Patrick & Henry Community College was recognized this week for creative encouragement of workforce growth and development in the community. Community Colleges of Appalachia honored P&HCC with the Southeastern Workforce Development Award for its partnership in the MHC Startup and Grow programs, a collaboration between P&HCC and MHC Chamber of Commerce, at its annual conference. P&HCC partners with the Chamber to challenge business owners to develop and/or enhance a business plan that can be executed to better serve the residents of Martinsville and Henry County in a variety of ways.
“C-PEG has been offering this tremendously successful entrepreneurial boot camp with Patrick & Henry Community College for 7 years. The program would not be possible without the generosity of the Campbell Family Group, the George Lester II Fund and the Anonymous Fund through the Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia. Over the years, C-PEG has obtained grant funding from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and SOVA Task Force grants. These partners have made it possible for C-PEG to meet the needs of many small businesses with the valuable training but the cash and in-kind resources to ensure these businesses succeed. The collaboration continues to strengthen our local economy through the Startup MHC and Grow MHC programs,” said Chamber president and C-PEG executive director Brenell Thomas.
In the seven years the program has operated, 322 graduates have received $571,824 in cash and in-kind support, which has created 271 jobs.
“MHC Startup and Grow has generated nearly $4.5 million in new capital in our community. More importantly, program graduates have an 87% 2-year success rate compared to the national average of 50% for new businesses to remain open for two years. We are especially proud that graduates represent our diverse community with nearly half representing minority groups and more than half being female – leading to an increase in female and minority owned businesses in our area as well,” said P&HCC president Dr. Greg Hodges.
The Community Colleges of Appalachia (CCA), founded in 1991, is an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges. With nearly 100 members, CCA promotes the creation of relationships that result in mutual advantages among institutions, organizations and individuals engaged or interested in the educational and economic development of the Appalachian region.