RALEIGH – A statewide awareness campaign, called “Time for a New YOU,” launched recently for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund that is available for eligible North Carolina community college students. GEER provides $15 million in tuition assistance to students enrolled in short-term workforce training programs in one of North Carolina’s “Great 58” community colleges.

The short-term programs supported by the scholarship are in high-demand fields that will lead to a state or industry-recognized credential. Ten high-demand areas have been identified and are automotive, construction, emergency medical services, healthcare, information technology, aircraft maintenance, criminal justice, fire and rescue services, industrial / manufacturing, and transportation. 

“Our community colleges are strengthening North Carolina’s position in the global marketplace, and we will lead the state’s economic recovery,” said Thomas A. Stith III, president of the N.C. Community College System. “Our community colleges provide affordable and accessible education opportunities and produce graduates who are highly competitive candidates for hire.”

At Haywood Community College, these funds will cover classes in the areas of NIMS machining certification for Pratt and Whitney and other manufacturers, diesel mechanics, basic law enforcement training, detention officer certification, EMT, paramedic, nurse aide, phlebotomy, pharmacy technician, and firefighting.

“Short-term training is a great way to change careers and advance in the current job market. In a few weeks or months, students gain valuable skills that can be immediately put to work in high-demand, high-growth sectors like manufacturing, healthcare, and emergency preparedness,” said Shelley White, president of Haywood Community College. “The GEER Scholarship removes the financial barrier for our community – this is a great opportunity for those who’ve been considering a change but have been concerned about how to pay for classes. Many of our short-term programs are offered on a flexible schedule, including evenings.”

The scholarship awards up to $750, or the cost of the program – whichever is more – and can be used to help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies, credentialing tests, transportation, childcare, and other costs of attendance.

Eligible students must be a N.C. resident and currently enrolled in an eligible continuing education program or course for a minimum of 96 hours.

Questions should be directed to the Haywood Community College Financial Aid Office at 828-627-4756 or hccaid@haywood.edu. For more information on this scholarship, visit TimeForANewYou.org.