PARKERSBURG - Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced Wednesday $25 million in funding from the Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program for the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia.
Ten colleges in the state will receive varying amounts of funding. West Virginia University at Parkersburg will receive $3,022.910.
Manchin said the schools will use the funding to encourage West Virginians to enroll, pursue and graduate from technical programs that lead to high-waged, high-skilled jobs.
"Investing in education programs that will help our students earn good-paying, high-skilled jobs in the manufacturing, energy, information technology and construction fields will only lead to greater success across our great state," Manchin stated in a release.
"I encourage all West Virginians seeking to earn a degree in these industries to seize this great opportunity, which will ultimately help attract businesses, competition and economic prosperity to West Virginia."
The $25 million award is the highest level of funding that can be allocated under the Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Community College and Career Training funding program, Rockefeller said.
It reflects the great work of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System in building a strong network of leaders in industry, labor and academia throughout the state, committed to preparing the state's workforce for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations, Rockefeller stated in a release.
WVU-P Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Rhonda Tracy said the school was delighted with the news.
"WVU at Parkersburg will contribute to the statewide effort through the development of a career pathways model that includes our applied baccalaureate programs. Our college will also be involved in developing retention efforts that are rooted in research and that work across a wide range of student needs," Tracy said.
"West Virginia's community and technical colleges play an important role in building our state's skilled workforce so this award gives them the ability to strengthen and expand targeted degree opportunities for students, including our veterans and American workers who have lost their jobs to foreign trade," said Rockefeller.
"I'm so pleased this investment will support students in our state as they work toward building careers in emerging and growing fields."
"This grant will greatly enhance our community and technical college efforts to address the education and workforce needs of West Virginia," said James Skidmore, chancellor of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education.
"I am appreciative of all the hard work that went into this effort. I want to thank our congressional delegation for their tremendous support of our proposal."
Katie Wootton, spokes-man for WVU-P, said the school will be the leader on offering a pathway to the Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Applied Technology programs for community and technical colleges in the state.