Wake Tech Community College has received a $3.9 million federal grant to train workers for jobs in fast-growing industries, including health care and cybersecurity.
The grant, which is the largest in the school’s history, is from the U.S. Department of Labor’s TechHire program. The initiative is giving $150 million to support 39 public-private partnerships across the country to prepare workers for in-demand jobs.
Wake Tech plans to train at least 450 people for jobs in health care, cybersecurity, manufacturing and financial services through Project SECURE – Supporting and Enhancing CyberSecurity through Upwardly-Mobile Retraining and Education.
The school is partnering with the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, Wake County Economic Development, the city of Raleigh, the Durham Workforce Development Board and local businesses.
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“Project SECURE will strengthen the economy of our region and state by filling in-demand occupations within the information technology sector,” Anthony Caison, vice president of Wake Tech’s Workforce Continuing Education, wrote in an email. “It will eliminate barriers to training in networking and cybersecurity and provide qualified workers for prospective employers.”
Participants will follow one of three program tracks that last four months. The first track will enroll those who have technical skills and work experience but can’t find a job. The second will provide job coaching and training for those who have skills but need on-the-job experience.
The third and largest track will provide training and job preparation to those who lack technical skills and work experience.
Participants who complete the program will receive industry-recognized certifications, Caison said.
Technology firms IBM and HCL are among the companies partnering with Wake Tech to fill job openings. IBM will send 100 of its employees to receive additional training through Project SECURE.
James Sprunt Community College in Duplin County is the only other North Carolina school to receive TechHire money. The college got $4 million and is partnering with Vidant Duplin Hospital and Goshen Medical Center to fill jobs such as nurses’ aides and phlebotomists.
“(This program) will help those who have persistent barriers to employment and will help us get people back into the workforce,” said Lawrence Rouse, president of James Sprunt Community College.
The school partnered with four other colleges to form the North Carolina TechHire Alliance. James Sprunt will focus on health care, Halifax Community College and Alamance Community College will focus on advanced manufacturing, and Vance-Granville Community College will focus on information technology.
Madison Iszler: 919-836-4952; @madisoniszler