11-21-2019 – CCC&TI gets budget boost

Posted on: November 21st, 2019 by admin


November 21, 2019



By Garrett Stell


Nov 21, 2019 12:00 AM


A recent partial budget passed by the North Carolina General Assembly included almost $300,000 in funding for Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, and the college also has received a $480,000 grant from a foundation for a new project to expand workforce development and training programs in pharmaceuticals, the college’s president said.


The budget bill signed into law Nov. 1 did not include the salary increases or capital project funding that college officials hopes to receive, but it did include a provision that allows students enrolled in short-term training and workforce development courses — which include CCC&TI’s popular truck driver and electrical lineman training programs — to count toward state funding equally with students enrolled in curriculum courses, such as English, math and nursing, Dr. Mark Poarch said.


There are 3,721 curriculum students enrolled at CCC&TI this fall, including high school students who take classes at the college and students enrolled at the Watauga campus.


By contrast, the college typically enrolls up to 9,000 students a year in workforce development classes, according to statistics provided by the college. Some of these courses can be completed in as little as seven weeks, allowing the college to graduate multiple classes each semester.


Enrollment numbers are important for CCC&TI because the total number of students enrolled affects the amount allocated by the state each year.


The short-term training and workforce development students represent roughly $277,000 in state funding, Poarch said.


Overall enrollment is also trending up for the college. For the third year in a row, CCC&TI’s summer enrollment has increased, and fall enrollment is at a five-year high.


In other news, the Golden LEAF Foundation awarded a grant for training programs in pharmaceuticals as part of the process that brought BioNutra Inc., an India-based maker of probiotics, vitamins, medicinal foods and dietary supplements, to Lenoir. That grant is awaiting proper documentation from the company before the money can be sent.


BioNutra has said it plans to renovate the 150,000-square-foot former Hammary/Kincaid Furniture at 2464 Norwood St. and make it the company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility. The company plans to invest nearly $8 million and to open in 2020.


The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority has approved a $500,000 grant to help renovate the building, and Caldwell County has offered job-creation incentives of $2,000 for each new full time job created over four years up to 200 jobs, a total of up to $400,000.


Reporter Garrett Stell can be reached at 828-610-8723.

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