Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) is one of 12 community colleges in the country selected to participate in the Walmart Brighter Futures 2.0 Project, which is supported by a $3.5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to the League for Innovation in the Community College (League).
The project aims to provide low-income adults and older youth the skills necessary to obtain middle-skill jobs, enabling them to become financially self-sufficient. In addition, the project is modeled to provide participants with the confidence they need to know they’ve acquired the skills employers want, which will empower them to document those skills and communicate them effectively to employers.
Through the project, each selected community college will receive up to $233,333 to provide training and services for the targeted individuals that will qualify them for middle-skill positions in the workforce. The training will focus on jobs requiring 21st century skills in an effort to provide a promising career future. In addition to specific job training, individuals will receive career counseling and job acquisition skills such as job search, résumé writing and interviewing techniques.
Dr. Dawn Lindsay, president of AACC, said, “We are excited to be selected to participate in this project. We appreciate the generosity of the Walmart Foundation and the leadership of the League for Innovation in making this work possible. We look forward to working with our national partners and our local business and community partners to help make a difference across the country by helping lower-income individuals prepare for middle-skill jobs. This effort underscores part of our mission to improve the condition of working families in our communities through the power of education and training.”
Over the next 2.5 years, the League will work with this select group of 12 community colleges across the U.S. to help these institutions develop programs and services to move low-income, low-skill individuals into middle-skill jobs. The League will disseminate the best practices from the project to other community colleges throughout the country.
In addition to AACC, other colleges funded were Central Piedmont Community College (North Carolina), Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio), Delta College (Michigan); El Centro College, the Dallas County Community College District (Texas); Kirkwood Community College (Iowa); Maricopa Community Colleges (AZ); Miami Dade College (FL); Moraine Valley Community College (Illinois); Santa Fe College (Florida); Seattle Community Colleges (Washington); and, Sinclair Community College (Ohio).
In announcing the grants, League President and CEO, Dr. Gerardo E. de los Santos, expressed confidence that the Walmart Brighter Futures project will have a profound and positive impact beyond the 12 colleges. “As with an earlier project funded by the Walmart Foundation, Brighter Futures 2.0 will lead to best practices that will expand the capacity of community colleges to enhance middle-skill job training opportunities. The League will be delighted to share the work of the 12 colleges with colleges around the country,” said de los Santos.
“The Walmart Foundation supports programs that provide people with ways to improve their lives through skills training, job readiness, job placement and support services,” said Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation. “We are proud to continue our work with the League for Innovation and expect to help 9,000 workers gain the skills they need for today’s job market through this continued effort.”