Workforce Board Lehigh Valley unveils grant to help ‘near completers’ finish degrees

Written by on July 9, 2021

Workforce Board Lehigh Valley unveils grant to help ‘near completers’ finish degrees

By Hayden Mitman

July 9, 2021

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels

Students who saw their educational careers sidelined by COVID-19 are getting some help from the state. 

Listen to the story.

Workforce Board Lehigh Valley is using a $1.6 million grant to help hundreds of  “near completers,” students close to graduation, finish their degrees.

The pandemic threw a wrench into many people’s plans, ended careers, and simply made schooling too difficult for many people to juggle, according to Nancy Dischinat, executive director of Workforce Board Lehigh Valley.

She says traditional scholarships aren’t enough for many people seeking to complete a college degree or get job training.

“They might need some transportation to get to the training. They might need support services,” she says.

The funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry  is intended for those who lost jobs amid the pandemic. 

It’s part of a statewide program announced last month. Taking a “holistic approach,” it can cover more than tuition.

“What do you really need to make sure we can mitigate any of the barriers you have that are keeping you from getting this,” Dischinat says. 

Grants range from $7000 to $12,000 based on need and will support more than 200 students at Northampton and Lehigh Carbon community colleges. 

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