Just weeks after receiving a $10 million commitment from the Sunderland Foundation, Johnson County Community College’s campus transformation efforts have gotten another major boost.
The school announced today that Hugh L. Libby of Mission Hills had donated $2 million toward the construction of the school’s new career and technical education building.
The school’s technical education programs are of particular interest to Libby, who turned an interest for manufacturing he developed in his high school metal shop classes into a multi-million dollar business operation, Libby Manufacturing, which had two large manufacturing facilities in Kansas City.
“There’s a real need for the technology center because I think a lot of young people are graduating high school, and they’re not really prepared, or not that interested in a four-year degree,” Libby said in a statement. “Some of them are interested, but then they come out of college, having incurred a lot of debt, and they still can’t find a job.”
With a technical education, he argued, students who aren’t interested in a four-year degree can still get the training they need to prepare for a lifelong career.
“They come out of school and earn a good pay rate, then they go up the scale, then it’s possible for them to start their own business. It’s quite a lucrative future for many of them,” he said.
JCCC president Joe Sopcich said the gift will help create a renovated campus suitable for the needs of the modern student.
“Our college is extremely grateful to Hugh Libby for helping us keep student needs front and center,” Sopcich said. “Hugh built a highly successful manufacturing business based on a respected tradition of quality and commitment to customer service. His generous gift, and others we’re receiving from our supporters in the community, will help the college make relevant student- and community-focused infrastructure changes without raising the mill levy or tuition.”