Upskill Program Receives Grant from Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced approval of a grant in the amount of $149,596 to the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech) for the UpSkill 2.0 Reentry, Recovery, Work program.

The grant will further UpSkill’s mission to link people in recovery and students to employment opportunities. Upskill provides participants with reentry services, certified peer support, alcohol and drug recovery services, job, apprentice, or work-based learning placement, skills training or credentials, and emergency support funds. Upskill also provides employers with a skilled and ready workforce and coaching on second-chance hiring and retention practices.

“A-B Tech is pleased to know that with this award, funding for personnel within the UpSkill program is assured for the next two years,” said Deborah Wright, Vice President, Economic and Workforce Development and Continuing Education. “UpSkill Coordinator Philip Cooper is building an amazing, high-impact program, and his networking is crucial to providing participants with the supports they need to succeed.”

Using A-B Tech resources, UpSkill will serve 180 workers/trainees and 60 students throughout the life cycle of the grant. In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $154,456, bringing the total project funding to $304,052.

A-B Tech’s UpSkill program also won the Community Colleges of Appalachia Workforce Development Award last fall in recognition of its impact in Buncombe and Madison counties.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia and help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. More information is available at ARC's website.

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