RCCC uses grant to help retrain tobacco industry workers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

KANNAPOLIS ó For a second-consecutive year, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and its R3 Center have received a grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to provide career training assistance to local tobacco workers, their family members and local businesses adversely impacted by changes in the tobacco industry.
RCCC and the R3 Center have received a $30,000 grant to continue work the center started in 2008 from an initial grant of $40,000.
Both grants are part of the Project Skill-UP program of the N.C. Community College System. The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is supporting Project Skill-UP with funding to support workforce development programs at a number of community colleges. The overall objective of Project Skill-UP is to provide assistance for individuals in the tobacco industry, including career exploration activities.
The Kannapolis-based R3 Center is using the $30,000 grant to continue its work of identifying and recruiting persons, family members and businesses in Cabarrus and Rowan counties who are facing negative circumstances caused by significant shifts in the tobacco industry.
The R3 Center will continue to offer workshops on workplace readiness and career development and conduct individual career counseling sessions.
R3 Center counselors are working personally with clients under the grant to assess their need for additional training and/or education. Once clients have developed individual employment plans, they may be eligible to receive grant funding for additional short-term training and education.
The N.C. General Assembly created the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission in 2000 to help members of the tobacco community ó including farmers, tobacco workers and related businesses ó lessen the impact of declining tobacco production. In establishing the commission, legislators recognized the strong role agriculture, tobacco in particular, has played historically in the state’s economy.
Located at 164 Dale Earnhardt Blvd., Kannapolis, the R3 Center is a career development center established by RCCC in 2007 to assist workers who are unemployed or under-employed.
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.
The R3 Center helps adult workers assess and profile their skills, aptitudes, training and academic credentials, and future career interests to develop a plan for career growth. All R3 Center services are offered free of charge.
The R3 Center partners with other workforce development agencies, including the Centralina Workforce Development Board, JobLink Career Centers of Cabarrus and Rowan counties, N.C. Employment Security Commission and other area community colleges.
For more information about the R3 Center and its services and programs, call 704-216-7201 or visit the center’s website at www.rowancabarrus.edu/r3center/.
For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, see the RCCC Web site at www.rowancabarrus.edu.