NSF awards $6.3M to CCCC

The grant will fund a new technology center focused on workforce training and development


Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) will receive $6.3 million from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Advanced Technological Education.

The grant will fund the creation of the Environmental and Natural Resources Technology Center (EARTh) at CCCC. The center will operate as hub both locally and nationally to further workforce training and innovation in environmental technology.

The EARTh Center will cater to a large number of industries, including forestry and natural resources, as well as public safety, water and wastewater control, and renewable energy. These are all industries projected to grow exponentially in the coming years with thousands of jobs being created each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“All of these industries engage and impact our environment in varied ways. Leveraging the resources of the EARTh Center will strengthen our ability to effectively support the rapidly changing workforce needs associated with today's technological advances.” said Lisa Chapman, president of CCCC, in a press release.

EARTh will bring together educators and business leaders to create new instructional materials and methods for environmental industry. An Instructional Design Team and Extended Reality Team will work to develop modern training simulations, while mentoring programs and professional development opportunities will also be offered.

“The deep resources of industry experts and the ability to support curriculum development in these areas will enhance the college’s ability to respond to these important and emerging skills requirements,” said Margaret Roberton, the college’s vice president for workforce development. “We are excited to begin working with the EARTh Center's staff to support students at CCCC seeking to enter these career opportunities and to support the region in responding to skilled workforce demands.”