RALEIGH — SECU Foundation has announced the renewal of its SECU Bridge to Career Program – an initiative that provides scholarships to North Carolina students seeking education and training for vocational careers in today’s workplace. The Program was established in 2018 and strives to remove financial roadblocks for students looking to obtain state-regulated or industry-recognized credentials through their local North Carolina Community College workforce development or continuing education programs. Administered by each college, the SECU Bridge to Career Program focuses on assisting unemployed or underemployed individuals with finding vocational opportunities and securing sustainable wage careers within their local communities.
The SECU Bridge to Career Program is a two-tiered initiative, and offers all fifty-eight North Carolina Community Colleges the opportunity to participate in either the Bridge to Career Cohort or the Workforce Development Scholarships. For the 2019-2020 program year, thirty-seven colleges have selected to take part in the Cohort, which provides up to thirty $500 student scholarships as well as up to $3,000 in funding for the administration of the program through an identified navigator on staff. The twenty-one colleges participating in the Workforce Development Scholarships will receive up to six $500 scholarships for individuals enrolled in a short-term training program that leads to state-regulated or industry-recognized credentials. SECU Foundation’s financial commitment for the renewal of the SECU Bridge to Career Scholarship Program for the 2019-2020 program year is nearly $730,000.
Pat Phillips, Dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education at Davidson County Community College is excited about the program and speaks to the impact the initiative will make for area citizens, saying, “This is an open door for life-changing opportunities in high demand trade industries. With guidance from our industry partners and SECU Foundation’s support of our students’ success, we are excited to see a new generation of confident and skilled tradespeople ready to meet the communities need for their important work.”
“We received positive feedback from the community colleges and local employers that participated in the program for the 2018-2019 pilot year,” remarked Bob Brinson, SECU Foundation Board Chair. “Vocational careers and continuing education courses are two key areas of the educational landscape – the SECU Bridge to Career Program is tailored to promote these areas and fill the gap. We’re excited about the future economic impact this scholarship program can make in the lives of our fellow citizens and our state.”