Unifour Foundation Awards Grant to CVCC for Expansion of Catawba Valley Furniture Academy

Unifour Family Foundation Grants 2015-Furniture Academy & SBC

Pictured (from left) Unifour Foundation board members Nancy Fritz, Chip Huffman and John Francis; Dr. Garrett D. Hinshaw, president of CVCC; Lori Price, CVCC Director of Customized Industry Training; Crystal Glenn, CVCC Executive Director of Workforce Development Innovaion Center.

The Unifour Foundation has awarded Catawba Valley Community College a $50,000 grant to support the critically needed expansion of the Catawba Valley Furniture Academy.

The Catawba Valley Furniture Academy is an industry-driven training program designed in collaboration with local furniture manufacturers to prepare a workforce with industry-specific skills for modern-day furniture manufacturing not currently in supply.

Founding partners who assisted with the curriculum design, instructional support of the program and donations of equipment, materials, and scholarships include Century Furniture, LEE Industries, Lexington Home Brands, Sherrill Furniture, and Vanguard Furniture.   Additional Supporting Partners include Atlantic Packaging, Autoquip Corporation, Bassett Furniture, CR Laine, DUO-Fast, Ethan Allen, Fairfield Chair, Geiger International, Gerber Technology, Haworth Health Environments, HBF, HSM Solutions, Harris Handling, Heritage Home Group, Leggett & Platt, NC Works Career Center Catawba, Snyder Paper, United Sewing, and Wesley Hall.

Since the Academy’s inception in January 2014, 100 percent of students who successfully completed the program have been hired, many prior to graduating, allowing them to work and complete the training simultaneously.

Unifour Foundation grant funds will be used by the Catawba Valley Furniture Academy to assist with the expansion plan of the program, which includes, expanding existing facilities, purchasing modern production equipment and hiring additional instructors to increase the number of graduates. The Academy is only able to train 30 people every six to nine months, falling significantly short of market demand.

“This gift will make a huge impact on our ability to help individuals train for jobs in demand and supply area employers with qualified candidates for those jobs,” said Dr. Garrett D. Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College.

About the Unifour Foundation

The Unifour Foundation was established when the Hickory Merchants Association sold its local credit reporting company to a national company. The proceeds enabled the establishment of the Unifour Foundation, Inc. and for several years funds were managed and administered through a private foundation.

In 1999, the board of the Unifour Foundation, Inc., gifted funds to the NC Community Foundation (NCCF) to establish an endowment – The Unifour Foundation Endowment Fund, which promotes general welfare among citizens in the four counties that comprise the Unifour area: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba.

The Unifour Foundation Endowment awarded more than $218,000 in grants this year and has awarded more than $3 million in grants since its establishment in 1999.   It is held with the Catawba Valley Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation.


About the Catawba Valley Community Foundation:

The Catawba Valley Community Foundation has assets approaching $15 million.  Since 1997, CVCF has distributed more than $6 million in grants and scholarships from 54 endowments under its administration.


About the North Carolina Community Foundation

The NCCF is the single statewide community foundation serving North Carolina and has made $89 million in grants since its inception in 1988. With more than $191 million in assets, NCCF sustains 1,200 endowments established to provide long-term support of a broad range of community needs, nonprofit organizations, institutions and scholarships. The NCCF partners with 60 affiliate foundations to provide local resource allocation and community assistance in 67 counties across the state. An important component of NCCF’s mission is to ensure that rural philanthropy has a voice at local, regional and national levels.

For more information, visit nccommunityfoundation.org and Facebook or follow on Twitter @NCCF.

About Catawba Valley Community College:

CVCC is an accredited comprehensive community college serving Catawba and Alexander counties. Approximately 4,500 students are enrolled in college credit courses and more than 10,000 students are enrolled in short-term, non-credit learning opportunities. It offers programming in Hickory, Newton and Taylorsville and in many community and workplace locations. For more information, visit www.cvcc.edu.

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