Riverland receives $1.97 million in grants


By Max Haslow

AUSTIN, Minn. - Riverland Community College is receiving almost $2 million in federal grants.

The grants were awarded through Congressionally Directed Spending thanks to Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith

The grant will go toward funding the college's Learn and Earn workforce initiative, which aims to better prepare students for employment by teaching them to learn while on the job.

Janelle Koepke, the school's dean of institutional advancement, believes the program benefits both students and the community.

"Encouraging students to not just think about their education, but also the learning they can do while they're employed and couple that with the learning they can do in school helps them become a stronger member of the workforce in those fields," she said.

Riverland plans to spend the majority of the funding on equipment needed for the automated robotics and automated manufacturing programs.

"Those are high equipment needs," said Koepke. "It's robotics and sensors and hydraulics. So all of that equipment will encompass about $1.7 million."

The project is expected to take three years to complete.