Fremont Area Community Foundation recently created two new awards to help recent graduates overcome barriers to employment: the Graduation Award and the Ready2Work Award .

The Ready2Work Award is designed to help minimize the impact of barriers by providing a one-time award of $250 to students who recently obtained a certificate, credential, or college degree. To be eligible, students must have received a scholarship from the Fremont Area Community Foundation from 2010 to present, live in West Michigan, and must have earned a degree or higher credential. A copy of the certificate or diploma will be required.

“In 2011 the Community Foundation launched Goal 2025 to help local residents obtain career credentials ranging from trade certificates to college degrees,” said Carla Roberts, FACF President and CEO. “To reach this goal we have partnered with our local school districts, NC RESA, and WE CAN! Newaygo County as well as significantly increased the amount of scholarships for adult students returning to school.”

“What we are discovering is that after people finish their program or graduate, there remain basic barriers to getting employment,” added Lindsay Hager, chair of the FACF Board of Trustees. “The needs vary from having the proper tools or attire for their new trade to purchasing clothing to wear to an interview.”

Former scholarship recipients who have achieved their higher education goals but do not live in West Michigan are eligible to apply only for the $50 Graduation Award. Applications for the Ready2Work Award and Graduation Award can be completed online.

“We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates,” said Roberts. “The completion of a skilled trade program, certificate program, or college degree is a tremendous investment in oneself. These awards will also allow the Community Foundation to learn about barriers graduates face as they enter the workforce as well as allow us to collect data on the impact of our scholarship program as our county works together to reach Goal 2025.”

More information about both awards can be found here.