GTCC RECEIVES $20K GRANT TO ASSIST LOW-INCOME FAMILIES

Funding will support financial classes for students seeking home ownership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MARCH 14, 2016

David Black, market president for Wells Fargo Greater High Point, presented GTCC President Randy Parker with a $20,000 check for the college’s Center for Working Families. (Carla Kucinski/GTCC)

David Black, market president for Wells Fargo Greater High Point, presented GTCC President Randy Parker with a $20,000 check for the college’s Center for Working Families. (Carla Kucinski/GTCC)

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Thanks to a partnership with the United Way of Greater High Point (UWGHP), Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) has received a $20,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to support the Center for Working Families, a program on GTCC’s High Point Campus that assists students from low-income families reach financial stability.

UWGHP requested the grant on GTCC’s behalf after cultivating a partnership this past year.

“These students are seeking to further their careers. They desire jobs above the minimum wage and are not just seeking a hand-out. They need resources to reach their dream of success for their families,” said Bobby Smith, president of UWGHP. “It’s our honor to help the Center for Working Families attain this grant and bring together wrap-around services to their students.”

Mark Harris, dean of the High Point Campus, said it was a natural fit to coordinate efforts with the United Way since the High Point Campus already has existing partnerships with many of the agencies the nonprofit organization supports. Harris said the grant will allow the High Point Campus to reach as many as 3,000 GTCC students.  Recently, the Greensboro-High Point metro area was ranked No. 1 in food hardship, according to a Gallup poll released in 2015 and commissioned by the Food Research and Action Center.

“We’re always looking for agencies to assist our students,” Harris said. “Our ultimate goal is to provide a quality education so our students can graduate, get an outstanding job and be able to support their families. And we want to remove whatever barriers we can for our students’ learning and growing.

“We realize our families are as important as the student. If a student can’t take care of their family, then they’re not going to finish their education.”

The Center for Working Families program began in 2009 to provide financial, educational and employability support services to students to help them move up the economic ladder. The program provides a wide range of services including mental health/substance abuse counseling, financial planning, credit counseling, transportation assistance and access to an on-site food bank. Since its inception, the program has received three awards: Center for Working Families in Excellence in Economic Strengthening of Families from Sigma Kappa Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (2010); College Innovation Award for Promoting Student Success and Economic Security (2011) and Sustaining Innovation Award for Continuing Commitment to Student Success and Economic Security (2012) awarded by MDC.

The $20,000 grant will specifically fund consumer credit counseling, VITA tax services and student support services such as bus passes, gas cards and fees for tests. The High Point Housing Authority and VITA will work on-site at GTCC’s Center for Working Families to assist students.

In addition, the Center for Working Families will host a series of classes to provide tools and resources for students who wish to purchase a home. An orientation session for the Financial Fitness Leading to Home Ownership program will be held for interested students 6-8:30 p.m. March 21, H4 building, room 203, on the High Point Campus, 901 S. Main St., High Point. The series continues in April with additional financial fitness classes. (Please see the schedule below.)

“Families are going to get top-notch, certified counseling so they will learn to manage their finances that will lead to them buying a home in the future,” Harris said. “Hopefully that will coincide with them graduating from GTCC.”

GTCC Financial Fitness Class Schedule – April 2016

Day Date Time Location
Thursday April 7, 2016 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM High Point  H4-Rm 107
Thursday April 14, 2016 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM High Point  H4-Rm 107
Thursday April 21, 2016 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM High Point  H4-Rm 107
Thursday April 28, 2016 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM High Point  H4-Rm 107

For more information about the Financial Fitness Leading to Home Ownership program, call 336-334-4822 ext. 55060.

Guilford Technical Community College is the fourth largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves more than 40,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. Learn more at www.gtcc.edu.

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— Carla Kucinski/GTCC