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RCCC gets $190,000 in grants to help meet students’ needs, retrain workers

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has been awarded $190,000 in grants.
One ó a $150,000 grant from Altria Group ó will help cover the expenses of the R3 Center’s outreach programs to unemployed and underemployed adults in Cabarrus and Rowan counties. The other ó a $40,000 grant from the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation ó will provide scholarships for full-time students with financial need.
Altria Group’s contribution will be distributed over two years. RCCC has received $75,000 and will receive the remaining $75,000 in 2009.
Greg Wilson, Altria’s Client Services’ Stakeholder Relations director, said in a press release, “As Altria Group’s operating company, Philip Morris USA, goes through a transition period in the region, we continue to support initiatives like this one that contribute to the economic vitality of the area and the education of its citizens.”
RCCC established the R3 Center, a career development center in Kannapolis, in 2007 to help adult workers assess their skills, aptitudes, training and academic credentials and future career interests to develop a plan for career growth. The center’s mission is built on three Rs ó a refocus on individual skills and interests, retraining and further education and partnering with other workforce development agencies to secure career-oriented re-employment.
All R3 Center services and programs are offered to clients free of charge.
The community college will use $35,000 of the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation grant during the 2008-09 academic year for scholarships. RCCC will use the remaining $5,000 to fund emergency student needs during the upcoming school year.
Woodson Foundation board member Paul Woodson said in a press release that the foundation is pleased to support “an institution critical to the growth and betterment of our community and its students.”
“It is the foundation’s wish to assist in the education of deserving students,” he said, “and RCCC plays a fundamental role in achieving that goal.”
Based in Salisbury, the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation assists nonprofit organizations in Rowan and Davie counties as they endeavor to enhance the local quality of life. The foundation has supported RCCC with grant funding since 1992.
RCCC officials expressed their gratitude for both grants.
Gaye McConnell, the community college’s vice president of student services, said the Woodson Foundation grant “will help some deserving RCCC students who need assistance. This grant will make a significant and positive impact in their lives.”
Jerry Chandler, RCCC’s interim president, thanked Altria Group for its generosity and support of the R3 Center.
“The R3 Center is meeting a critical need in the community as our local economy transitions from a manufacturing base to one of knowledge and technology,” he said. “The Altria Group grant will help ensure the center’s outreach programs continue.”
The R3 Center offers a number of workshops each month covering such topics as interview techniques, resume writing, job hunting tips, preparing for job loss, personality assessments and career opportunities at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.
The center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.
The R3 Center partners with other workforce development agencies, including the Centralina Workforce Development Board, JobLink Career Centers of Cabarrus and Rowan counties, the N.C. Employment Security Commission and other area community colleges.
For more information about the R3 Center, its services and programs, call 704-216-7201 or visit the center’s Web site at www.rowancabarrus.edu/r3center.For more information on RCCC and its services and programs, log on to the community college’s Web site at www.rowancabarrus.edu.

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