Big Stone Gap, Va. – Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) was awarded $15,000 today to help provide educational opportunities for military veterans in the region. The gifts are being made through the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Energy.
MECC President Dr. Kristen Westover and MECC Foundation Interim Director Bonnie Elosser received the donations Tuesday at Dominion Energy’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (VCHEC) in St. Paul, Va.
“Mountain Empire Community College is extremely grateful to Dominion Energy for this generous gift that will support veterans in expanding their education and training needs,” said Dr. Kristen Westover, MECC President. “The timing of this gift also coincides with the unveiling of the new Virginia Community College System Veteran’s Education and Career Exploration Portal (VECEP), an online portal designed to assist students in aligning prior learning and military educational background with college credit to help them complete a college certificate or degree.”
MECC was among three community colleges in the region chosen to receive such a grant, which will benefit educational and career training initiatives aimed at helping current and former military service members reenter the civilian workforce.
Bill Murray, Dominion’s vice president of state & electric public policy, and Mark Kuhn, director of power generation at VCHEC, presented the checks to the MECC representatives at a small ceremony held at the power station.
“Our veterans have faithfully served our nation, and this is another way Dominion Energy can show its thanks and appreciation. These men and women have returned from military service and are now integrating themselves into civilian life. We’re proud to be a part of helping veterans in Southwest Virginia achieve their academic and career goals,” noted Dominion’s Kuhn.
Specifically, MECC plans to use the donation to help with scholarships and other services to support veterans in their education and career training endeavors. The community college’s chapter of Student Veterans of America provides peer support and mentoring for veterans and their families.
MECC is greatly appreciative of the efforts Dominion Energy has made to support veterans in our communities. As a founding partner of the national Troops to Energy Jobs program, the company actively helps military members find rewarding careers in the energy industry. Currently, one in five new hires at Dominion Energy is a veteran, and about 11 percent of the company’s more than 16,000 employees are veterans.
Mountain Empire Community College is a comprehensive two-year college serving residents of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson Counties, and the City of Norton. For more information on MECC and the college’s degree programs, visit www.mecc.edu or call 276.523.2400.