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City Launches Skill City Promise Initiative in Partnership with LCCC Elyrians to Receive Free Community College for In-Demand Jobs

Mar 4, 2021

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ELYRIA, OH – Today, the city of Elyria and Lorain County Community College announced the Skill City Promise initiative. 

Skill City Promise is a dynamic, first-of-its-kind partnership between the city of Elyria and Lorain County Community College (LCCC) focused on reskilling and upskilling Elyria residents through short-term certificate programs in business, health care, information technology, computer science and/or development, and manufacturing that include a direct path to a new, in-demand career. 

“The City of Elyria, under the leadership of Mayor Whitfield and City Council, is a front-runner in advancing the economic growth of its community by investing in people to prepare for in-demand jobs and meet employer talent needs,” said LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D.  “Research demonstrates the direct correlation between a skilled workforce and economic growth and prosperity for a community.  It is through progressive partnerships like this that we will accelerate our economic recovery and create a better future for residents.  I applaud Mayor Whitfield and the Elyria City Council for their leadership and entrepreneurial mindset.  We are honored and excited to be their partner.”

To be eligible, participants must be a resident of the city of Elyria proper, have earned a high school diploma or GED, and enroll into a designated short-term certificate program in Spring 2021 or beyond. Elyrians without a diploma who are interested in Skill City Promise must enroll in LCCC’s free Aspire/GED program or 22+ Adult Diploma program first. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Lorain County Community College on this endeavor. Not every community is fortunate enough to have the best community college for student success in the nation in its backyard.” said Mayor Frank Whitfield “We know that when our residents go to LCCC, they’re getting a high-quality education at low cost, and want to ensure that any Elyrian seeking a new skill, credential, or certificate doesn’t experience a barrier to their professional and academic development because of finances.”  

In December 2020, Elyria City Council voted unanimously to allocate $200,000 from the Issue 6 – Economic Development budget to kickstart the program. 

“This initiative is a great avenue for Elyrians – young people and more established residents, to begin a new career during these trying times with the help of the City.” shared Ward 4 Councilman Kenny Oswald. “The community college is a great institution and asset to our city, and I’m confident this program will be a benefit to all.”

At the start of Mayor Whitfield’s term, the city of Elyria adopted a goal of 2,025 Elyrians earning a certificate, credential, and/or degree by the year 2025, a portion of a comprehensive strategy geared toward developing and upskilling the city’s talented workforce to fill in-demand, high-paying jobs of local employers. 

“It’s a win-win-win. Our residents get the skills they need to make a meaningful wage, our business community gets the talent they need to be successful, and the city wins by keeping resources and opportunities in Elyria” said Mayor Frank Whitfield “It’s about investing in our greatest asset, our people. That is how we are going to rebuild our city.” 

The restricted fund will exclusively provide last dollar awards to Elyria residents enrolled in designated short-term certificate/credential programs to fill any tuition gaps other funding sources are unable to cover. Lorain County Community College estimates the average award for the program will be $500, with a goal of training 2,025 Elyria Residents by the year 2025. The total cost of the program is estimated at just over $1 million, and will be raised through grants and donations.

Those interested in helping transform the lives of Elyrians by making a tax-deductible gift to the Elyria Skill City Promise Fund can do so at lcccfoundation.org/give/here.html with the selection of  Elyria “Skill City” Program. 

The Spring semester is underway with additional college programs starting in February and March, and interested applications are being accepted now. To learn more & get started, residents should visit www.cityofelyria.org/skillcity, or www.lorainccc.edu/skillcity

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