By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 18 — On Monday night, the Luray Council approved a one-time donation of $25,000 to the Lord Fairfax Community College Foundation to support scholarships for Luray residents who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For those applicants who qualify, the scholarships will cover 75 percent of tuition — up to $2,000 per Luray resident — for classes provided by LFCC’s Workforce Solutions. The assistance is being set aside for those who lost their job or the main source of a family’s income due to COVID-19. It’s targeted specifically at continuing education, job training and career preparation.
Town Manager Steve Burke estimated on Monday night that the funds could benefit between 50 to 75 local students.
Workforce Solutions offers classes in an array of industries including, but not limited to:
• Business and professional development — customer service, human resources, project management and leadership;
• Computers and technology — business applications, IT certification and CompTIA;
• Healthcare and wellness — healthcare and allied health, medical office, dental, pharmacy and ServSafe Food Safety;
• Industry and manufacturing — mechatronics, occupational safety and industrial technology;
• Trades and apprenticeships — construction and heavy equipment operator training, electrical, HVAC, plumbing/gas fitting and welding,
• Transportation — commercial driver’s license.
The town will be donating funds for the scholarships obtained through the federal CARES Act, which is being handed out to states who then, may or may not, distribute a portion of those funds down to localities. Much like the Commonwealth of Virginia, Page County could have kept its entire CARES allocation, but decided to share it with all three towns.
Virginia received a total of $3.1 billion, with $1.3 earmarked for localities. Page County received a total of nearly $4.2 million in two payments each of $2,085,357. The Town of Luray’s portion — based on its population — will total nearly $850,000. However, all of the funds must be spent by Dec. 31, or they must be returned to the state.
Burke reported to the town council on Monday night that the scholarship program has been vetted through the county and the town attorney to make sure that it meets the qualifications for CARES Act spending. However, final approval rides with the state and federal authorities overseeing the program. Projects and charges that are later deemed to not meet the stringent CARES Act criteria may have to be repaid to the state or federal government.
“The Town of Luray wants its residents to be able to pursue their education and training to pursue a rewarding career,” reads a statement from the town accompanying a press release on the CARES Scholarships. “Act fast, because funds are limited and courses are enrolling as soon as Oct. 1.”
LFCC will be hosting an online informational session about the Town of Luray CARES Scholarship on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 5 p.m. The funds are for Workforce Solutions Career Preparation and/or Enhancement classes taken before June 30, 2021. Applications for the scholarship may be found on the Town of Luray and the LFCC websites, or on Luray’s Facebook page.
For more information, please visit LFCCWorkforce,com/TOL or https://lfccworkforce.com/…/town-of-luray-cares… or https://lfccworkforce.com/funding-options/scholarships/