A happy person in front of a parked truck
Truck driving will be among the courses that are now free. Other courses include healthcare tech classes and HVAC.

All short-term workforce training is now free

Due to a combination of existing scholarships and new economic relief funding, all workforce training classes through the Division of Continuing Education that are 96+ hours and lead to an industry-recognized credential are now free. These newly free classes are in addition to the already free small business counseling and seminars, as well as the free high school equivalency/GED classes. BCCC now aims to help every student who earns a high school equivalency diploma also earn an industry recognized credential such as nurse aide, pharmacy technician, EMT, NC Firefighter, or CDL truck driver. Two upcoming classes, the Advanced Manufacturing Institute starting on October 26 and Truck Driving starting on October 11, are free to qualifying students, with the next round of classes starting in January 2021.

The new funding comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. These funds are only available until September 30, 2022. Students who have been impacted by COVID-19 qualify for the scholarships, up to a maximum of either $750 per course or the cost of course fees if it exceeds $750. Scholarships help cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies, credentialing tests, transportation, childcare and other components as deemed necessary.

Continuing Education staff will work with students to use this new funding in combination with existing scholarships from Blue Cross Blue Shield, State Employees Credit Union, Golden LEAF Foundation, and the BCCC Foundation along with funding assistance from NCWorks to make sure that all credential programs are free. All current high school students are already eligible to take free classes that lead to a certification through Career & College Promise Workforce Pathways. These include Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technician, Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Truck Driver, Phlebotomy Technician, Nurse Aide and Small Engine Repair. High School Equivalency or GED, as well as English Language Acquisition classes are free as well. The college also offers free small business counseling and free seminars through its Small Business Center.

“We understand that a lot of people who worked in food service and other front-facing positions are having a hard time,” said Stacey Gerard, VP of Continuing Education. “In the past, we’ve worked with students to help them access financial assistance to cover registration and course fees, but some have had to pay out of pocket for uniforms or textbooks, which has been a deal-breaker for a lot of our students. Now with GEER funding, we can confidently say that if you want to earn a credential as a healthcare tech, HVAC tech, CDL driver, income maintenance worker, EMT, firefighter, or work in manufacturing, you can do it for free. Additionally, we will make sure that all of our high school equivalency (GED) students leave with one of these credentials.”

Workforce Training classes that are less than 96 contact hours or do not tied to an industry-recognized credential, as well as personal enrichment classes, are not covered under scholarships.

For more information or to get assistance with questions about our scholarship opportunities, please visit our website at www.beaufortccc.edu/continuing-education or call the Division of Continuing Education office at 252-940-6375.