FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2022
American Rescue Plan-Funded Scholarships Helping RVCC Students
A new Raritan Valley Community College Career Scholarship program is helping students begin their career path through training that is supported by the Hunterdon and Somerset Boards of County Commissioners and funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
A portion of funds received from the ARPA, was allocated to need-based career scholarships for training programs in high-demand industries offered at the Branchburg-based Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC). The scholarships were made possible through recommendations and collaboration between the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB) and the Hunterdon and Somerset County Boards of Commissioners.
The career-training scholarship program began with a request for funding from the GRWDB. As a result of the request, the Boards of Commissioners allocated a total of $50,000 to the RVCC Career Scholarship grant program. Somerset County students received $38,000, and Hunterdon County students obtained $12,000 in grant money.
The funding can be used until the end of 2023.
“Hunterdon County’s partnership with RVCC and the GRWDB is truly paying dividends for students in Hunterdon County,” said Hunterdon County Commissioner Jeff Kuhl, liaison to the GRWDB. “I, along with my colleagues on the board are excited to be able to offer scholarship opportunities to talented students enrolled within in-demand career training programs at Raritan Valley Community College.”
Eleven Somerset County residents and three Hunterdon County residents were accepted into the scholarship program. Fourteen students completed the college’s training for phlebotomy and electrocardiogram (ECG) technicians, both of which are entry points into well-paying healthcare careers. The scholarships pay for the program training costs as well as for related book and exam fees, and as-needed background and liability insurance.
“The scholarships allow breathing room for students who may otherwise be faced with the choice of paying for education or paying for rent or healthcare,” said Joanna Hala, GRWDB board chair. “This effort aligns with the work of the United Way of Northern New Jersey to educate people about our ALICE population – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.”
“Somerset County is committed to providing the education and training our younger residents need to take advantage of the in-demand, good-paying jobs of the future,” said Somerset County Commissioner Deputy Director Doug Singleterry, liaison to the GRWDB. “These eleven Raritan Valley Community College scholarship students are the tip of the iceberg, and I look forward to providing more opportunities for more students in 2023.”
The first cohort of scholarship recipients came from seven Somerset County communities – Basking Ridge, Branchburg, Bridgewater, North Plainfield, Raritan Borough, Somerset and Warren – and three Hunterdon County communities – Annandale, Lebanon and Milford. Recipients ranged in age and life experiences, with some employed, others seeking employment, and some are new Americans. All recipients were excited to venture into a new career.
“The scholarship makes such a huge difference in allowing me to continue my studies and pursue better opportunities,” said Kevin Parsi, a Warren resident who completed his ECG course. “I was recently accepted into the nursing program at RVCC, and this scholarship goes a long way in allowing me to fund my studies as well as living expenses as I continue through this journey.”
Approximately $21,235 of the funds have been used for training and related costs for the first group of scholarship recipients. There is a total of $28,765.25 in funds remaining for eligible applicants who are interested in in-demand training programs at RVCC.
To view Career Training opportunities at Raritan Valley Community College, visit https://www.raritanval.edu/career-training.
To learn more about the RVCC Career Scholarship grant program, email Maryam Sheikh at the Workforce Training Center of RVCC at Maryam.Sheikh@raritanval.edu.
More information about the GRWDB, its program partners and area workforce system services can be found at www.thegrwdb.org.
Weekly text alerts highlight career and job opportunities in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. Text “onestop” to 565-12 to sign up.
The Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB)
The GRWDB oversees $4 million annually in federal-, state- and county-funded career and employment services for businesses and residents in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. In recent years, it has expanded its footprint of services and programs, to ensure that it is connecting job seekers to career-development pathway opportunities around the region.