MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Marion County School District has received more than $367,000 in grant money to contribute to their adult education programs.
The Marion County Healthcare Foundation is contributing the approximate $367,440 grant, which is a part of their strategic planning goals for 2016, according to executive director Mary Dunbar.
Three needs designated for Marion County are education, economic development and funding for health care.
"We are the only funding game in town, so because there's a great need there I think there's a great way to track all the things we are going to be able to impact with the dollars we put into the community," said Dunbar.
Dunbar is behind where those dollars will go. The project will allow the merger of the current Marion County Adult Education building off Liberty Street with the Academy of Careers and Technology building.
Dr. Dan Strickland, superintendent of Marion County School, said this will be a one-stop shop for training, specialized courses and degree completion, which will hopefully bring in more career opportunities and businesses to Marion County.
"What I'd like to see is that we work together with the community at large, with the school leaders, to educate our folks, get these kids educated and get them to work," said Dunbar.
The non-profit healthcare foundation began in 2010. Since then, according to Dunbar, they have given $5.5 million to Marion County. Of that total, $1.1 million is from this year alone.
"With that you'll see improvement in economic development, you'll see improvement in healthcare, but really, education is really the first real step to make all of these things happen," Dunbar added.
The foundation just started a new scholarship program this year to help students attend Franics Marion University, Florence Darlington Tech and the adult program at the Academy for Careers and Technology.
The adult students should be able to start class in the Academy for Careers and Technology building in fall 2016.