Jobless individuals have hope

Published 10:12 am Friday, September 14, 2012

AHOSKIE – A state grant is targeting an effort to help find jobs for the unemployed.

Roanoke-Chowan Community College (R-CCC) has received a grant of more than $250,000 from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The State Board of Community Colleges recently allocated $1.8 million to six colleges to implement the NC Back-to-Work program established by the General Assembly. The purpose of the program is to prepare long-term unemployed North Carolinians for new careers.  The funds will go towards tuition and supplies for up to 300 citizens from Bertie, Hertford, and Northampton Counties.

RCCC President Dr. Ralph Soney said that there are about 1,600 citizens in the college’s service area who have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

“This is the target for the grant funds. We will provide an opportunity for long-term unemployed individuals to gain new skills and nationally recognized credentials to return to work,” Soney said.

Roanoke-Chowan Community College is taking enrollment now. Senior Dean of Workforce and Student Development, Myra Poole, said that courses leading to professional credentialing in a variety of careers will begin as early as October.

“This grant provides an opportunityfor all in the community to receive training, as it will allow the college to offer additional courses in areas such as welding, electrical, medical billing and coding, air conditioning, heating and refrigeration, as well as carpentry, Microsoft office, and plumbing,” she said.

An informational meeting will be held for interested citizens in the Freeland Building- Community Room at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27.

For more information, individuals may contact Career Readiness Coordinator, Andrea Glaze, at 862-1202 or Joblink Manager, Lewis Hoggard, at 862-1277.

President Soney extended his gratitude to the College’s many business partners and the Ahoskie and Murfreesboro Chambers of Commerce for supporting the College in its efforts to secure this important grant.

Other community Colleges who have received Back-to-work grants include: Blue Ridge, Caldwell, Davidson, Edgecombe, Fayetteville, Forsyth, Guilford, Mitchell, Southwestern, Stanly, Brunswick, Catawba Valley, Central Piedmont, Lenoir, and Rowan-Cabarrus.