(Piedmont Triad, NC) — Davidson County Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) have been chosen as three of the 10 North Carolina community colleges to receive funding for the North Carolina Back-to-Work program to help the long-term unemployed find employment and new careers, the NC State Board of Community Colleges announced today.
The $5 million program, a partnership between NC Community Colleges and the NC Department of Commerce, will focus on providing job training and retraining; employability skills, including a Career Readiness Certificate, and third-party, industry-recognized credentials to the long-term unemployed.
As part of this initiative, Davidson will receive $514,066, Forsyth Tech will receive $711,682, and GTCC will receive $879,711 to implement the program as soon as possible, with plans to conclude the program by June 30, 2013.
“Today’s approval of the allocation of ‘Back-to-Work funds’ by the State Board of Community Colleges provides a concrete message of hope for Guilford County citizens facing long-term unemployment,” said GTCC President, Randy Parker. “We will make every possible effort to judiciously invest the money we receive to prepare the citizens of Guilford County for new careers through current offerings and possible new programs developed to serve Piedmont Triad industries.”
“We’re delighted to have been chosen to participate in this program,” said Forsyth Tech President, Dr. Gary Green. “This is one of our strong suits. Forsyth Tech has a great track record for working with employers in our area to match skilled workers with real job openings. We know where the needs are.”
“The NC Back-to-Work grant money significantly enhances our ability to collaborate with other community colleges, providing job training and retraining across our region,” stated Davidson County Community College President, Mary Rittling, Ed.D. “As the demands for a more highly skilled workforce continue to evolve, we’ll be able to leverage the funding we receive to enhance the strong programs we already offer in advanced manufacturing, transportation and information technology.”
“We are pleased that three colleges in the Piedmont Triad have been selected for the “Back-to-Work Initiative,” said David Powell, president & CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership (PTP). “The quality of the workforce is a key driver for economic growth in our region. These new training funds will allow us to prepare Piedmont Triad residents for jobs with existing employers, and with companies that may establish new operations in this area, and will help make our region more competitive.”
GTCC board chair Coy O. Williard, Jr. of High Point echoed Parker’s pledge to continue the battle against unemployment. “Once again we have solid financial evidence of the reputation GTCC has earned for workforce preparedness. Once again our citizen’s lifeline out of poverty is strengthened by the commitment of the faculty and staff at GTCC.”
From 2000 to 2010, the Piedmont Triad lost nearly 90,000 jobs, the equivalent of losing all the jobs in Charlotte or Research Triangle Park, according to the PTP. “The Triad added about 10,000 jobs in the last year, and funds from North Carolina Back-to-Work could help reclaim some of the job losses our region has experienced over the past decade,” Powell said.
According to the State Board of Community Colleges, approximately 20,000 people in the service areas of the three colleges exhausted their unemployment benefits during the latest 12 months.
The General Assembly supported the creation and implementation of this program for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The $5 million in non-recurring funds has been divided between the 10 participating community colleges based on the number of long-term unemployed and the percentage of long-term unemployed in each of the college’s service area, each college’s ability to carry out the program goals, and the availability of potential jobs in the service area. An additional $1.8 million in federal funding will be allocated across an additional six community colleges.
ABOUT DAVIDSON COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013. It is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations, and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College on the Web at davidsonccc.edu.
Guilford Technical Community College is the third largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves around 45,000 students annually from four major campuses and three specialized centers.
ABOUT FORSYTH TECH
Forsyth Technical Community College offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 200 programs of study. Forsyth Tech’s Economic and Workforce Development programs promote personal and professional development with non-credit courses and seminars and provide customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech serves more than 50,000 students with approximately 1,150 full and part-time faculty.