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 Walmart Foundation - Workforce and Economic Opportunity Initiative 

The Walmart Workforce and Economic Opportunity Initiative was a two-year, $2.5 million initiative sponsored by the Walmart Foundation. The initiative was administered by the American Association of Community Colleges Center for Workforce and Economic Development (the Center) in collaboration with the National Center on Education and the Economy. The purpose was to develop regional approaches to adult and postsecondary education, workforce, and economic development. Twenty colleges received $100,000 in funding and technical assistance for 2 years.

The aims of this program were to:

  • Improve leadership capacity of rural and remote college partnerships in response to regional labor market needs
  • Increase the number of community colleges coordinating education, workforce, and economic development to support regional growth
  • Strengthen accountability
  • Raise recognition of, and support for, education and workforce development as economic development tools

Concerns that were addressed by the initiative included:

  • Limited access to educational programs and/or services
  • Legislative or administrative policies, process, or rules that hinder alignment of agendas
  • Under-funded institutions
  • Business that doesn't see the value of worker education or doesn't know how to pay for it
  • Adult and secondary education largely disconnected from public policies and entities promoting regional economic development

The 20 awardee colleges were:

  • Yavapai College, AZ
  • Arkansas Northeastern Community College, AR
  • College of the Siskiyous, CA
  • San Diego Community College District, CA
  • Lamar Community College, CO
  • Brevard Community College, FL
  • Miami Dade College, FL
  • Kankakee Community College, IL
  • Henderson Community College, KY
  • Cape Cod Community College, MA
  • Mesabi Range Community and Technical College, MN
  • Northeast Community College, NE
  • Cumberland County College, NJ
  • Umpqua Community College, OR
  • Technical College of the Lowcountry, SC
  • Western Texas College, TX
  • Northern Virginia Community College, VA
  • Clover Park Technical College, WA
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, WI
  • Casper College, WY

Download the full press release announcing the awardees of the Initiative (PDF)

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