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ASCC receives incentive grant

DEMOPOLIS &8212; With the aid of $200,000 in grant funds, the Alabama Southern Community College Demopolis campus may soon be able to significantly expand its course offerings to accommodate the needs of the businesses and industries in the area.

According to Alabama Southern president Angelia Mance, who wrote the grant proposal, the funds will be used to support a career tech and entrepreneurial center project between the City of Demopolis, the Delta Regional Authority and the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission.

The incentive funds are part of a recent meeting of the Alabama Public School and College Education Incentive Fund Council, where the organization awarded over $47 million in grants to K-12, Alabama Community College System institutions, universities and public libraries. The maximum amount for the grant for each institution was $250,000. Therefore Alabama Southern&8217;s proposal was almost fully funded.

The next step in securing the funds is to conduct a needs

assessment, Mance said. Once they are able to meet with business and industry leaders in the area, they can begin to focus on which programs and courses will most benefit the community.

Mance said some of the suggestions so far have already included a pulp and paper course load, welding and industrial maintenance. With all of these programs, Mance said a two-year graduate can look to earn upwards of $40,000 a year right out of the program.

Although the announcement of the grant funds is only in the preliminary stages of the process, Mance also said this is just the beginning of forming partnerships with the Alabama Career Center and other organizations to better equip their students for the workplace environment of West Alabama.