Tuscaloosa's Stillman College was awarded a $2.7 million grant from the United States Economic Development Administration that will allow the college to renovate Geneva Hall into a cybersecurity and information technology training center.

According to a press release from the College, the project will establish a cybersecurity and information technology training center, which President Cynthia Warrack said "will be critically important for the continued development of its cybersecurity degree program and recruiting and retaining students for in-demand jobs."

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The release stated the grant "will be matched with $100,000 in state funds and is expected to create 100 jobs, retain 100 jobs, and generate $1 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates."

The center will serve as a training and development hub for community members in Tuscaloosa and West Alabama, where citizens will have access to the center’s courses and resources to earn badges and certificates in IT, cloud computing and other areas.

The center will also create a pipeline to area high schools, where Stillman has dual enrollment programs in cybersecurity and computer science with Birmingham City Schools and the Alabama Aerospace & Aviation High School in Bessemer.

"We recognize that the small liberal arts college has to be a value to our local community and the State of Alabama,” Warrick said. “Workforce development is key, so we’ve developed initiatives to enhance not just our campus and student population, but those underserved in the community."

The release said Geneva Hall's renovation is expected to begin soon and the center will be primarily located on the second floor of the building. The building's HVAC and electricity will be upgraded and an elevator will be installed.

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