UNCF President and CEO Michael L. Lomax Joins Claflin, Benedict, and Voorhees to Announce $6 Million Grant to Improve Job Outcomes

Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and chief executive officer, will provide details of the Career Pathways Initiative that selected Claflin University, Benedict College and Voorhees College to receive a cluster grant of $6 million to improve student employment outcomes at a press conference on Thursday, February 16 at 2 p.m. at Benedict College in the David H. Swinton Campus Center Ballroom on 1616 Oak Street, Columbia, S.C.

To watch the live press conference, tune in to Claflin University’s Facebook page.

Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president at Claflin University; Dr. David H. Swinton, president at Benedict College; and Dr. W. Franklin Evans, president of Voorhees College will also attend the press conference to highlight their institution’s plans for the unprecedented award funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.
UNCF allocated a $6 million grant to the Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Program: Claflin University ($3.3 million), Benedict College ($1.5 million), and Voorhees College ($1.2 million). A portion of the Claflin University grant ($1.8 million) will operate a State Coordinating Office to direct and monitor all of the activities of the awarded institutions.

“This is our collaborative response to America’s need for talent and our graduates desire to be competitive in obtaining high-paying 21st Century jobs,” said Tisdale. “Through the work of the program we will leverage the capacity of our partner institutions and implement innovative strategies designed to nurture the talent of the students on our campuses as well as recent graduates and help make the story of the workforce of the 21st Century one of increased diversity and inclusion.”

“This is a particularly exciting adventure for us as both a proud HBCU and a major provider of higher education in our community,” said Dr. Swinton. “This grant will enhance our technology and ability to transform our student scholars into career-oriented professionals who will be true powers for good in our society. We are thrilled to be able to take part in this ground-breaking initiative that will catapult students into meaningful careers and graduate school opportunities in our technology-driven global economy.”
“Voorhees College is delighted to have received funding that will enable us to move our students from college to successful careers,” said Dr. Evans. “We are proud of the long relationship we have forged with UNCF and are elated to have been selected for this opportunity. This grant provides us with additional resources to prepare our students to be competitive in this global society.”
UNCF launched CPI in December 2015 through a rigorous and competitive multi-phased grant process that targeted 87 eligible public and private HBCUs and PBIs. In the first phase, UNCF made planning grants to 30 institutions. In the final phase, UNCF chose 24 colleges and universities for implementation grants. Of those schools, 15 institutions received individual awards ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million. Nine of the institutions (including Claflin, Benedict and Voorhees) were selected for three cluster grants, in which each cluster of three institutions will collaborate intentionally to achieve their shared outcomes.