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EAC receives $51K grant from the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation

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EAC receives $51K grant from the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—The Graham County Community Investment Fund (CIF) was established in 2009 as part of FreeportMcMoRan’s goal to support sustainable benefits for the communities in the areas where they operate. The CIF is administered by a committee comprised of community leaders selected by members of the Graham County Community Partnership Panel. The Panel is a stakeholder engagement group formed by a process established 11 years ago to foster open and ongoing dialogue within the community.

Since 2009, the Graham County Community Investment Fund has invested approximately $3.5 million in locally identified projects affecting change in the following community priority areas: community and economic development, community health and safety, education, and environment.

At an awards ceremony held last week in the Graham County General Services Building, Eastern Arizona College was one of five recipients of the 2016 fund awards—receiving a check for $51,200 in support of the Arizona Regional Advanced Manufacturing Professional Upgrade Project (AZ RAMP UP) at EAC.

The AZ RAMP UP at EAC was put in place to provide vocational training in various high-demand, highly paid occupations for the unemployed, underemployed, displaced workers, incumbent workers, veterans, and other adults. The project targets four occupations: advanced manufacturing, drafting and design, welding, and electrical and instrumentation because they link directly or indirectly with the local mining industry.

The project has included a complete remodel and addition to the College’s existing Industrial Technology Building, which will be ready for classes this fall.

“These additional funds will be used to purchase a critical new piece of welding training equipment for our Industrial Technology Division,” said EAC grants director, Eldon Woodall. “With the REALWELD® Trainer in the welding booth, students can practice Stick, MIG and Flux-Cored arc welding, while receiving audio coaching and weld performance tracking feedback on five key parameters. It’s like having a teacher right in the booth helping to advance every student toward their career goals.”

The check was presented by Sean Wenham, Regional Community Development Manager at FMI-Southern Arizona (pictured here at right) to EAC’s Provost Jeanne Bryce and Dean of Instruction Mike Crockett at the regular meeting of the Graham County Community Partnership Panel. The grant was made by the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. (EAC – Lori Dugan photo).