BayPort announces first ACT Grant winner

Published 4:29 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2023

BayPort Credit Union and HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division recently awarded the $500,000 Accelerating Change Together (ACT) Grant to the Virginia Beach Education Foundation.

The inaugural year’s shared focus on education and workforce development will support the Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ addition of a new two-year, half-day Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Renewable Energy Technologies program. The three-year step-down grant will provide an instant lift in equipment funding necessary for ATC to answer the regional call to build a workforce pipeline for young people to enter the emerging career fields of renewable energy technologies.

“As founding partners, the Contributions Committee is thrilled with the interest the ACT Grant has generated. This grant initiative marks the beginning of an entirely new career pathway for students,” said Nancy Porter, vice president of marketing at BayPort Credit Union and executive director of the BayPort Foundation. “We are investing not just in a public school program but in the future of our region, and we look forward to seeing the impact our ACT Grant will yield.”

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BayPort has a location in Smithfield.

Seventy-two organizations started the inaugural ACT Grant application process, with 27 completed for submission. The Contributions Committee selected the Virginia Beach Education Foundation application “based on its ability to address the specific needs outlined in the 2022 ACT Grant application, including a sound financial investment and an original, innovative and sustainable project plan to impact a target population/community.”

The funded program will work specifically to:

  • Connect Grades 9-12 to solar, offshore wind and electric vehicles trade certificate programs.
  • Replace the Fiber Optic program that was recently retired at the ATC.
  • Partner with the energy employers focused on solar and wind technologies in the region.
  • Frame guidelines from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.