MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Delegate Saira Blair, R-Berkeley, today announced that Blue Ridge Community and Technical College will receive an additional $500,000 in funding for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Delegate Blair last week proposed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 budget to increase funding for the college in Martinsburg. It received bipartisan support in the House of Delegates and was included in the final budget Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed on Friday.
“Blue Ridge is one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the country, but year after year the school has seen funding cuts,” Delegate Blair said.
In Fiscal Year 2013, Blue Ridge received $5.1 million in state funding, but was slated to receive a little less than $4.5 million for the coming fiscal year. Delegate Blair’s amendment increases that appropriation to nearly $5 million.
“Of our nine community and technical colleges, Blue Ridge has ranked last in terms of funding by full-time enrollment,” Delegate Blair said. “The state average is $4,434 per full-time student, but Blue Ridge has only been receiving a little more than $2,000 per student.”
The school has also entered a 10-year partnership to help train employees at Procter & Gamble’s new Tabler Station facility. Delegate Blair said this funding will help bolster that training program.
“This is the school that is going to be training 700 future employees of Procter & Gamble,” she said. “I wholeheartedly believe this is a worthwhile investment that will provide a great return to our state in the future.”