Like many colleges across the country, Miami Dade College (MDC) experienced a disruption in its daily operations and mission due to the coronavirus, with enrollment declining by 19.5% in the fall of 2020. While that represents a hardship for students whose college careers have been derailed, a pullback in education also has a ripple effect in local communities and businesses that need skilled, educated workers.
But MDC is taking steps to ensure its students still receive opportunities to learn, grow and acquire the tools they need to achieve success. One effort includes retraining unemployed workers for jobs in growing fields such as digital marketing, graphic design, network security, emergency technical services, help desk support and translation and interpretation. In addition to a college-credit curriculum, MDC offers courses that award students a wide range of industry certifications.
Bank of America is providing a $1 million grant to Miami Dade College to support this type of job reskilling in the local community. This funding is part of the bank’s $25 million commitment to enhance job skills for Black and Hispanic/Latino students, one of the key objectives of the bank’s $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. “Miami Dade College gratefully joins hands with Bank of America to provide equitable opportunities for students to attain skills and degrees, with the ultimate goal of preparing them for in-demand jobs,” says Dr. Malou Harrison, provost at MDC.
Bank of America’s support will help MDC students learn new skills for high-demand careers. The grant will cover tuition, fees and books, as well as provide modest stipends. And the program extends beyond the courses themselves, providing test prep support for credentialing exams and job placement assistance for graduates. This combination of teaching, practical learning experiences and holistic support services, Harrison says, “will contribute to driving economic and social mobility in our community.”