WILKESBORO — In February 2018, the State Board of Community Colleges approved an allocation to Wilkes Community College for Project Skill-UP through the NC Tobacco Trust Fund. Project Skill-UP is a North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) workforce development initiative whose goal is to help individuals in North Carolina adversely impacted by changes in the tobacco-related sector of the economy. This support will provide scholarship assistance to individuals to “update” their current skills and provide them with additional marketable skills reflective of fast-growing occupations and/or new industries within their local communities.
The objectives of the initiative are to provide access to short-term training programs aligned with in-demand credentials supporting local workforce need; and develop educational opportunities for individuals interested in diversifying utilization of agriculture resources and enterprises.
“Project Skill-UP funding has made a positive impact on our continuing education students. The flexibility of the grant has allowed us to work with other community partners to provide full financial support for dedicated students interested in pursuing their education. We are pleased we have been awarded this funding again,” stated Rebecca Greer, director of Workforce Development and Community Education at WCC Ashe Campus.
“You can never really fathom losing everything you have except the clothes off your back until it happens,” states Lucinda Lewis. My family and I lost all our belongings in a house fire three years ago. I lost my textbooks, my computer and my bookbag. When the staff at the Ashe Campus of Wilkes Community College learned of my situation, they told me about a grant that the college offered and how they would do anything they could to help. I had no idea that our little community college done things like this, but I am still so thankful to this day that they do. Becky Greer was so helpful through this tough time and was able to help me write a proposal to the office for the grant. When I received the grant, I could not help but think how great the college was about everything that had happened. They were caring, empathetic and did everything they could to help me get back on my feet academically and emotionally. They bought me all brand-new textbooks and even replaced my laptop with a brand new one. I will forever be thankful to the college, and especially Becky Greer, as they were there for me through the most heartbreaking time of my life.”
To be eligible for scholarships funds, courses or pathways must have at least 96 hours of instruction. Pathways approved for WCC are Cosmetology, Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET), Emergency Medical Science (EMS), Nursing Assistant I, Phlebotomy and Pharmacy Technician.
For more information, contact Alan Wyatt (336) 372-5061, Ext. 3143 for Alleghany County; Rebecca Greer (336) 846-3900, Ext. 3117 for Ashe County; or Jeff Shore (336) 838-6206 for Wilkes County.
Wilkes Community College, a member of the North Carolina Community College System, is a public, two-year, open-door institution serving the people of Wilkes, Ashe and Alleghany counties and beyond. Established in 1965, WCC continues to build on a strong history of meeting the educational needs and cultural interests of our students, community, and workforce. WCC prepares learners for success in a dynamic world.