Haywood Community College


Contacts: Debra M. Davis, Diana S. Conard

185 Freedlander Drive

Clyde, NC 28721

828-627-4521 Fax: 828-627-4513

Date: 10-20-05

For immediate release.

HCC Receives 1.69 Million Dollar Grant from U.S. Department of Labor

U. S. Department of Labor announced yesterday that Haywood Community College is the recipient of a Community-Based Job Training Grant. The total amount is for $1,696,974. Dr. Mike Germano, Vice President of Academic Services, led the way in writing the grant with help from Doug Staiger and his natural resources staff. Dr. Greg Rutherford also contributed by soliciting support from community partnering agencies. Out of 388 applications only 70 community colleges in 40 states received awards. HCC is the only one in North Carolina.

The targeted industry in the proposal is the NC forest industry, including forestry, forest products manufacturing, and wilderness-related tourism and recreation.

The grant money will be used to update equipment in the natural resources department, to fund 7 additional positions, to develop 45 internet courses, and to take five existing HCC degree programs online.

Dr. Germano said, "This capacity grant enables Haywood Community College to bring its five natural resources degree programs to a 21st century state-of-the-art industry standard and to address the needs of local industry. The college needs to expand its infrastructure in forestry, horticulture, pulp and paper technology, fish and wildlife technology, and GIS/GPS (geographic information systems/global positioning systems) technology. This grant allows us to do that and prepare forest industry workers and enable existing forest industry workers to upgrade their skills for forestry industry careers on-line or in traditional classes on campus."

Vital support for the project comes from community partners which include the Haywood County Economic Development Commission, Haywood County Schools, Southern Forestry Foundation, USDA Forest Service, NC Division of Forest Resources, Southern Appalachian Multiple-Use Council, and Blue Ridge Paper Products, Inc.

The project is named the WNC Forestry Industry Training Initiative and will be directed by Doug Staiger, HCC Division Chair for Natural Resources.