Central Carolina Works receives $800,000 grant

Mar. 21, 2014 @ 09:27 PM

Central Carolina Works — a Central Carolina Community College program meant to increase dual enrollment in area high schools — recently was awarded an $800,000 grant from the state for workforce development.

CC Works founders garnered nearly $750,000 in public, private and other grant funds to place and fund a counselor in every public high school in Harnett, Chatham and Lee counties to help students choose college courses and plan to take dual-enrollment classes. With the additional $800,000 Education and Workforce grant, the program can be expanded to include more professional development opportunities for faculty at the college and with the public school systems, and possibly more apprenticeship opportunities for students, said CCCC President Bud Marchant.

“We are very proud and fortunate to receive this grant,” he said. “And I think this is a testament to Central Carolina Works.”

The five-year grant will pay out to a little more than $160,000 a year, said Kirk Bradley, a local developer and the volunteer chairman of the CC Works committee.

“We are very excited and hopeful about the opportunity this grant can provide,” he said.

The grant helps bring the program “full circle” because it provides professional development opportunities for faculty, who then can guide students toward dual-enrollment classes and a possible apprenticeship with a local company, Marchant said.

“This is a great addition to CC Works that greatly enhances the program,” he said. “This will move it forward as a model for the rest of the state.”

Lee County Schools Superintendent Andy Bryan said the grant speaks to the quality of the overall project.

“It’s an outstanding opportunity not just for our school district and the other school districts involved, but all three communities,” he said.

The state awarded fewer than a dozen grants through its Education and Workforce Innovation Fund.

“These grants will accelerate innovation and partnerships with business and higher education in schools throughout North Carolina, and will empower our educators to be creative in how we prepare our students for college and a career,” said Gov. Pat McCrory in a press release.

The counselors are scheduled to be in place at every public high school in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties by the start of the next school year.