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VGCC receives $50,000 Golden LEAF grant

Vance-Granville Community College recently received a $50,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to support students in the college’s JobsNOW program. Through community colleges across North Carolina, the statewide JobsNOW “12 in 6” initiative provides training that can be completed in six months or less in a dozen high-demand occupations. At VGCC, students can choose from three JobsNOW opportunities, all focusing on jobs in the health care field: Nursing Assistant (CNA), Phlebotomy and Medical Billing & Coding. The grant will help students in the JobsNOW program defray some of the costs of their tuition, fees, materials, uniforms and needed supplies. Golden LEAF funding complements $250,000 in federal recovery funds allotted to VGCC for the program.

“We appreciate Golden LEAF’s expression of confidence in our college’s ability to develop and retrain our local workforce,” VGCC President Randy Parker said. “This grant will help a significant number of unemployed people in our area get back to work and prepare for new careers in health care.” VGCC Vice President of Community and Economic Development Vanessa Jones noted that the college has many years of experience in medical training. “Enrollment in health care programs has steadily increased in recent years, and that trend will likely continue, because even now, the local job market has an increasing demand for employees in health-related fields,” Jones said.

The grant is one of 23 special grants totaling $3.5 million awarded by the foundation through its Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work (GLOW) program. The program supports short-term, non-degree workforce development training projects that target identified employment opportunities in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural communities. The GLOW program was created to address some of the urgent job training needs North Carolina faces during the current economic downturn.

VGCC entitled its successful grant application “Partnership in Progress,” because other agencies are collaborating with the college. The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments — through its Workforce Development Board — has agreed to partner by providing funding for tuition, travel and child care to some of the JobsNOW participants. The North Carolina Employment Security Commission and JobLink offices in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties have agreed to assist the college in recruiting participants for the program. Also, local health care facilities will be partnering to provide sites for students to gain clinical training. Approximately 160 students are expected to participate in JobsNOW at VGCC. “These participants will be well-prepared for employment in our partnering health facilities, which continue to express the need for such workers,” VGCC Human Resources Development coordinator Kyle Burwell said.

For more information on JobsNOW, call Courtney Cooke , coordinator of JobsNOW, at (252) 738-3427 or Kyle Burwell at (252) 738-3276.