Charlottesville, Virginia – December 21, 2015 – The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation’s Governing Board is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2015 grants: Strengthening Systems, a new initiative that supports programs that strengthen the formal and non-formal systems that are the fabric of our community or that help individuals or community groups access those systems; and Enriching Communities, a grant that supports the wide range of activities and services that make the Charlottesville area a vibrant, caring, and fun place to live. The Foundation was able to award its 2015 grants through the generous support of donors and an annual contribution to its discretionary grantmaking from Dorothy Batten.

The Strengthening Systems grant program has made provisional awards of over $440,000 to three community groups over a three year period. The recipients are: Piedmont Virginia Community College, Louisa County Resource Council, and Charlottesville Works Initiative. President of the
Community Foundation Anne Scott stated, “Our local nonprofits mobilize a rich array of activities and uphold the underlying systems that keep our community strong. Without them, we could not fulfill our mission of improving quality of life for our community.” The grant awarded to Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) will allow PVCC to work with the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) to align curriculum, engage stakeholders, and design a career pathway in the high-growth field of cybersecurity so that students can obtain middle skill jobs.

The process will serve as a model for developing career pathways in other industry sectors. PVCC President Frank Friedman stated, “Through the creation of community career pathways, the grant provided by the Community Foundation will make a significant impact on the Career and Technical Education training opportunities for students in our local education system. The pathways will provide seamless transitions from K-12 education to post-secondary education to high-quality employment and provide access to prosperity for more residents in our community. ”

The Louisa County Resource Council grant will be directed to the University of Virginia Center for Survey Research which will design and conduct a household based survey to map food insecurity in Louisa County. The results of that research will be used with key stakeholders to redesign support services to more thoroughly and efficiently serve disadvantaged residents who need assistance.

Charlottesville Works Initiative will refine a pilot program that supports low-income job seekers on a pathway to obtain and retain a sustainable wage job, build the capacity of organizations implementing it, and ultimately scale up the program to reach an estimated 200 people. Ridge Schuyler, Director of the Charlottesville Works Initiative stated that, “The Strengthening Systems grant will allow us to help our neighbors, mostly single women, realize their potential and alter the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their children. Among our first in the Charlottesville Works program was a single mother, working in the cafeteria at UVA Hospital. She served nurses every day at the cafeteria, and wanted some day to move to the other side of the counter as a nurse herself. Charlottesville Works helped this mother to move that four feet, from one side of the counter to the other, to transition to a career ladder position in nursing at UVA Hospital, where her value is recognized.”

The Enriching Communities grant program will award $374,200 to 57 organizations to continue providing high quality services and activities to our community, help them better meet their mission, try a new approach in their program delivery, or address emerging community issues. Please see the complete list of awarded organizations below.

More details about each of these programs and our 2016 grant opportunities can be found on www.cacfonline.org/apply.