News Release 08-054-D
Umpqua Community College receives $100,000 Wal-Mart grant for rural economic opportunity
News Release 08-054-D For more information:
Release date: 11/05/08 Bentley Gilbert
For immediate release (541) 440-7747
Winchester — Umpqua Community College was one of only 20 community colleges and technical schools nationwide selected by the American Association of Community Colleges to participate in the Wal-Mart Workforce and Economic Opportunity Initiative.
Each college will receive a total grant of $100,000, $86,000 in cash and $14,000 in technical assistance, to partner with its local workforce development community to improve the community’s economy and people. UCC will use its grant in support for the Southern Oregon Wine Institute.
UCC President Blaine Nisson and local Wal-Mart manager Jeremy Smith will announce the receipt of this grant at a news conference at 10 a.m., Thursday, November 6, at the Roseburg store located at 2125 NW Stewart Parkway. “The focus of this grant is a perfect fit for UCC,” said Nisson. “The College has said from the beginning that the development of a viticulture and enology curriculum, as well as the Southern Oregon Wine Institute, is an economic development initiative as much as an academic one.
“The initial support for the Southern Oregon Wine Institute has been exclusively from the contributions of the Umpqua Valley wine industry and the ‘wine cluster’,” said Nisson. “I’m pleased the work of all of these local people has gotten some national attention in behalf of our Roseburg Wal-Mart store. Rural communities like ours deserve this support of their best efforts.”
The awards were announced in Washington, D.C., following completion of a highly competitive application and evaluation process.
AACC President George R. Boggs expressed particular appreciation for Wal-Mart’s vision in launching an initiative that targets rural communities.
“Wal-Mart is proud to support programs that strengthen communities and provide opportunities so that people can live better,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation.
The Wal-Mart Workforce and Economic Opportunity Initiative is administered by AACC’s Center for Workforce and Economic Development. The Center will provide technical assistance and support through a partnership with the National Center on Education and Economy, www.ncee.edu.
More information about the American Association of Community Colleges can be found at www.aacc.edu/. More information about philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., can be found at www.walmartfoundation.org.