Bevill State Community College has received a $1.5 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for the Rapid Training Center expansion project.
The grant was one of 51 projects that received a total of $43.3 million of grants from ARC. The grants span projects across Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities and will create or help retain more than 3,300 jobs across the region. Bevill State’s grant was the only grant awarded in Alabama.
“Communities impacted by the downturn of coal have been doubly impacted by the effects of COVID-19-related measures on their local economies. It is more important than ever to support resilient Appalachian communities in their economic recovery, and this round of POWER grantees are developing innovative and transformative approaches to benefit the region,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas.
These POWER — Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization — awards were made possible by a congressionally-funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been impacted by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.
Bevill’s project will provide a range of expanded and accelerated workforce training programs, as well as help to renovate and expand an existing facility on the college’s Hamilton campus.
The project is also set to create the Rapid Training Center, which will enable the college to respond quickly to changing workforce needs of local businesses and industries. The center will build a competitive workforce with employees that have skill sets that can be used in advanced manufacturing and other in-demand jobs.
The grant will also specifically support the expansion of the welding and HVAC programs, for which there is considerable demand for trained workers in the area, to reach 135 students and 40 worker trainees.