VGCC nabs millions in grants last year

Feb. 05, 2014 @ 09:21 PM

Educational grants just keep coming for Vance-Granville Community College, including one recently announced for $5,000.

The eight grants, received since last year, total more than $2.64 million.

Three of the eight received relate to students support services, while the remainder focus on manufacturing and other similar job skills.

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Grant is for $15,000 over three years.

“Plus 50 helps our learners who are over 50 years old and may be displaced workers as well,” said Dr. Kenneth Lewis, vice-president of institutional research and technology.

The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges, is an effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in health care, education and social services.

VGCC is one of four community colleges in the state currently participating in the program.

The college’s Campus Action Project, called “An Educated Woman, An Educated Future,” is funded by a $5,000 grant from the American Association of University Women. It was the latest to be received.

Lewis said it focuses on the college’s female students and their transition from a community college to a four-year college or university.

The third grant for student support services is the Minority Male Mentoring Grant. The N.C. Community College System’s Minority Male Mentoring Program awarded VGCC the one-year, $20,500 grant in December.

The goals of the program are to keep participating students in school, to increase their graduation rate and to step up their rate of transferring to four-year colleges and universities.

The college received support for its manufacturing job training programs with grants from Back-to-Work, Project Skill-UP, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training, Duke Energy grant and Golden LEAF.

VGCC received the $120,000 Back-to-Work grant through the North Carolina Back-to-Work program, which was established in 2012 by the state General Assembly to help long-term unemployed North Carolinians get the skills they need to find jobs.

VGCC was among 49 of the state’s 58 community colleges receiving nearly $5.9 million in funding, with amounts ranging from $52,600 to $173,870.

The money will be used by the college to provide about 70 participants with training based on the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council curriculum, a training program focused on getting front-line workers the abilities they need to work in manufacturing and supply chain logistics. They’ll also take the WorkKeys assessments leading to a Career Readiness Certificate.

The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission awarded the $25,000 Skill-UP grant as part of $450,000 in funding from the N.C. Community College System to be shared by 24 community colleges across the state for workforce development initiatives.

Project Skill-UP grants were developed by the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission in collaboration with the North Carolina Community College System to help the state’s rural counties negatively impacted by the decline in the tobacco industry.

VGCC can use Skill-UP funds to help students pay for tuition, books, fees, uniforms and other supplies.

The college received the trade adjustment grant of more than $1.75 million on Sept. 18 from the U.S. Department of Labor. It is the single largest competitive grant award received in VGCC’s history.

Lewis said VGCC plans to use those funds to develop a Mechatronics Engineering Technology degree program located tentatively on the college’s south campus.

The $246,000 Duke Energy equipment grant will be used to buy equipment to support VGCC’s curriculum programs, while the Golden LEAF Foundation grant, worth $460,000, is for career and technical education equipment.

“The Golden LEAF grant is truly an example of us reaching out and partnering with other educational organizations in the area,” Lewis said. “We partnered with K-12s in all four of our service area counties.”

The total funding is divided among five entities: $65,000 to VGCC, $100,000 to Franklin County Schools, $100,000 to Warren County Schools, $100,000 to Vance County Schools and $95,000 to Granville County Schools.

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.