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My Turn, Cyndie Mynatt: RCCC provides chance to change life through new career

By Cyndie Mynatt

As we all struggle to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking for opportunities to begin anew.

Maybe you suffered a job loss during the pandemic, or perhaps you are just looking for a change or a more secure career path. Whatever your reason, there has never been a better time to get the education and training you need.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College offers a wide spectrum of programs, degrees and certifications in many of today’s most popular career paths. And right now, thanks to government programs designed to assist people as they look for their next move after COVID, students may qualify for scholarships, grants, tuition assistance and other forms of financial aid.

Rowan-Cabarrus recently received $483,000 from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to expand educational opportunities in workforce development programs in hopes of helping people address challenges resulting from the pandemic. The funding provides scholarships to eligible students enrolling in specific, high-demand workforce training programs, including automotive, construction, criminal justice, emergency medical services, fire and emergency services, health care, industrial/manufacturing, information technology and transportation. Scholarship money may be used through September 30, 2022.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s Longleaf Commitment Grant allows eligible 2021 high school graduates to receive grant funds (not a loan) for tuition and fees at a North Carolina community college during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years. Full-time students who qualify are guaranteed to receive $700 to $2,800 per year for two years. Part-time students may be able to receive a partial scholarship.

As a member of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees, I have seen firsthand what a difference this institution makes in the lives of its students. The college’s leadership is intentional about staying abreast of the latest trends in careers and industry needs, offering relevant programs that lead to well-paying jobs of today and tomorrow. As a local business owner, I have also hired many well-trained professionals who received their education at Rowan-Cabarrus.

If you are looking to change your life through a new career, you may have a chance to do it for free if you act now. The window of opportunity for these scholarships won’t last long, but for eligible students who take advantage of them, the benefits can last for a lifetime.

For more information on the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, visit www.rccc.edu/corporatecontinuing/geer-scholarship. For more information on the Longleaf Commitment Grant, contact the Rowan-Cabarrus financial aid office at fin.aid@rccc.edu. For assistance with financial aid or general information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu. To speak with someone at Rowan-Cabarrus for information or assistance, call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

Cindy Mynatt is vice chair and president of Ben Mynatt Pontiac-Buick-GMC and a member of the RCCC Board of Trustees.

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