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WILKESBORO — Wilkes Community College has been approved to participate in the 2019-2020 Bridge to Career Cohort Pilot program through the SECU Foundation.

WCC will receive funding for 30 scholarships through the program, each totaling $500, as well as up to $3,000 in funding for a designated college staff member to navigate scholarship recipients through the educational process, from choosing a defined career pathway to class registration and job placement. The approved training programs include HVAC, Certified Production Technician and WCC’s Healthcare Academy.

“We are excited to partner with the SECU Foundation to provide students the opportunity to train or retrain for new careers in areas where we know there are jobs available,” said Chris Robinson, WCC vice president of Workforce Development and Community Education and the Ashe Campus. “It is a tremendous opportunity for students to gain in-demand skills that lead to well-paying jobs and a brighter future.”

The $500 scholarship will cover the full cost of tuition for students, as well as help them pay for supplies and external certifications, Robinson added.

Established in 2018, the program was designed to remove financial barriers for students seeking to obtain state regulated or industry recognized credentials that will lead to a sustainable wage career within their local communities.

“I am so thrilled that the SECU Foundation recognizes the terrific opportunity our short-term training programs offer to people who want to improve their skill set to earn a higher wage in the new economy,” WCC President Jeff Cox said.

Cox added that WCC has dozens of opportunities where students can invest a relatively small amount of time and money to see a significant increase in their earning potential

Recipients must be enrolled in a short-term training program of 96 hours or more that leads to a state-regulated or industry-recognized credential. They also must be a U.S. citizen and North Carolina resident, and be a part of one of the following target groups: unemployed, underemployed, member of the NC National Guard, military veteran or spouse or underserved populations in a specific workforce sector or area.

For more information about the Healthcare Academy, contact Misty Marshburn at (336) 838-6214; HVAC program, Curt Miller at (336) 838-6230; or Certified Production Technician, Chris Bare at (336) 838-6405.

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