBACK BRAKE™ Kit 680
Two DCF850E1 ATOMIC™ 20V MAX* Brushless Cordless 3-Speed 1/4" Impact Driver Kit with DEWALT POWERSTACK™ 440
Two DCF922B ATOMIC™ 20V MAX* 1/2 in Cordless Impact Wrench With Detent Pin Anvil (Tool Only) 440
Two DCF923B ATOMIC™ 20V MAX* 3/8 in. Cordless Impact Wrench with Hog Ring Anvil (Tool Only) 440
Two DCD799L1 ATOMIC™ 20V MAX* Brushless Cordless 1/2 in. Hammer Drill Kit 380
Two DCS354B ATOMIC™ 20V Max* Brushless Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool (tool only) 320
Four DW055PL ATOMIC COMPACT SERIES™ 55 ft Pocket Laser Distance Measurer 160
DW080LGSK 20V MAX* Tool Connect™ Green Tough Rotary Laser Kit 2500
Two DCE210D2K 20V MAX* Compact Press Tool Kit with CTS Jaws 4800
Two DCE400D2 20V MAX* 1 IN. Cordless PEX EXPANDER (TOOL KIT) 1040
Two DCE700X2K FLEXVOLT® 60V MAX* Cordless Pipe Threader Kit With Die Heads 5000
Two DWACPRIR IMPACT CONNECT™ Copper Pipe Cutter Attachment 240
Two DWAPVCIR IMPACT CONNECT™ PVC/PEX Pipe Cutter Attachment 240
Two DCS374P2 20V MAX* XR® Brushless Deep Cut Band Saw Kit 1240
DCM200E1 20V MAX* XR® 18 in. Bandfile Kit 380
Two DCF414GE2 20V MAX* XR® Brushless Cordless 1/4" Rivet Tool Kit With DEWALT POWERSTACK™ 1920
Two DWST52082 DEWALT® 52 in. 8-Drawer Rolling Tool Cabinet 1700
Two DWST52071 DEWALT® 52 in. 6-Drawer Tool Chest 1260
Two DCS438B 20V MAX* XR® Brushless Cordless 3 in. Cut-Off Tool (Tool Only) 358
DCS692X2 60V MAX* Brushless Cordless 9 in. Cut-Off Saw 899
Total Project Budget$189,800
3. How would DENSO funds be allocated?
Item/Expense Amount
Equipment $75,000
Total Requested Grant$75,000
4. Please enclose a copy of the school or department’s annual budget (preferred) or most recent annual report for the institution.KCC-Annual-Budget-2.pdf
Section III: Institutional Information
Date Established1956
PresidentDr. Paul Watson
Dean, College of BusinessInterim Dean of Workforce Development Ronald Ivey
Dean, College of EngineeringExecutive Director of RMTC Industrial Trades Dr. Handel Fraser
Does the institution have a current or past relationship with a DENSO Company? If yes, please comment

In the dynamic industrial landscape of Calhoun County, the partnership between DENSO, a global manufacturing leader, and Kellogg Community College (KCC) is a collaborative model crucial for meeting the evolving demands of the workforce. This partnership holds great economic significance. With a workforce exceeding 13,000 employees impacting the lives of 135,000 Calhoun County residents and resonating across the broader community, the need for skilled labor is paramount. Moreover, the region's proximity to over 740,000 individuals within a one-hour radius underscores the critical necessity for strategic partnerships in workforce development.

Aligned with the key industries prevalent within the Industrial Park, KCC stands as a vital institution for preparing the future workforce. Through specialized training programs tailored to industry needs, KCC ensures that graduates possess the requisite skills and competencies to excel in technology-driven sectors. By closely collaborating with DENSO, KCC aims to design curriculum that not only meets current industry standards but also anticipates future trends, thereby nurturing a pipeline of talent primed to drive progress and innovation.

Beyond training initiatives, the partnership between DENSO and KCC fosters a culture of innovation, knowledge exchange, and experiential learning. This symbiotic relationship not only addresses immediate skill shortages but also cultivates a sustainable ecosystem where academia and industry converge to shape the future workforce and drive economic prosperity in Calhoun County and beyond.

The collaboration between DENSO and KCC represents a strategic alliance aimed at addressing the evolving needs of the workforce in Calhoun County. By leveraging each other's strengths and resources, this partnership seeks to create a sustainable model for workforce development that not only benefits the local community but also could become a blueprint for industry-academic collaboration nationwide.

If the institution has received DENSO funding in the past, please provide date, description and amounts

KCC received $100K from 7/2020-4/2022 for the BIT Mobile program and received $149,346 from 2013-2016 for the Industrial Tech program.

Does the University have DENSO-employed alumni? If yes, how many?Unfortunately, Kellogg Community College does not have this information tracked. However, we expect that dozens of employees took courses through KCC.
Please Provide company/location if known.DENSO Ft. Custer, Battle Creek
How did you hear of DENSO North America Foundation?Stephanie Probert, DENSO Community Affairs & Communications
The information presented in this application is accurate and complete. This application requires original signatures.
Another Project Explanation
  • I acknowledge if selected as a grant recipient, my institution has 5 business days to sign and return the Grant Agreement and provide electronic financial banking information to DENSO North America Foundation.
Proposal developed byDr. Handel Fraser
TitleExecutive Director of RMTC, Industrial Trades, and Workforce Solutions
Supported and Approved by:Dr. Paul Watson