07/13/09 — WCC gets $200,000 to fund training

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WCC gets $200,000 to fund training

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 13, 2009 1:46 PM

Wayne Community College is one of 17 community college recipients of $3 million in grants that will allow the college to provide more training in the areas of health care and industrial technologies.

WCC will receive $200,000 from the Golden LEAF Foundation as part of its Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work, or GLOW, program. The program was created in response to Gov. Beverly Perdue's challenge to stimulate the state's work force.

The grant will target a six-month advanced technical program, particularly careers in health care and industrial technologies. The college anticipates training at least 275 workers to meet the identified job demand in the area, officials said.

Locally, it will support nurses aid and emergency medical technician training in the areas of allied health and programmable logic controls and hydraulics in industrial technologies. Training will also incorporate human resource development and preparation for the completion of the WorkKeys tests for career readiness.

"This funding by Golden LEAF represents the perfect marriage between our community colleges and the Foundation," said Dr. Scott Ralls, president of the N.C. Community College System. "We develop the training curriculum and programs, and Golden Leaf helps our colleges fill the resource gaps. Our combined efforts expand the opportunities for North Carolina workers and provide a well-trained workforce for our businesses."

"Wayne Community College is grateful to Golden Leaf for the generosity of the GLOW grant," said Dr. Kay Albertson, WCC president. "It includes monies for equipment that will allow us to offer these training programs. The health and industrial courses are ones that our surveys of business and industry show will provide the skilled workers they need. It also gives us funding for student support, supplies and recruiting -- the pieces we need to make this a successful venture."

Many of the projects selected for the grants support Gov. Perdue's JobsNOW: "12 in 6" programs currently being developed at community colleges to provide training in six months or less for 12 in-demand jobs categories.

The funding will help the college "build our capacity" to prepare students to go to work, Dr. Albertson said.

"We have to hit the ground running," she said. "We will begin recruiting immediately, start classes in August and graduate the first cohort in December. Completers will come out not only with training, but also with a CRC (career readiness certificate), employability skills and an overall program certificate. They will also have had contact with employers, many of whom are already on board with this initiative and some who have already laid claim to graduates.

"The bottom line of the GLOW grant is that we will be able to train people and have them ready to enter the workforce in 12 weeks."

That is exactly the goal of the GLOW project, said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president.

"Gov. Perdue and the General Assembly have challenged us to be creative about how to get people into jobs quickly so the support of the JobsNOW effort was a great fit," he said. "Our aim for the GLOW project is to grow the talent, knowledge and skill of North Carolinians so that they may find gainful employment in the current economy."

Other surrounding area community college recipients include Lenoir Community College, awarded $85,000 for a training program for commercial construction, to meet the needs in Jones County in the aerospace industry and part of the base realignments at N.C. military installations; and $150,000 to Pitt Community College to increase certification of certified nursing assistants and provide immediate employment to graduates.