The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a $210,000 grant to the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation to support scholarships for Franklin County students in the 2016-17 academic year. The funds will support students participating in Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), which provides up to two years of full-time tuition at no cost to students who meet program requirements.

In addition, Tobacco Commission scholarships will assist students seeking credential training in high-growth employment occupations such as welding and industrial machining.

The 2016-17 grant marks the fifth consecutive year of Tobacco Commission support for Virginia Western students from Franklin County. “The Tobacco Commission has focused on the need to give the young people and dislocated workers of the tobacco region assistance in preparing for a brighter future. We are fortunate to have quality community colleges to work with in this effort,” said State Sen. Frank Ruff, Vice Chairman of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and Chairman of its Education Committee.

The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is a 28-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly. Its mission is the promotion of economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities, using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement. To date, the Commission has awarded 1,913 grants totaling more than $1 billion across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth, and has provided $309 million in indemnification payments to tobacco growers and quota holders.

For information on the Commission’s history, mission, funding programs and recent grant awards, visit www.tic.virginia.gov or call, toll-free, 1-877-807-1086.

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with Virginia Western Community College, raises support for CCAP through a public/private funding partnership. Since 2009, more than 1,500 Roanoke Valley students have participated in the program.

Current public high school seniors interested in CCAP for the 2016-17 academic year should contact their guidance counselor and plan to bring their parents or guardians to an informational session Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Franklin County High School auditorium. The CCAP application period opens Jan. 6, 2016, and closes Feb. 29, 2016. To stay up to date on CCAP news, see www.virginiawestern.edu/ccap.
For more information about CCAP, contact program coordinator Carolyn Payne at (540) 857-7544 or cpayne@virginiawestern.edu.