The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

September 25, 2013

Bridgemont awarded job trainings grant

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) last week announced a $25 million federal grant for Bridgemont Community and Technical College to lead a 10-college, statewide consortium to develop and expand innovative career training for high-skilled, high-wage jobs in West Virginia.

“Modern manufacturing and its workforce stands on a solid foundation of education. I fought for this federal funding because our community colleges are expertly equipped, positioned, flexible, and responsive enough to retool our workforce as new economic opportunities arise,” said Rahall, who was active and vocal in support of Bridgemont’s grant application.

“This grant can help to expand resources for our state’s workforce and establish strategic partnerships focused on one mission, job creation.”

“The awarding of this grant will transform technical education in West Virginia. All 10 community colleges will benefit as funds will be used to enhance academic instruction in energy, manufacturing, information technology, and construction trades. Preparation of the proposal was a team effort for this comprehensive project. The award will make a difference in our ability to provide a highly skilled workforce, thus enhancing the economic development of our state,” said Jo Harris, Bridgemont president.

Bridgemont will use the grant to fund the West Virginia Bridging the Gap Consortium, which includes Mountwest Community and Technical College and New River Community and Technical College, to increase access to community and technical college programs designed to promote high-wage, high skilled jobs in the state.

The consortium plans to serve over 1,300 participants to benefit from growing economic opportunities in industries like advanced manufacturing, transportation, health care, alternative energy, and high technology.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program.