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January 19, 2017
Gov. Bentley announces grant to help Birmingham students pursue entrepreneurial projects

MONTGOMERY— Gov. Robert Bentley has announced a $75,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant to help low-income youth in Jefferson County learn entrepreneurial skills.  

Operation HOPE has designed a program for Birmingham City Schools called Hope Business in a Box Academics to teach entrepreneurship skills and financial education to students. It focuses on young adults ages 16-24 who are not in school or working, are low-income and lack employment options. Students in the classes will learn to write a business plan, manage a budget and other aspects of business. Participants also will have the opportunity to participate in a business pitch event where they will have two minutes to pitch their business ideas.

“By helping out-of-school youth learn to be more financially aware and helping them cultivate ideas for businesses, we can set them up for success,” Bentley said. “This program helps participants learn invaluable skills like managing a budget and pitching business ideas.”

Officials said the program aims to help 984 students become more engaged in their communities and help them develop success-oriented attitudes of innovation, initiative and collaboration.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama along with a wide range of other programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.

“This program is helping Birmingham youth learn skills that will serve them well into the future,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “ADECA is pleased to partner with this program as an investment in Alabama’s youth and economic future.”

The ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. 


Contact: Russell Sellers, Mike Presley

For more information, visit:  http://www.adeca.alabama.gov/