The American Electric Power Foundation has announced a $50,000 grant to the Carroll County Resource Council to support the Eureka Springs Job Skills Learning Center.
The AEP Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), which serves approximately 119,000 customers in Arkansas. “This is a very timely project that is much needed in Eureka Springs, particularly in light of recent national events,” said Rob Kerby, executive director of the Resource Council. “The Eureka Springs economy is dependent on tourism – given its location in the Ozarks and the beauty and history of the area. However, there is a dramatic need for health care workers. In the off-season, there is significant unemployment. This project will help Eureka Springs meet both challenges.”
The grant satisfies a match requirement for a federal $62,176 Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant as well as boosting the project over the top to meet a $100,000 grant secured by a local business leader. “The Handley Family Foundation is pleased to confirm our commitment to provide matching funds,” said Cathy Handley. Together, the AEP Foundation, USDA and Handley grants provide for the creation of two distance-learning teleconference “Zoom room” classrooms at the Center and a 24-station computer center for job skills students taking online vocational-technical training courses. The grants also provide for a hospital-room mockup for training Certified Nursing Assistants. CNA classes will be offered through North Arkansas College (NAC) in Harrison, accredited through the North Arkansas Partnership for Health Education (NAPHE). The Zoom rooms will enable Eureka Springs students to attend classes offered at NAC without traveling to NAC’s Harrison or Berryville campuses.
The computer center will allow Eureka Springs students to take part in online vocational courses offered nationwide. Jeff Milford, SWEPCO External Affairs Manager in Fayetteville, said, “We are pleased to present this grant to the Carroll County Resource Council on behalf of the AEP Foundation. The council has great partnerships pursuing important workforce development initiatives, and we are proud to support their efforts.” About the Carroll County Resource Council: The Carroll County Resource Council is a community-based coalition serving local non-profit groups, governmental agencies, schools, foundations, churches, police departments and the private sector in Carroll County to find, secure and administer programs to benefit the community.
About the AEP Foundation: The American Electric Power Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area. The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math and the environment and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage. The AEP Foundation is based in Columbus, Ohio.