Danville has been awarded a $339,600 state grant to launch a new program to boost community training and employment efforts that will move low-income individuals out of poverty.
The name of the program is “SCALE UP,” which stands for “Success Credentialing Assistance Leading to Employment and Upending Poverty.” Danville Community College (DCC) will administer the program in partnership with the City of Danville’s Division of Social Services and the Danville office of the Virginia Employment Commission.
“SCALE UP provides participants intensive programming that will provide hard and soft skills training to bridge the skills gap and overcome barriers to self-sufficiency,” George Still, director of institutional planning, effectiveness and research at DCC, said Thursday.
Still said the curricula will target both at-risk youth and adult learners. For at-risk youth, the goal will be to provide academic year and summer programing to high school juniors and seniors in order to improve their college readiness and entry-level skills in fields such as information technology, health care and precision machining.
For adults, programming will focus on four-month and 10-month training programs. The four-month options include programs such as phlebotomy, industrial maintenance, basic welding, and pharmacy technician. The 10-month options include programs in automotive, culinary arts, welding, precision machining, dental assisting, cosmetology, network technology and basic programming.
“Any individual would have a choice of any program in our curriculum, but these options are the ones that we know will provide them with in-demand skills for a high wage job,” Still said.
Still said DCC will hire a recruiter, a support specialist who will function as a success coach, and a job and career placement coach. These positions are expected to be filled by Aug. 1.
Adult participants in the SCALE UP program could begin classes at the start of the fall semester on Aug. 21 or take advantage of programs starting on a rolling basis throughout the year.
The grant also will provide “last-dollar assistance” for tuition and other expenses and ensure the programs will continue even if enrollment is low.
“If only six students enroll, the program will still run,” Still said. “SCALE UP is really a guaranteed training program that students can know will be there when they walk through the door.”
The Virginia Department of Social Services awarded the grant from its Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF, funds.
"I am pleased that the City and DCC was awarded this grant that will help people experiencing economic hardship to get the skills they need to be in a career that will help them and their families move into the middle class and have a brighter future,” City Manager Ken Larking said.
For more information on the available programs of study, visit www.danville.edu.