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Walmart Foundation Grant Helps Miami Dade College and a Select Group of other Colleges Train Displaced Workers

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Miami, August 26, 2009 - Miami Dade College (MDC) is one of eight community colleges in the country selected to participate in the Walmart Brighter Futures Project. This national demonstration project is designed to assist colleges in meeting the increasing need for training and services for dislocated workers.

The Walmart Brighter Futures Project is funded through a $3.5M grant from the Walmart Foundation to the League for Innovation in the Community College to work with a select group of eight community colleges to develop programs and services to put displaced workers back to work. The resulting programs and services will then serve as a model for other colleges facing the same need to increase their offerings as a result of the economic downturn.

In announcing the grants, League President and CEO, Dr. Gerardo E. de los Santos expressed confidence that the Walmart Brighter Futures project will have a profound and positive impact beyond the eight funded areas. “This project will provide an opportunity for these institutions to try new approaches that will expand the capacity of colleges to serve the needs of displaced workers across the country,” he said.

Each selected college will receive up to $336,500 to provide training and services for displaced workers. The training they will provide will focus on jobs requiring 21st century skills in an effort to provide a promising career and future for the workers. In addition to specific job training, displaced workers will receive career counseling and job acquisition skills such as job searching, résumé writing, and interviewing techniques. Participants will also receive funds for tuition, books, and other expenses associated with continuing their education.

“We are excited to be selected to participate in this project. We appreciate the generosity of the Walmart Foundation and the leadership of the League for Innovation in making this possible. We look forward to working with our national partners and our local business and community partners to help make a difference across the country by putting people back in the workforce and improving the condition of working families in our communities,” added Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, MDC’s president.

“Now more than ever, we are looking for ways to provide opportunities for those who are out of work and facing tough times,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Our recent grant to the League will support people across the country in their efforts to get through this difficult time as well as help assure that workers have the necessary skills for today’s jobs.”

For many years, MDC has collaborated with the League on numerous projects. In fact, Dr. Padrón is a past chairman of the League and participated in the effort to create the important organization. The college has also worked closely with Walmart in the past. Most recently, it joined Walmart and Scholarship America for the Dreamkeepers program that provides students facing severe hardships with emergency funds that allow them to be able to stay in college during difficult times.

About the League for Innovation in the Community College
The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. The League for Innovation hosts conferences and institutes, develops Web resources, conducts research, produces publications, provides services, and leads projects and initiatives with more than 900 member colleges, 160 corporate partners, and a host of other government and nonprofit agencies in a continuing effort to make a positive difference for students and communities. Information about the League for Innovation and its activities is available at

About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit

About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College is the nation’s largest institution of higher education with an enrollment of more than170,000 students. It is also the nation’s top producer of associate in arts and science degrees. The college’s seven campuses and two centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs including several baccalaureate degrees in education, public safety management and nursing, among others. In fact, its academic and workforce training programs have served as national models of excellence. MDC is also renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is home of Miami Book Fair International, Miami International Film Festival, the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, a sculpture park and a large art gallery and theater system. For more information, please visit

Ed. Note: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the legal trade name of the corporation. The name "Walmart," expressed as one word and without punctuation, is a trademark of the company and is used analogously to describe the company and its stores. Use the trade name when it is necessary to identify the legal entity, such as when reporting financial results, litigation or corporate governance.

Students interested in the Walmart Brighter Futures Project can call 305-237-7402.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.