The Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors has awarded Wayne Community College $225,000 for trades training programs to be held at Southern Wayne High School.
The funds will be used to renovate classroom and lab space to expand workforce training in welding, equipment repair, and safety. It will pay for equipment, personnel, and supplies.
The high school will use the space during the day. The college will offer adult learners short-term training in the space at night and on weekends with a bilingual instructor for Spanish-speaking students.
The project’s goal is to increase the number of high school students completing career pathways and the number of adults completing training and earning industry credentials or micro-credentials. Instructors certified by the National Coalition of Certification Centers will provide standardized training on specific equipment and students will test through that organization to earn the industry-recognized certificates.
“WCC is grateful to the Golden LEAF Board for its selection of our project with Southern Wayne High School for funding through its Community-Based Grants Initiative. With these funds, we will be able to develop a space for workforce training that will serve both the high school students and adult learners from minority and underserved populations that live in southern Wayne County,” said WCC President Patty Pfeiffer.
“This collaborative project will allow optimum use of space, equipment, and time with high school students learning there during the day and the college holding short-term training classes at night and on weekends,” Pfeiffer said.
“Southern Wayne High School is excited about the opportunity to partner with WCC and thankful for the work they did to obtain the Golden LEAF funding. We are looking forward to the credentialing opportunities that will be available for our students and the community,” said Principal Karen Rogers.
The project is one of 13 Community-Based Grants Initiative projects totaling $10,248,815 that Golden LEAF funded in the Southeastern Prosperity Zone. These projects focus on workforce preparedness and job creation and economic investment.
“These projects will support the long-term economic advancement of rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically distressed communities. We look forward to the impact these projects will make for years to come,” said Golden LEAF Board Chair Don Flow.
“Through the Community-Based Grants Initiative, Golden LEAF works directly in one Prosperity Zone annually to identify projects with the greatest potential to have a significant impact,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “This competitive process focuses on projects that invest in the building blocks of economic growth with the ultimate goal of moving the economic needle in a community.”
Since 1999, Golden LEAF has funded 2,077 projects totaling $1.2 billion supporting the mission of advancing economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural, tobacco-dependent, and economically distressed communities.