United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore recently provided Wor-Wic Community College with a $20,000 grant to enable local low-income individuals who meet eligibility requirements to obtain non-credit, continuing education training. Since continuing education courses are not eligible for federal financial aid, United Way is responding to a significant need in the community for unemployed or underemployed residents to receive the job-related training necessary to obtain good jobs. Non-credit continuing education training at Wor-Wic leads to certifications in fields such as allied health, child care, trades and transportation, allowing graduates to obtain employment in the local workforce.
Examples of the types of jobs that scholarship recipients will be able to obtain include Certified Nursing Assistant, EKG Technician, Dental Assistant, Phlebotomist, Childcare Provider, HVAC Technician, Welder and Commercial Truck and Bus Driver. While less expensive than a two or four year college degree, costs for tuition, fees, uniforms and permits associated with these certifications can be thousands of dollars, creating barriers for low-income individuals to receive the education required for a higher-paying jobs.
Dr. Ray Hoy, President of Wor-Wic Community College, shared, “This is a great opportunity for residents of the Lower Eastern Shore to get a specific job skill and certification to qualify for local jobs. A continuing education certification can be earned relatively quickly, enabling residents to join the workforce right away. This partnership with United Way will also help area businesses, industries and organizations meet current workforce demands.”
United Way was able to provide the funds to Wor-Wic as a direct result of a larger grant awarded to the organization from a group of anonymous donors. United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore was one of 75 grant recipients chosen from the national network of 1,400 local United Ways across the country. Grant recipients were selected based on the local United Way’s ability to demonstrate outstanding leadership in the community through addressing issues like poverty with collaborative, impact-driven projects.
United Way’s Executive Director, Kathleen Mommé stated, “It was a blessing to receive this grant, and it was our intention to use these unexpected funds in the most impactful way possible for our local community. We couldn’t think of a better way to achieve this than to work with Wor-Wic in helping local people remove the barriers to getting a job and ensure their future financial stability.”
About United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore:
Now in its 71st year, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore continues to be the largest non-governmental source of funding for 62 critical programs in Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester Counties. United Way helps Eastern Shore residents obtain Educational Success by reducing the achievement gap between low and middle income students, Financial Stability by advancing the economic security of families and individuals in our community, and Good Health by improving access to and awareness of local health and wellness services. In 2015, United Way provided nearly $1.3 million to community programs and helped to change the lives of over 77,000 individuals. For more information, visit www.unitedway4us.org.
Photo Caption – (L-R) United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore’s Kathleen Mommé and Cathie Thomas present a $20,000 check for continuing education training scholarships to Dr. Ray Hoy and Bryan Newton of Wor-Wic Community College.