Project Skill-UP Receives $16,000 from NC Tobacco Trust Fund

Project Skill-UP, a program that provides financial aid to students enrolled in job training programs at Forsyth Technical Community College, received additional support this week.

The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission contributed $16,000 to the project. This brings to $116,000 the contributions the Tobacco Trust has made to Forsyth Tech since the project began in 2006.

In presenting the check on Monday, Jeff Jennings, program officer at the Tobacco Trust, said, “The North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund board feels that Project Skill-UP has proven itself, and makes a tremendous impact on the community.”

Accepting the check for the college, President Gary M. Green said, “During difficult economic times, more and more people in our community are turning to Forsyth Tech to give them opportunities. With the support of the Tobacco Trust Fund, the College has been able to provide the employability and technical skills needed to enter or re-enter the workforce.”

Sharon Anderson, Dean of Community and Economic Development Programs in Forsyth Tech’s Division of Continuing and Corporate Education, said that awards of the scholarship funds are based on need and are provided to people who are unemployed or seeking to advance in their jobs. About 80 people in Forsyth and Stokes counties each year have received funds for short-term occupational training, in courses ranging from auto body repair to Certified Nursing Assistant.

“Our division has never had scholarship money before,” Ms. Anderson said. “It’s a godsend for us.

The Tobacco Trust Fund Commission was created to implement a state statute established to assist tobacco farmers, tobacco quota holders, people engaged in tobacco-related business, individuals displaced from tobacco-related employment, and tobacco- product component programs by funding programs that support, foster and facilitate a strong agricultural economy in North Carolina.