CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ten community and technical colleges across West Virginia will soon receive a substantial amount of grant funding.
The Community and Technical College System of West Virginia is going to receive $25 million from the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program.
“A grant of this magnitude will propel us forward in some of the things we want to do,” said state Community and Technical College Chancellor Jim Skidmore.
The funding is meant to be used to encourage West Virginians to enroll, pursue and graduate from technical programs. Skidmore said this funding will allow them to meet some goals set by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and his office.
“This grant will allow us to do the training and education that will meet those goals of a skilled workforce and also enhance economic development efforts,” he said.
In addition to accomplishing those goals, the grant money will also allow the state Community and Technical College System to work at making the transition from high school to college more seamless, a key goal of Governor Tomblin’s Education Reform Bill.
“To increase the transition of students from high school into higher education, particularly the community colleges, through pathways that will enable students to take certain courses in high school that will prepare them to enter community and technical college programs,” said Skidmore.
This money will also allow the system the ability to enhance initiatives that are currently underway such as workforce development efforts and also increase the technology that the colleges use in their programs.
At a time when state funding is decreasing, the extra money helps, but Skidmore adds that even if the money wasn’t tight, the additional funds always help.
“It just enables you to do much more, some little things or maybe some big things that really make a difference in getting students into your programs and also graduating,” he said.
The state Community and Technical College System will distribute the funds to the following institutions: Bridgemont Community and Technical College, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, West Virginia Northern Community College, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College, New River Community and Technical College, Mountwest Community and Technical College, and Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
The money will be disbursed in varying amounts depending on each schools particular area of expertise and how they can best contribute to the goals of the grant. The funding is expected to be made available in the coming weeks.