October 14, 2020
Today, Bevill State Community College (BSCC) was awarded $1,500,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to provide a range of expanded, accelerated, workforce skill training programs that provide industry-recognized credentials for high-quality, in-demand jobs. This project aligns with area economic development plans, results from comprehensive regional planning and partnerships, and will transform the Hamilton Campus of Bevill State Community College into a Workforce Rapid Training Center.
Existing career tech laboratories will undergo renovations in order to respond quickly to the training needs of the surrounding business and industry. High wage, high demand programs on the Hamilton Campus include Welding, HVAC, Advanced Engineering Design, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Machine Tool Technology, and Electrical Technology. This grant will also allow for scholarships for individuals who have lost jobs or income related to the coal downturn or who are in recovery from substance abuse programs.
“Bevill State Community College is appreciative of the Appalachian Regional Commission and all of our project partners for seeing the value in this important project. This rapid training center expansion will help establish a career pipeline to support local manufacturing industries, will serve to diversify the region’s economy, and will increase post-secondary students’ access to advanced training and completion of industry-recognized certifications,” stated Dr. Chris Cox, BSCC Interim President.
Dr. Leslie Hartley, BSCC Dean of Instruction, said, “We are extremely proud of the longstanding partnership between Bevill State and the Appalachian Regional Commission. With their support, we have been able to expand our programming and more effectively support the workforce training needs in our area. Specifically, this POWER grant will expand welding training on our Hamilton Campus and almost double the capacity to train students and existing industries in the Marion County region. Bevill State is committed to developing the workforce and responding to the area training needs. The grant award is a result of many community partners collaborating on the needs of the area and supporting the concept of a Rapid Training Center on Bevill State’s Hamilton Campus.”
Funding for today’s award was made via the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative to help communities and regions affected 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. Additional support for PROJECT is provided by OTHER FUNDERS.
This is the second POWER Grant awarded to Bevill State Community College totaling over $3 million. To date, ARC has invested over $238 million in 293 projects, touching 353 counties across Appalachia since 2015. More information about ARC’s POWER Initiative is available at www.arc.gov/power.
“I congratulate Bevill State Community College for their POWER award, and commend them on the leadership they have shown in their community,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian Region as they recover from COVID-19 by building and expanding critical infrastructure and creating new economic opportunities through innovative and transformative approaches. Projects like this are getting Appalachia back to work.”
About Bevill State Community College (BSCC)
Bevill State Community College is a public, two-year, "open door" institution, committed to providing comprehensive education and educational support services for people in West Central Alabama and beyond. Bevill State is a member of the Alabama Community College System. Bevill State's four main campuses, and one instructional site, offer university parallel and applied technology educational opportunities to over one-quarter million people in a seven-county area. This service area spans over 4,600 square miles, from the Birmingham city limits to the Mississippi state line.
About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.