A $75,000 grant announced by Gov. Robert Bentley will help students in multimedia programs at Calhoun Community College and Athens State University enhance their skills and become more prepared for careers in film and communications fields.
Funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission will enable Calhoun Community College to purchase updated audio and visual recording equipment to train students for careers in writing and producing, computer graphics, camera operation and related fields. The enhanced program is part of the Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur and is a cooperative effort among Calhoun Community College in Decatur and Athens State University in Athens.
“Appalachian Regional Commission funds do so much to benefit Alabama, including this program which will help students gain access into widely popular and rewarding audio and video careers,” Bentley said. “I am so appreciative that these funds are available to help prepare our young people for rewarding careers.”
The equipment is part of an overall enhancement of a plan to develop a premier arts education curriculum in a rapidly growing and high demand field. More than 100 students are expected to enroll annually in the multimedia program, and administrators expect more than 75 percent of the students will obtain employment in the field within six months after achieving certification. Matching funds of $75,000 have been pledged for the project.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama.
“During the past 50 years ARC programs have made a tremendous impact in Alabama through economic development, education and workforce training and infrastructure improvements,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “I greatly value ADECA’s partnership in the ARC process, and I am pleased to have witnessed the benefits of so many of those projects and the differences they have made in some many people’s lives.”
ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. During a period of October 2015 to January 2017 ARC has funded 64 projects in Alabama totaling $11.2 million and resulted in 900 jobs and trained or educated 14,000 students or workers for new or advancement jobs.
Thirty-seven counties in Alabama are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds which could be eliminated under current federal budget proposals.
ADECA also manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.
Bentley notified Dr. James S. Klauber, president of Calhoun Community College, that the grant had been approved.
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