Trustee Davis’ WCCC donation challenge already matched and exceeded by generous community members

After a successful business career, Trustee Ron Davis pioneered and funded the Guardian Scholars program to make college accessible to first-generation students in California. When expanding this mission to Colorado, he found that his objectives aligned seamlessly with CMU and WCCC’s mission including WCCC’s trade and technical education programs that are vital to the local economy.

“Western Colorado Community College is an amazing community asset,” said Davis. “The importance of the trades is clear, and the need for scholarships to provide job training for students is huge.”

Mesa County, along with the rest of the nation, is suffering significant employee shortages in a variety of industries. WCCC has vital relationships with regional workforce partners and continually addresses credentialed personnel needs and removing financial barriers for prospective students. Most recently, WCCC has created financial aid opportunities for much-needed certified nurse assistants and early childhood education teachers. Through paid apprenticeships with local healthcare and childcare facilities students learn in a hands-on environment, fill otherwise empty roles and earn credentials at little or no tuition cost. The foresight and generosity of donors, and state and federal grants make this possible.

“My commitment to enhancing opportunities for students as a CMU trustee and as an individual who has devoted my life to education has never been stronger,” Davis said. “I look forward to increasing access to education for people while creating a new generation of electricians, firefighters, nurses, welders and other trades that are essential to the vibrancy of western Colorado.”

The first donor to answer the challenge Davis issued was CMU alumnus Chuck Shear, who pledged $40,000. Shear spent more than 50 years working in every aspect of the oil and gas industry both locally and nationally. This inspired him to help the next generation of energy professionals enter the field by generously creating the Shear Family Energy Management/Landman Program Endowed Scholarship. He is proud to invest in the future of other essential industries in his community.