First and foremost, THANK YOU. Our students, our college, and our region are better because of your support. In the midst of what is an unprecedented global health crisis, our Foundation team has been working around the clock to meet the needs of our college, our students, and our communities.
In late February our leadership received guidance from Governor DeWine that we would possibly have to close the college due to the effects of COVID-19. In the three short weeks that followed Sinclair worked to convert 98% of our courses to an online format and personally called more than 15,000 students to ensure that they were not being adversely impacted. This process lead to us receiving a more than 1,000% increase in the number of student emergency requests. The situations ranged from food insecurity and childcare to immediate health concerns.
Our immediate priority as a foundation turned to meeting this need. Like many foundations we began to formulate a plan to raise “emergency dollars”. However, on March 18 the Federal Government formally passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) allocating millions of emergency student aid for every college in the United States. We worked to immediately pass those dollars through to our students. Simultaneously, our Foundation allocated $50,000 of up-front emergency funding to ensure that any student in a crisis would not fall through the cracks. While there is still quite a bit of work to be done, we are immensely proud of our faculty, staff, and students’ resolve to move through this crisis together.
However, as we turn our eyes towards the future of the COVID-19 pandemic we know that there will be a significant need for workforce development within the region as thousands of displace workers navigate the new normal. This unprecedented time will no doubt present unique challenges.
For those who are interested in supporting the Foundation as we move through this “new normal”, we would ask that you allocate your gift to the RETURN TO WORK FUND. This will provide our college leadership the most flexibility to ensure that our students’ needs are met as we go into the coming weeks.