MCC awarded POWER grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission to work with Community Colleges of Appalachia organization
Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, N.C., was awarded a $100,000 POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission on behalf of the Community Colleges of Appalachia (CCA). The purpose of this grant is to answer the challenges created by loss of income in coal impacted communities. The POWER Initiative is a multi-agency, congressionally funded project that is directed at finding federal resources to assist regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal- 2 related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. This consists of a 205,000-square-mile region along the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The grant will allow for the development of a strategic plan to address the community college role in both entrepreneurial training and growth as well as the colleges’ role in addressing the opioid addiction crisis in the Appalachian region. The plan’s focus is on how community colleges will be a resource for their service communities to build jobs and slow economic decline. Colleges will also work with public health officials in combating the opioid crisis, and define how health professions curriculum is training students to identify and treat patients with opioid addictions. The funding allows two CCA colleges from each of the thirteen ARC states to participate in the plan’s development. The goal of the project is to connect workforce development, economic development, public health, and education in a collaborative and community focused partnership to deliver solutions to identified challenges. Mayland Community College will be the pass-through agency for the grant and Dr. John C. Boyd will serve as the project manager for the strategic plan development.
The Community Colleges of Appalachia (www.ccofapp.org ) is a voluntary association of public community colleges serving the common interests of member colleges and their communities through programs and services responsive to the unique cultural, geographic, and economic development challenges facing the region. CCA supports the continued growth and development of member colleges, builds greater awareness among the general public, the higher education community, regional and national funding sources, and others and develops and implements an advancement agenda, reflecting the shared needs of member colleges.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov ) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. ARC’s operating budget is funded by the U.S. Congress.