RDP’s Community Investment Program (CIP) helps RDP live out its mission and vision through partnerships with community leaders from local businesses, non-profits, and all levels of government in the communities we serve. As part of our CIP development process, we encourage our partners to consider ways in which Low-Income Persons (LIPs) might benefit from a local investment in the community.
RDP believes that creating quality jobs is an important impact of our NMTC investment, but we know that providing a job is sometimes not enough. Our partners are asked to consider opportunities in their community that compliment jobs by addressing the needs that support LIPs in the categories of workforce training, workforce recruitment, and workforce retention. We allow room for creativity and flexibility of individual communities to make locally-focused recommendations for CIP investments to create a win-win-win for the community, the QALICB (Qualified Active Low-Income Community Business), and RDP through alignment with our vision and mission.
Below are a few great examples of successful CIP programs supported by RDP and our QALICB partners:
Dot Foods, a distribution business in Tennessee, partnered with RDP to fund a Class “A” CDL Training program at the local Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT). The course was held in the evening to accommodate working students. This program was enhanced with an additional incentive the state of Tennessee had in place to obtain postsecondary degrees or certificates for 55% of the residents by 2025. Those who qualified for the program received free tuition with the CIP picking up the remaining funds for miscellaneous items such as liability insurance and student & truck driving fees. As of September 2020, 145 individuals completed the CDL training; 47 were hired by the QALICB and 98 obtained employment elsewhere.
Orthman Manufacturing, a farm equipment manufacturer in Nebraska, partnered with RDP and the local high school and community college to create a workforce development and job training facility. The overall budget was $350,000 of which the CIP funds provided $90,000. The high school utilizes the building for welding classes, the college has adult classes, and local businesses use it for training. This is a multi-use facility which also met the need for a meeting center. The high school instructor has a passion for the courses taught, and he motivated many students to consider careers in the trades.
Trotter Fertilizer, a dry fertilizer terminal from Nebraska, partnered with RDP to provide$100K grant used as the last piece of funding needed for a community greenhouse the Trotter family had significant additional investment toward. The community greenhouse is used by local schools as a learning tool. Students proudly develop a sense of ownership in the fresh produce and flowers they raise; then these products are sold to the community to help offset costs incurred. Flowers are provided to students, teachers, or staff on special occasions, and produce is used in the school cafeterias providing incentive and excitement for the children to eat healthy. Nutritional benefits of the produce is maximized through quick turnaround from harvest to consumption... a win-win for the students and community!
Coastal Growers LLC, a farmer-owned peanut shelling facility in Alabama, partnered with RDP to provide the last link of funding needed for a multi-faceted renovation which included a multi-functional educational space in a community where many students did not have computers or access to the internet. This renovation will provide students of all ages with the technology and tools needed to navigate today's virtual classroom, while providing multifaceted educational opportunities for the performing arts, workforce training through experience helping to run the recording studio, and much more. Another phase to the project is the restoration of a historic landmark considered the cornerstone of this community. These renovations are creating catalytic impact as business return to the community in anticipation of the revitalization already taking hold.
Coca-Cola Bottling UNITED (Tifton, GA) partnered with RDP to provide a $200,000 grant, enabling a regional technical and industrial college to extend scholarship opportunities to low-income residents who wish to pursue good paying careers. The scholarship helps to cover tuition, books, fees, uniforms, tools, and health exams. The remaining funds were invested in new and upgraded equipment that will better prepare students for their careers, including the purchase of a newer commercial truck with industry-standard safety mitigation systems like auto braking and blind-spot detection, features the students will encounter when they work in the industry. “Hear what SRTC President Jim Glass said about the project.”
Bongards Creameries (Humboldt, TN) partnered with RDP to provide $175,000 grant toward workforce development in Gibson County. Funds were allocated to high schools throughout the county to revitalize Vo-tech programs county-wide. Facilities were renovated to accommodate the enhanced programs, state of the art equipment purchased specific to the needs of local industry, and students taught how to use the equipment through customized Vo-tech programs. CTE Directors were on staff to provide top-notch training for the most needed career fields throughout the various communities. Local industries are enthusiastic for the skilled workforce and expanded labor pool that the programs provide. Students are engaged to learn, and excited for the opportunities they have available to help them transition into successful and fulfilling careers. The training grant has allowed Gibson County to further support the growth of their companies, communities, and the future careers of their young adults.
Cascades (Barnwell, SC), a paper products manufacturer, partnered with RDP to provide $101K+ grant toward workforce development in Barnwell County. Area employers have repeatedly identified soft skills training and lack of manufacturing experience as their biggest hiring challenges. The matching funds grant will enable the county's residents to upskill through ManuFirst SC and Microburst training programs through Denmark Technical College at no cost to them. The skills obtained will give unemployed and low-income workers the training they need to get a job, excel in the workplace, and provide a quality life for their families. Additional CIP funding provided the Barnwell Fire Department with thermal imaging cameras, an automated external defibrillator, Jaws of Life, and multi-gas meter eliminating the city's need for a tax increase or borrowed funds.
Nemak, a manufacturer of aluminum automotive parts, partnered with RDP to provide $200K toward workforce development and other initiatives in Sylacauga, AL. $180K provided scholarships through Central Alabama Community College encouraging students who started in dual enrollment to finish their degree and go to work for Nemak. Courses included Machining Industrial Electronics and Automotive Manufacturing. An Alabama state grant supplemented the program to widen access for students who don't meet the Pell Grant guidelines. $20K went to S.A.F.E. (Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement) which coordinates dozens of cradle to grave programs for violence prevention; supporting the Sylacauga community.
Audubon Metals, a manufacturer of Zorba for secondary aluminum alloy die-castings, partnered with RDP to provide $140K toward strengthening workforce development in the Corsicana (TX) region. $53K will help Corsicana High School address equipment and infrastructure needs, enhancing their lab for Industrial Maintenance Tech dual credit certification classes alongside Navarro College. $70K will help Navarro College replace existing equipment to meet the needs of local industry. And $17K will provide "last dollar" scholarships through Navarro College Foundation to help IMT dual credit students cover tuition.