Banking & Finance

Mid-Carolina Workforce Development Board awarded $600,000 in grants

By Stephanie Meador, posted 3 months ago
Photo courtesy of NC Department of Commerce

The North Carolina Department of Commerce has awarded 20 special grants to 11 local workforce development boards, totaling $8.45 million. The Mid-Carolina Workforce Development Board, which represents Cumberland, Sampson, and Harnett counties, received three separate grants from the Department of Commerce for a total of $600,000 in funding. 

Executive Director of the Mid-Carolina Workforce Development Board Matthew Fowler shared the significance of these grants with Greater Fayetteville Business Journal: “With the job market being like it is where the businesses and our communities are really suffering because of the shortage of job seekers, this grant, which is the American Rescue Plan Grant, is really going to allow us to be able to tap into an additional pool of workforce and at the same time, be able to connect those most vulnerable job seekers to not just a job but a career. And so this is really a game changer for us.”

The three grants received as well as their intended impact are as follows: 

  • A $100,000 NCWorks Reentry Support Grant will serve to recruit individuals for training and work-based learning in the skilled trades. This funding will cover eligible participants’ tuition for a short-term training certification in the skilled trades, including the purchase of needed tools and supplies.
  • A $100,000 NCWorks Substance Use Disorder Recovery Grant will serve to connect NCWorks Career Centers to substance abuse clinics and nonprofit organizations that provide supportive services not covered by existing federal funds. Eligible participants will receive free tuition and supplies for short-term training and certificates in the skilled trades, followed by a three-month paid internship.
  • A $400,000 NCWorks Small Business Work-Based Learning Grant will serve to connect small businesses and micro-businesses to jobseekers and to finance the costs for those jobseekers to acquire short-term training certification in the skilled trades, along with a three-month Work Experience program, followed by either direct employment or an On-the-Job Training placement.

“This is really a golden opportunity for all of our employers, from our large employers, our medium-sized [businesses] all the way down to our small businesses…And we all know that we have to be intentional when it comes down to trying to make sure that we are providing support for our jobseekers and for our businesses. And that's one of the main things that we're here to do, again, is to bridge those two communities together, to bridge the businesses and those job seekers, connect those two, make sure that those businesses are getting your right skill set. And the best way to do that is to make sure that those individuals are trained, and they have the necessary tools that they need to be successful. And that's where, you know, these funds are really coming into play,” added Fowler. 

The Division of Workforce Solutions at the N.C. Department of Commerce will soon be open once more to receiving applications from local government agencies and non-profit organizations for workforce grants from the same funding source.

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