Innovation isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of grant writing, but at New Growth Group we see grants as an opportunity for organizations to bring innovative practices and strategies to life. We’ve worked closely with partners to secure funding for new approaches to workforce challenges such as supporting re-entry populations and building interstate partnerships to develop a regional sector strategy. One of the most innovative programs we have written a grant for is the Commercial Truck Driving Technology program at Hinds Community College in Jackson, MS, as part of a TAACCCT grant for the Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Consortium (MRTDL).
The Commercial Truck Driving Technology program is a partnership between Hinds CC and KLLM trucking, which helps build KLLM’s talent pipeline and provides students an opportunity to not only earn their Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL), but with a paid internship and a placement with KLLM as well. KLLM pre-hires students upon enrollment into the program. The program is broken up into three phases. The first is classroom instruction which prepares the students for the written portion of the CDL and includes sessions in tractor simulation labs. Phase two gives students hands-on experience with driving equipment and puts them behind the wheel in both KLLM’s truck driving range and on-the-road training. After the first two phases, students are prepared to get their CDL. Once the student obtains their CDL they can choose to continue on into phase three, which is a paid internship with KLLM. Interns are paired with a certified trainer and gain real world experience for six weeks, while earing over $500 dollars a week. Upon completion of the internship, students are offered a job with KLLM. KLLM also offers a full scholarship to those students who agree to drive for 12 months after their training is completed. The program has been so successful that KLLM is building a hotel that will serve as a dorm for non-local CDL students. The hotel will be staffed and operated with significant support from the college’s new Hospitality program.
Hinds CC is in the final year of the MRTDL TAACCCT grant. New Growth Group are also evaluators for the grant and we can’t wait to see the impact this innovative practice has had for the students. Do you have an innovative practice you want to test? New Growth Group has had $120 million in wins since 2010. Reach out to our Grant Services Manager, Robin King! She can help you think through how to identify and secure the best funding stream for your project.