News Briefs: July 6

July 4, 2014 

Grant to support welding program

Johnston Community College has received $250,000 from the Duke Energy Foundation. JCC will use the money to develop a certificate program in advanced welding.

The two-year project will also address the need for robotic technology by establishing an American Welding Society training center to provide and validate the robotics skill set needed by companies in the region.

“Johnston Community College is so grateful for this significant award from Duke Energy Foundation,” said David N. Johnson, JCC president. “This investment will allow JCC the opportunity to participate in the revitalization of manufacturing in our region by offering advanced robotic welder training, a skill set that is needed in many of our surrounding industries.”

“Our partnership with Johnston Community College develops a highly skilled workforce that will attract and retain businesses in the region for years to come,” said Paul Newton, Duke Energy’s state president in North Carolina.

The grant is part of Duke Energy’s $30 million investment in N.C. community colleges in support of technical education that helps recruit new industries and retain existing ones.

Reading program gets boost

The Partnership for Children of Johnston County has received $9,500 from the Duke Energy Foundation to expand the early-literacy program Reach Out and Read, or ROR.

ROR is a national program that supports doctors in their efforts to “prescribe” reading to young children and families. The Partnership for Children of Johnston County will work with medical practices to promote early literacy and school readiness by giving books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. This includes book sharing, free books for children to keep and waiting rooms full of books and early-literacy materials.

“We are grateful to the Duke Energy Foundation for their investment in this early-literacy program,” said Karen Mills, program manager for the Partnership for Children. “Through this program, many more families will have access to age-appropriate books in their homes, which is proven to prepare children for school success.”

In fiscal 2013-2014, the Partnership’s ROR program served more than 100 children through a grant received from the N.C. Partnership for Children. That effort resulted in a measurable increase in the number of families reporting that they read to their child every day.

“Reach Out and Read is thrilled to be able to expand our partnership with Smart Start in communities across North Carolina,” said Callee Boulware, executive director of Reach Out and Read Carolinas. “The partnership is a natural one; the network of local partnerships helps to support strong, high-quality Reach Out and Read programs in communities, better supporting children and families across the state.”

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