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CCRI receives grant to strengthen employer partnerships program with Delta Dental

November 17, 2022 

Today, Strada Education Network selected the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) to receive a grant through the Strada’s Employer and Community College Partnership Challenge. Strada awarded this $400,000 grant as part of an effort to support innovative collaborations across the country between community colleges and employers in their region. CCRI also will participate in opportunities to learn from other community college and employer partnerships through a community of practice.

CCRI will partner with Delta Dental of Rhode Island to address emergent workforce training needs in the state’s oral healthcare sector. The partnership will also focus on advancing equity-led outcomes for students in the college's accredited Dental Hygiene program. Delta Dental will provide funding to support the renovation of CCRI's Dental Clinic and will award ten Dental Hygiene scholarships annually. These capacity-building supports will help expand the pipeline of highly skilled recruitment talent needed to fill critical gaps in Rhode Island's oral healthcare workforce.

CCRI was one of 10 institutions to receive grants from the Strada Education Network.  Those institutions include Broward College (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Carl Albert State College (Sallisaw, OK), Green River College (Auburn, WA), Honolulu Community College (Honolulu, HI), Ivy Tech Community College (Indianapolis, IN), MiraCosta College (North San Diego County, CA), Pima County Community College (Tucson, AZ), Salt Lake Community College (Salt Lake City, UT), Surry Community College (Dobson, NC), and West Georgia Technical College (La Grange, GA).

“Strada Education Network knows the power of harnessing educational talent with industry leaders, and we are deeply grateful for its support of our Dental Health programs and partnership with Delta Dental. By working in collaboration with Delta Dental, we are providing high-quality education and training for dental professionals to support the current and future labor market needs in Rhode Island,” said CCRI President Meghan Hughes. 

“At Strada, we believe in investing in innovative solutions that deliver results beyond completion,” Strada Education Network President and CEO Stephen Moret said. “Community colleges have long played a critical role by serving the dynamic needs of both learners and employers in their communities. We are thrilled to have the chance to support college leaders and employers who are coming together to provide timely opportunities for learners.”

Strada Education Network created this grant-making initiative as the first step in a strategy to partner with community colleges to support stronger regional economies and communities. This represents Strada’s first major investment in the transformative potential of the community college sector and a recognition that community colleges have a unique capacity to address changing local workforce needs. The initiative aims to improve employment and socioeconomic outcomes after degree or credential completion for students who historically have faced significant barriers to economic mobility.

“Community colleges are engines of opportunity with unique insight into local dynamics and needs,” Strada Impact President Ruth V. Watkins said. “We’re honored to both support and learn from these programs as we work to align measures of success beyond completion with the things that matter most to learners: career mobility and earning potential, meaningful work and the chance to contribute to their communities.”

Strada Education Network is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people take advantage of education and training after high school that helps them secure a good job, do meaningful work, contribute to their communities, and lead a fulfilling life. Strada helps students succeed beyond completion of a certificate or degree through its research, charitable grants, and social impact investments, as well as through the work of Strada-supported nonprofit organizations, CAEL, Education at Work, InsideTrack, and Roadtrip Nation, which directly serve learners and workers. Learn more at stradaeducation.org.

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