MCC Co-Recipient of $5 Million U.S Department of Labor Grant

Continuing Education Partners Workforce Development

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $5 million grant to a consortium of North Carolina community colleges called “Aligning the Workforce and Education System for Manufacturing” also known as AWESM. Spearheaded by Forsyth Technical Community College, Montgomery Community College joins Alamance, Davidson County, Guilford Technical, Randolph, Rockingham and Surry community colleges to build the capacity to meet labor market demand for a skilled workforce.

MCC’s welding facilities are state-of-the-art; welding is one of the critical industries to be supported by the Department of Labor grant funding.

“This grant gives us increased capacity to involve area employers and develop the workforce they are trying to attract,” said Andrew Gardner, MCC’s Dean of Continuing Education, the division which oversees the College’s workforce development initiatives. “We intend to use these funds to increase the breadth and depth of employer engagement, and better support work-based learning opportunities and alternative learning options for our job seeker participants.”

The $5 million North Carolina grant is a portion of $40 million in Strengthening Community College Training Grants made possible by the agency. The Department of Labor believes the grants will play an important role in helping workers reskill quickly with industry-recognized credentials and accelerated pathways to degrees. The grants are among the range of actions the Department is taking to aid American workers and employers as the U.S. combats the coronavirus pandemic.

MCC’s portion of the $5 million North Carolina grant is $300,000. The four-year program will assist in training the local workforce and build a pipeline of workers in critical industries such as healthcare, machining, industrial systems and welding. MCC will work to address the skill development needs of local employers and to support workers in gaining skills and transitioning quickly from unemployment to employment. MCC will also collaborate with workforce development system partners such as Regional Partnership, NCWorks, and employer partners such as Jordan Lumber, Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway, Arauco, AmeriQual Aseptic, Troy Lumber, Mohawk Industries and KM Machine to train a broad spectrum of job seekers, including dislocated workers, incumbent workers and new entrants to the workforce. Other area employers who would like to take advantage of this program can contact Andrew Gardner at 910-898-9670. The grant also builds MCC’s capacity to address challenges associated with the pandemic, such as expanding online and technology-enabled learning. 

Montgomery County residents interested in training programs funded by this grant can reach the MCC Career Center at 910-898-9669. Appointments can be made virtually or in person, whatever is most comfortable for the customer. MCC is committed to ensuring that all Career Center services are designed to assist and support job seekers as they progress toward economic self-sufficiency, as well as promote business and industry strategies that result in an available and skilled workforce.