Governor Cooper Highlights NC GROW Free Community College Scholarship Proposal in Ashevilleby GDN Shared Post March 28, 2017
Governor Roy Cooper recently highlighted his proposed NC GROW (Getting Ready for Opportunities in the Workforce) Scholarship to help make North Carolina a Top 10 Educated state by 2025. Starting next year, students who graduated high school with a 2.0 GPA or higher would get free tuition to any NC community college through the NC GROW scholarship. NC GROW would cover last-dollar tuition and fees for students who have used up other financial aid options.
Touring Linamar’s Asheville location with representatives from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech), Governor Cooper also lauded workforce training programs working to ensure students are ready for a 21st century jobs.
“We don’t want cost to be a barrier to good students getting a higher education,” Governor Cooper said. “The NC GROW scholarship is a smart and strategic investment in our people and our state’s economy.”
A-B Tech and Linamar have a strong partnership that shows how community colleges can work with local industry to train North Carolinians for available jobs. Since announcing an Asheville facility in 2011, A-B Tech worked with Linamar to provide training programs through the state’s Customized Training Program. A-B Tech also has various short term 15-week training programs to place students and recent graduates into positions at Linamar. In fiscal year 2015-2016, A-B Tech trained 149 people.
“In my talks with business owners, I hear time and again that they have job openings but can’t find workers with the skills necessary to fill them,” said Governor Cooper. “Making community college more accessible means more of our high school graduates can learn the skills they need to get good paying jobs.”
“Since we started in 2012, we have worked closely with A-B Tech. As we continue to grow and require more technical skills A-B Tech has continued to support our changing needs,” said Jim Jarrell, President and COO of Linamar.
“We all appreciate the interest that Governor Cooper is showing in the significant role we play in training the workforce of North Carolina, including the employees of Linamar,” said Dennis King, President of A-B Tech.
Expanding access to community college will benefit North Carolina’s economy. Since the recession, 95 percent of newly-created jobs have required more education than a high-school diploma. North Carolina’s community college system provides high-quality workforce training that prepares students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
In addition to the NC Grow Scholarship, Governor Cooper’s budget invests $18 million in workforce training, with up to $1,000 in financial assistance available per student to pursue non-credit, short-term workforce credentials.
The Governor’s proposed budget makes other critical investments in education including early childhood education, K-12 schools and higher education, with the goal of making North Carolina a Top 10 Educated State by 2025. His budget also includes an average 10 percent pay raise for teachers over the next two years, an annual school supply stipend of $150 for each classroom teacher, and the Best and Brightest Scholarship to draw talented students into teaching.
Click here to read more about NC GROW.