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Technology incubator receives $200,000 to boost IT workforce > Columbia Business Report

Technology incubator receives $200,000 to boost IT workforce > Columbia Business Report

A grant from Truist Financial Corp. will fund scholarships and training at the University of South Carolina Columbia Technology Incubator.

The $200,000 grant goes through the Truist Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund at The Winston-Salem Foundation. It is intended to support the future information technology workforce in South Carolina, according to a news release.

The USC Columbia Technology Incubator’s mission is to help innovative individuals and businesses grow through education, mentoring and an established sense of community in the downtown incubation facility that serves entrepreneurs in the Midlands.

“We are grateful for Truist’s generous contribution and commitment to supporting workforce development in South Carolina,” Chad Hardaway, the USC Columbia Technology Incubator executive director, said in the release. “This grant will play a key role in bolstering the state’s employee workforce by providing more South Carolinians the opportunity to further their education and ultimately become qualified to fill the in-demand jobs throughout the state.”

The grant is intended to provide opportunities for career advancement and have a ripple effect — helping individuals expand their skillsets, providing stability for families, and enriching communities, Mike Brenan, S.C. regional president for Truist, said in the release.

The goal is to distribute 300 scholarships of $500 that will lead to a training certification or credential for South Carolina residents, with a particular focus on minority applicants.

“The board and I are proud of the USC Columbia Technology Incubator’s record of always stepping in to serve the most pressing needs of our region,” USC Columbia Technology Incubator board chairman Bill Kirkland said in the release. “Thank you to our friends at Truist for their generous support. This grant advances the incubator’s leadership role in developing a higher-skilled workforce of the future as well as continuing to serve the entrepreneurial community.”

The USC Columbia Technology Incubator will promote the availability of Future Workforce Scholarships for those interested in entering or advancing in IT or other related career paths, the release said. The grants will provide necessary reskilling or upskilling for people affected by shifts in employment due to COVID-19 or other economic circumstances, the release said.

The USC Columbia Technology Incubator will use the funding to complement or add to existing scholarship programs through the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, the S.C. Technical College System and other community partners.

“This grant provides opportunities for career advancement and has a ripple effect – it helps individuals expand their skillsets, provides stability for families, and enriches communities,” Brenan said in the release. “At Truist, our purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities, and we’re proud to support the USC Columbia Technology Incubator and the opportunities it will help create for South Carolinians throughout the Midlands.”

The USC Columbia Technology Incubator is a nonprofit corporation sponsored by USC, city of Columbia, Lexington County, Richland County, and other community partners.

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.