ASHEBORO (September 20, 2013)'
Randolph Community College will receive over $1.7 million from the U.S. Department of Labor as a member of a multi-state consortium of community colleges intended to serve as leaders in integrating a regional economic, workforce development and education partnership approach to improving the skills and employment of individuals.
Dr. Robert S. Shackleford, RCC president, announced the news at the end of the bi-monthly RCC Board of Trustees meeting Thursday evening. “The focus of the grant is manufacturing, which is what we focus on in the Piedmont,” said Shackleford. RCC is the only Triad school among the group to receive funding.
The grant money is part of an Obama administration announcement on Sept. 18 of $474.5 million in grants to expand demand-driven skills training and strengthen employer partnerships.
Randolph Community College and Vance-Granville Community College in Henderson will be part of the Southeastern Economic and Education Leadership Consortium led by Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn. Other colleges in the group are Northeast State Community College in Blountville, Tenn., Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Fla; and Polk State College in Winter Haven, Fla.
The six colleges in the SEELC have been specifically chosen to represent economic and demographic location diversity, and all reside in states whose governors and community leaders are working together to further economic and workforce systems change. Further, SEELC integrates an evidence-based approach to implementing a regionally based economic, workforce and education partnership in support of the development of educational and career pathways tied to national industry standards and credentials in welding, machining and manufacturing.
The grant funding will foster deeper partnerships between community colleges, employers, and other community partners. The SEELC is partnering with the American Welding Society (AWS) and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) to align courses, curriculum and credentials to nationally recognized industry standards and engaging local employers to meet specific local skill needs in the regional economy. Randolph Community College’s employer partners are Deere Hitachi, Southcorr, and Technimark. Employer partners will also provide work-based learning opportunities—primarily through internships.
The grant will span four years and will cover staffing, benefits, equipment, supplies, travel, training, instructional materials, and administrative costs. Enrollment of some participants could start as early as spring semester 2014, and all SEELC colleges will initiate participant enrollment no later than summer 2014. The program timeframe assumes most credentialing will occur in years 2 and 3, with labor market outcomes becoming most pronounced in years 2 through 4.
The breakdown of the grant money follows:
Pellissippi State Community College - Consortium Leader
Total Consortium Award Amount: $12,665,720
- Northeast State Community College ($4,569,689)
- Palm Beach State College ($1,138,183)
- Polk State College ($1,611,956)
- Randolph Community College ($1,725,174)
- Vance-Granville Community College ($1,757,299)
The grants are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Community College and Career Training grant program, a multiyear, nearly $2 billion initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade, according to a news release from the United States Department of Labor. The 57 grants announced on Sept. 18 will support 190 projects in at least 183 schools in every state plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The grants will expand programs in growing industries, such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care, and encourage geographic and industry sector collaboration through the development of both statewide and multistate college consortia.
Learn more about the grant program at http://www.doleta.gov/taaccct .