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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2008 > NOVA to receive $86,000 Wal-Mart Foundation grant to improve economic opportunity

Press Releases

NOVA to receive $86,000 Wal-Mart Foundation grant to improve economic opportunity

October 17, 2008

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is one of only 20 colleges and technical schools nationwide selected by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to participate in the Wal-Mart Workforce and Economic Opportunity Initiative. Each college will receive an $86,000 grant to partner with its local workforce development community to improve the community’s economic prosperity and help people live better.

The award recipients were announced Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C., following completion of a highly competitive application and evaluation process.

“We are honored that our workforce development efforts have been recognized by the Wal-Mart Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges,” NOVA President Robert G. Templin Jr. said. “This grant will allow us to continue providing local employers with trained workers, while giving more than 100 people the skills they need to improve their earnings and become self-sufficient.”

NOVA will use the grant for the American Dream Team initiative which aims to help the growing population of low-income, legally documented, limited English-speaking adults increase their earnings through employment-focused English as a Second Language (ESL) programs that lead directly to new careers or to affordable career training and college education.

NOVA’s American Dream Team initiative connects ESL participants with career opportunities in a large-scale delivery system that is not currently available in Northern Virginia. This unique delivery system includes candidate referral relationships serving approximately 20,000 participants, including NOVA’s ESL programs, church-based ESOL programs and Workforce Investment Act one-stop job centers; novel employment-focused ESL programs, including a new job readiness curriculum; site sponsors such as churches, employers and the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce; and a network of career advancement partners and affordable job training programs at NOVA and such nonprofits as Northern Virginia Family Services’ Training Futures Program.

AACC President George R. Boggs expressed particular appreciation for Wal-Mart’s vision in launching an initiative that targets many isolated, rural communities. When operational, programs will serve as models for the more than 800 rural institutions comprising two-thirds of AACC’s close to 1,200 college membership.

“We congratulate these colleges and look forward to the initiative’s impact to revitalize communities and regions,” Boggs said. “With Wal-Mart’s support, this network of pilot projects will provide innovative and sustainable partnerships that expand the capacity of community colleges to spur economic growth.”

“Wal-Mart is proud to support programs that strengthen communities and provide opportunities so that people can live better,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “Wal-Mart’s partnership with AACC identifies institutions committed to enhancing the economic development of local communities by encouraging local businesses, higher education and community organizations to work together to improve their community’s level of competition, especially in the current economy.”

The 19 additional winners are: Yavapai College (Ariz.), Arkansas Northeastern Community College (Ark.), College of the Siskiyous (Calif.), San Diego Community College District (Calif.), Lamar Community College (Colo.), Brevard Community College (Fla.), Miami Dade College (Fla.), Kankakee Community College (Ill.), Henderson Community College (Ky.), Cape Cod Community College (Mass.), Mesabi Range Community and Technical College (Minn.), Northeast Community College (Neb.), Cumberland County College (N.J.), Umpqua Community College (Ore.), Technical College of the Lowcountry (S.C.), Western Texas College (Texas), Clover Park Technical College (Wash.), Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (Wis.) and Casper College (Wyo.).

The Wal-Mart Workforce and Economic Opportunity Initiative is administered by AACC’s Center for Workforce and Economic Development. The Center will provide technical assistance and support through a partnership with the National Center on Education and the Economy (www.ncee.org).

For more information about the Wal-Mart Workforce and Economic Opportunity Initiative and the programs of the 20 winners, visit the AACC Web site at www.aacc.nche.edu.

To learn more about NOVA’s American Dream Team program, call Deborah Rosen at 703-323-3154.

About Northern Virginia Community College
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. More information is available at www.nvcc.edu.

About the American Association of Community Colleges
Located in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Community Colleges is a national organization representing the nation’s close to 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges. Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing sector of higher education and enroll almost half (46 percent) of all U.S. undergraduates. For more information, visit www.aacc.nche.edu.

About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Wal-Mart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Wal-Mart Foundation supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in education, job skills training, sustainability and health. In 2007, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit http://foundation.walmart.com/.

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site, www.nvcc.edu.