Several of Utah’s public colleges and universities were awarded grants totaling over $1.6 million through the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership (UCAP). These grants are for projects that strengthen education and industry alignment. UCAP is a joint effort between the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), and the Department of Workforce Services (DWS).
This year’s call for grant proposals included public education alongside higher education. DWS—UCAP’s financial and contract management agency—secured $2.2 million for post-secondary institutions and/or industry trade association applicants, as well as an additional $1.2 million for public education institutions and/or school district applicants.
USHE institutions are also collaborating with other public post-secondary colleges, K-12, and industry trade associations—including the Northern Utah Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association, Utah Technology Council, Wasatch School District, and Washington County School District—on their various science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives.
USHE UCAP awardees
Salt Lake Community College
SLCC was awarded a UCAP grant for a consortium application with Davis Applied Technology College (DATC) and Granite and Davis School Districts to develop curriculum for aerospace and manufacturing industry clusters. Important to this project will be aligning curriculum and proficiency testing with industry skills.
Southern Utah University
Southern Utah University’s STEM initiative, STEM Career Paths to Success, will create a STEM curriculum that will be piloted at SUCCESS Academies and offered to surrounding counties. The STEM Career Fair will provide students with job opportunities, and internships, scholarships, job shadowing, and industry tours will be developed to encourage student-interest in these fields.
Utah State University – Moab
Utah State University-Moab (USU-Moab) will develop programs impacting three growth clusters in Eastern Utah and Grand County: Allied Health, Electrical Engineering, and Engineering Drafting and Design Technology. Partnering with USU-Moab is Grand County School District and the BEACON After School Program. Some of the anticipated outcomes include creating a robust internship program and establishing career placement strategies.
Utah Valley University
Utah Valley University will develop an undergraduate Advanced Manufacturing Certificate in the Technology Management department, create a marketing campaign to target displaced workers and adults returning to the workforce, support the training of Technology Management faculty, create a more robust Utah Manufacturing Association Student Chapter at UVU, and plan for an Advanced Manufacturing Center.
University of Utah
The University of Utah was awarded a UCAP grant for a consortium application between itself, Southern Utah University and Weber State University. This project grows out of a previously funded UCAP health care project and intends to increase access to higher education care management programs by developing pathways that expand to include social work as well as other health care professionals. This project will also offer high school students currently enrolled in Certified Nursing Assistant programs the opportunity to increase competencies in foundational Care Management skill development.
The Natural History Museum at the University of Utah is partnering with Davis, Granite, Jordan, and Weber school districts to develop and roll out Research Quests—an innovative K-12 program designed to advance critical thinking skills among Utah’s students. This project will instruct 500 Utah teachers on how to implement Research Quests in their classroom. An estimated 15,000 students will be reached.