Hazard Community and Technical College is being awarded a $16,000 grant in 2017 to support entrepreneurial training and activities. Funding is also available to HCTC in 2018 and 2019.
The EntreEd K-14: Every Student, Every Year program is a regional effort to drive entrepreneurship education in Appalachia. The program, funded through a three-year grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) funding, seeks to establish and strengthen relationships between K-12 schools and local community colleges to ensure participating schools deliver entrepreneurship education to every student in the building each school year. Schools that complete this requirement will earn supportive stipends and the school designation as one of “America’s Entrepreneurial Schools.”
HCTC is one of seven colleges to receive the funding through the Appalachian Regional Commission. The grant is designated for Knott, Leslie, Perry, and Breathitt counties.
HCTC President Dr. Jennifer Lindon said the college will work with K-12 districts in getting their commitment to work toward becoming America’s Entrepreneurial Schools. “We appreciate the professional development opportunities that will be provided for our faculty and staff,” she said. This training and support is designed to expose students and community members adversely impacted by coal layoffs to new career paths and the development of new businesses.
“There is no limit to how our region can grow as long as we have the right entrepreneurs in place. We are glad to assist those willing to take an idea and create a viable business,” Dr. Lindon said.
The lead organization for the grant is EntreEd, the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. Project partners include The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), Behavioral Business, LLC, and The EdVenture Group. Behavioral Business and NACCE will play a large role in engaging and organizing the community college partners. The EdVenture Group will deliver professional development workshops focused on entrepreneurship for all participating K-12 schools. Two regional coordinators, Toi Hershman and Melony Denham, will act as liaisons between colleges and schools to strengthen relationships and ensure each school completes entrepreneurship education for every student, every year.
The first meeting of all project partners and the participating community colleges occurred on February 17, in Charleston, WV. This meeting was designed to introduce community college partners to the program and educate them on the expectations of their involvement. The meeting took place at the Advanced Technology Center at BridgeValley Community and Technical College, one of the participating colleges.
“Entrepreneurship education in schools throughout the region will provide more career opportunities for students and encourages a more entrepreneurial culture in communities,” said Gene Coulson, Executive Director of EntreEd.