Governor Roy Cooper returned to the East Tuesday for a trip focused on education.
Governor Cooper spent the afternoon at Lenoir Community College, where he highlighted his Finish Line Grants program.
The program helps community college students who face unforeseen financial emergencies finish their training.
LCC is the first community college in the state to receive this grant money.
“You guys are being a trailblazer, once again,” Cooper said. “There are people living paycheck to paycheck often trying to work while trying to get an education and unforeseen expense stops them in their tracks.”
The program will leverage up to $7 million in federal funds to help community college students statewide pay for course materials, housing, medical needs, dependent care and more.
“A childcare situation falling through, a big car repair or a medical expense,” Governor Cooper said. “Imagine you had to drop out because of that expense.”
Students may receive a maximum of $1,000 a semester.
LCC is receiving $50,000 to assist at least 50 students.
“It will make students complete,” said Rusty Hunt, the college’s president. “It will enable them to complete what they started. It will ultimately help support them and their families and the jobs they get once they finish our programs.”
Cooper said the goal is to attract good-paying jobs and companies by expanding the pool of skilled workers in the East.
“We want to make sure our students can stay in school and get the training and help they need to have abundant and purposeful lives,” Cooper said.
Community colleges and workforce development boards will collaborate to apply for funding and review requests from students who have completed 75 percent of their degree or more.