Up & Coming Weekly

March 02, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 14 UCW MARCH 3-9, 2021 A 38-year-old Fayetteville man is the first person to successfully complete a new job-training and job-placement program at Fayetteville Technical Community College called Project Cumberland Grow. Eddie Morris's success in the program led him to a full-time job with Comtech Inc., a supplier of wood trusses. He had interned with Comtech while participating in Project Cumberland Grow. The FTCC-led program began last fall with $296,535 in funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation through its Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work initiative. The funding pro- vided job training and job placement assistance for individuals considered hard to employ, including people who had been previously incarcerated for non-violent crimes, those who had experienced long-term unemployment and young adults aging out of foster care. Morris was one of five graduates of the program's inaugural job-training class. Four students entered the next phase – internships. In December, Morris completed his internship with Comtech, thus com- pleting the program. He was offered a full-time job with Comtech in January. "I liked the hands-on part of the training instead of being in a classroom all day," Morris recalled. "This [program] helped me stabilize myself and become more structured." Prior to joining the program, Morris experienced personal losses. His youngest son died in infancy and his father died last year from complications of COVID-19. Morris turned to alcohol for solace and accrued multiple driving under the inf luence charges. As a student in Project Cumberland Grow, Morris completed required counseling treatment as part of his probation. He said he has made a consci- ous decision to stay sober for himself, his fiancée and his children. FTCC Success Coach Marvin Price Jr., who mentored Morris throughout the program, said Morris saw Project Cumberland Grow as an opportunity to create a new future for his loved ones. "He told me, 'I will not let you down, sir,'" Price said. "Through it all, Mr. Morris demonstrated perseveran- ce, character and a commitment to prove not only to himself, but to those who have supported him along the way, that he was going to finish what he had started. He continued to look onward and upward." In Project Cumberland Grow, FTCC partners with local agencies, employers and nonprofits to identify prospective trainees. Participants work with a success coach and receive ongoing counse- ling during the program's 15 weeks. They also take basic courses in electrical, HVAC, plumbing and carpentry trades. Morris earned a certificate for completing more than 300 hours of basic building construction training, a card indicating completi- on of OSHA 10-hour safety training course and the National Center for Construction Education and Research's (NCCER) Core Credential. "Jobs provide hope, opportunity, and dignity," said Scott T. Hamilton, Golden LEAF President and Chief Executive Officer. "This initiative is a key component in building a skilled workforce to meet the needs of local employers." Seven students are currently enrolled in the program's second cohort, which began Jan. 25. The Golden LEAF funding will support the program for two years and, FTCC plans to sustain the program in the future depending on its outcomes. Fayetteville Technical Community College was established in 1961 and serves over 36,000 students annually with over 280 occupational, technical, general education, college transfer and continuing education programs. The nonprofit Golden LEAF Foundation uses funding from the 1998 settlement with cigarette manufacturers to support economic and workforce development in North Carolina's rural and tobac- co-dependent communities. First graduate of FTCC program for hard-to-employ individuals lands a full-time job a STAFF REPORT COVER FTCC Athletic Director named NJCAA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Region Ambassador a STAFF REPORT Dr. Shannon Yates, the Fayetteville Technical Community College Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, has been selected as a NJCAA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Region Ambassador. In a news release, the National Junior College Athletic Association said "Region Ambassadors will set the foundation for Region Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committees to make an impact on the regional and national level while placing an intentional focus on educating, empowering, and engaging NJCAA student-athletes, coaches, athle- tic directors, and administrators." "I am very excited and honored to represent FTCC and Region 10 as an NJCAA Ambassador for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion," she said. "I look forward to working with this group to promote and advance equality for both student-athletes and staff." Yates, who is in her first year at FTCC, has served in other capacities focused on equality and inclu- sion during her athletic administration career. She provided leadership and support for Title IX and gender equity initiatives while at Southeast Missouri and chaired the Gender Equity and Minority Enhancement NCAA Certification com- mittee while at N.C. State. The NJCAA has selected 39 individuals as Region Ambassadors. "We're excited to expand our EDI members who will bring diverse expertise, insight and energy into furthering our mission," McTiernan said in the release. "The Region Ambassadors are compri- sed of a dedicated team of leaders committed to promote and advance equity, diversity and inclu- sion with an intentional focus to educate, empower and engage our student-athletes, coaches and athletic directors." The Region Ambassadors will join other NJCAA committee members and staff in a training ses- sion with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations. Dr. Shannon Yates is the FTCC Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

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