Thompson Charitable Foundation
In July 2017, the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board was awarded grant funding from the Thompson Charitable Foundation for two new programs: The Small Business Expansion Empowerment (S-BEE) Initiative and the LETS Train (Living Expenses while Training Stipend) Initiative.
Small Business Expansion Empowerment (S-BEE) Initiative
Funded by a 3-year, $300,000 grant from the Thompson Charitable Foundation, the S-BEE Initiative will provide technical assistance and training opportunities to small businesses in Buchanan County and Tazewell County, areas that have been negatively impacted by the downturn in the coal economy.
Note: In July 2017 Virginia Community Capital (VCC) was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Thompson Charitable Foundation to help small business owners expand and diversify markets in Buchanan and Tazewell Counties. VCC will sponsor small business workshops, provide free technical advisory services, and hold 4 small business challenges over a 2-year period. VCC and SWVAWDB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and will partner on these grants, working cooperatively and collaboratively for the first time together.
For more information about the S-BEE Initiative, click here.
LETS Train (Living Expenses while Training Stipend) Initiative
Funded by a 2-year, $100,000 grant from the Thompson Charitable Foundation, the LETS Train Initiative will provide living expenses in the form of a monthly stipend to dislocated coal industry workers in Buchanan and Tazewell Counties who have embarked on a training program.
The LETS Train Initiative will provide $1,200 per month as a minimum subsistence payment that would cover rent/mortgage and utilities for up to 5 months while in training. Eligible applicants must have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits and applied for any available social services assistance, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and Fuel Assistance. Participants would also participate in SWVAWDB’s Financial Empowerment Network to receive counseling and planning in budgeting, credit repair, and savings plans. Recipients of this monthly training stipend are not required to be participants in any of the WIOA programs.
For more information about the LETS Train Initiative, click here.