Red Cross donates $218K in Hurricane Florence relief funds to provide free construction classes at Craven CC’s Volt Center


NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – The American Red Cross has funded a $218K grant to Craven Community College (Craven CC) that will be used to provide free training in construction trades that are in high demand after the damage caused by Hurricane Florence.

Training will take place at the Volt Center and include: carpentry, electrical, HVAC, welding, small engine repair, mold remediation, contractor entrepreneur classes, and the North Carolina General Contractors Preparation course.

“As we recover from the extraordinary impacts of Hurricane Florence, we have an urgent need for skilled labor in the construction trades,” said Dr. Ray Staats, Craven CC president. “Thankfully, this grant from the Red Cross will have a real and immediate impact on our recovery and future resilience against the next storm we face.”

Craven CC applied for the grant in September and will begin offering classes at the Volt as early as December.

While all classes are available to the public, a number of specialized classes are also being offered to community partners that include Habitat for Humanity and the Home Builder’s Association of Craven and Pamlico Counties.

“Our students will actually have an opportunity to take free classes and contribute to the community by working on houses alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers,” said Staats. “They’ll learn carpentry and electrical skills by performing work on an actual job site. Partnerships like this make our community stronger now and in the future, while also making our students better prepared for the careers ahead of them.” 

The American Red Cross has awarded approximately $4 million in donated dollars to organizations through its Hurricane Florence Recovery Grants Program to fund community-based recovery services across the Carolina Regions.

These funds have been awarded to established non-profits and faith-based groups to help hurricane-damaged communities address the needs of their most vulnerable residents. 

Craven CC is currently registering students for flexible class schedules that include days, evenings and weekends. For a complete list of available classes, visit

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