Wake Tech Receives U.S. Department of Labor Grant of $3.9 Million
Largest Grant in College History Will Train Workers for Tech Jobs
RALEIGH, N.C. (June 27, 2016) - Wake Tech Community College has received the largest grant in its 50+-year history to train workers for jobs in cybersecurity, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and financial services. The college is one of 39 recipients nationwide who will share $150 million from the U.S. Department of Labor’s “TechHire” grant program. The program will bring almost $4 million to Wake Tech and its local partner, the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, for an innovative training initiative that will prepare at least 450 people for well-paying jobs in high-growth sectors.
The initiative, known as Project SECURE (Supporting and Enhancing CyberSecurity through Upwardly-mobile Retraining and Education), will provide training for computer-related occupations and help fill a critical need for workers with cybersecurity skills. It will give workers the tools to secure employment in high-skill jobs and help those in entry-level positions upgrade skills and advance.
“This is an innovative approach,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Stephen C. Scott, “that opens up new avenues to employment – in areas with enormous potential for growth and advancement. Its non-traditional strategies will provide options and opportunities for a whole new population of workers.”
Anthony Caison, Vice President of Wake Tech’s Workforce Continuing Education, says Project SECURE is an exciting partnership between the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, Wake County Economic Development, the City of Raleigh, the Durham Workforce Development Board, and local employers. “This collaborative effort will eliminate barriers to training in these high-demand fields and provide employers with the skilled workers they need.”
Pat Sturdivant, Executive Director of the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, agrees: “We are thrilled to partner with Wake Tech on Project SECURE. It will strengthen our economy by filling critical positions in our growing IT sector – and support young adults from our community who will gain the career skills to compete in the 21st-century.”
Wake Tech is one of only two recipients of TechHire funding in North Carolina. James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville received $4 million.
The Obama Administration launched TechHire in 2015 as a bold, multi-sector effort to train high-tech workers. Nationwide demand for these workers is growing, and tech jobs pay well and often boost local economies. They are also accessible to workers who may lack computer science degrees or other traditional qualifications. TechHire includes innovative programs such as coding “boot camps” that can train workers and put them to work in a matter of months.
Since its inception, 50 communities with nearly 1,000 employers have begun efforts to recruit applicants and create fast-track training opportunities. These efforts range from New York City programs that connect low-income youth to training and internships to a rural Kentucky program that trains former coal miners to code.