GA Partnership for Excellence in Education names Fall 2017 College Access Grant Winners

Six Chambers of Commerce will use funds to encourage post-secondary education

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, mcardoza(at), 404-223-2464
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October 4, 2017 – The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education today selected six chambers of commerce as winners of the Fall 2017 College Access Grant. These $3,000 mini-grants to local chambers of commerce are granted to leverage their visibility, voice, and influence in efforts to recruit more high school graduates – especially low-income – to enroll in college, and encourage more adults to return to college.

“We know from research that 60% of job postings today require at least an associate’s degree,” said Dr. Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership. “We are excited to see how these six chambers of commerce use these grant funds to encourage high school students and adults to further their education. Successfully completing high school and some form of post-secondary education will benefit individuals and their families. These individual benefits then add to the health of the communities in which they live and ultimately accrue benefits across the state.”

Fall 2017 College Access Grant Winners
• Carroll County Chamber of Commerce
• Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
• Lee County Chamber of Commerce
• Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce
• Roberta-Crawford County Chamber of Commerce
• Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce

Examples of how previous chamber of commerce grant winners used funds include:

• facilitated a College Education Matters event for high school students, adults, and veterans who would benefit from continuing their education.
• funded CNA certification exams for technical college students who could then pursue further education in nursing.
• brought local students pursuing post-secondary education back to town to speak with high school upperclassmen about continuing their education.
• organized a 9th grade pinning ceremony, a college visit for upperclassmen, a High School Career Day, and guest speakers events.

“The College Access Grant was the perfect source for assisting Carroll County in reaching the underserved populations who are needing an extra push to return to school,” shared Donna Armstrong-Lackey, senior vice president of the Carroll County Chamber. “Our previous award allowed us to introduce many local and area resources to help them return to school, and in turn, gain valuable skills to be productive additions to our labor force.”

Karen Rackley, president/CEO of the Sylvester-Worth Chamber of Commerce added, “The Sylvester-Worth County Chamber understands the importance of an educated community and the impact that education has on Economic Development. We are continuously working to find ways to support our school system. We feel the College Access Grant allows us a great opportunity to partner with our school system and gives us one more tool in our toolbox to help achieve success.”

The application for the Spring 2018 College Access Grant will be available soon.