BOSTON, MA (November 18, 2010) — Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit organization that works to improve career pathways for underserved youth and adults, announced today that it will expand its successful Breaking Through initiative at community colleges in North Carolina through a two-year, $1.9 million grant from The Walmart Foundation.
JFF will assist in developing occupational and technical pathways for the growing number of adult students as well as improve counseling capacity across Breaking Through colleges and their youth-serving community-based partners. Participating colleges intend to enroll at least 1,000 adult students in programs specifically designed to help them advance through college coursework.
The participating colleges are: Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (Hudson, NC); Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, NC); College of the Albemarle (Elizabeth City, NC); Davidson County Community College (Lexington, NC); Durham Technical Community College (Durham, NC); Fayetteville Community College (Fayetteville, NC); and South Piedmont Community College (Polkton, NC).
“These colleges promote student success through a number of innovations, including contextualized curricula to prepare students for career and technical training and comprehensive support services,” said Maria Flynn, a vice president at JFF. “Adult students have unique challenges; families, schedule conflicts with full- or part-time jobs—and many lack the appropriate English and math skills. Our goal is to help colleges respond to the needs of these low-skilled students and keep them on track toward degrees that will earn them higher-paying jobs.”
“The Walmart Foundation is committed to supporting adult learners in their efforts to further their skills and education,” said Margaret McKenna, president of The Walmart Foundation. “We are pleased to support this project, which gives adult learners the skills they need to succeed in the workforce.”
Breaking Through operates at 35 community colleges in 18 states, with state-level community college networks in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Michigan. Over the past year, 75 percent of participants successfully completed their program and entered credit pathways in construction, nursing, nurse’s assistant certification, and manufacturing. Of students who were unemployed prior to starting their career pathway program, 78 percent are now employed.
About Breaking Through
Breaking Through, a multiyear demonstration project, promotes and strengthens the efforts of innovative community colleges across the country to help low-literacy adults prepare for and succeed in occupational and technical degree programs. The goal is to strengthen postsecondary outcomes for low-income adults by focusing on strategies that create more effective pathways through pre-college and degree-level programs.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and The Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and The Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, $467 million of which was donated in the U.S.
About Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future works with our partners to design and drive adoption of education and career pathways leading from college readiness to career advancement for those struggling to succeed in today’s economy.