Durham-based LC Industries has stepped forward as the first industry partner in UNC Joining Forces, an initiative that will position the 17-campus University of North Carolina to work more closely with North Carolina businesses and non-profit organizations in support of military-affiliated students.
As the name implies, the UNC system and UNC Joining Forces partners will collaborate to help support and facilitate:
- access to affordable, high-quality education for U.S. service members, veterans and their families;
- greater capacity for science and technology support for the Special Operations community; and
- a thriving military economy in North Carolina.
LC Industries has committed $130,000 to help support the program’s first-year efforts. The nation’s largest employer of people who are blind, LC Industries operates in 14 states, including 8 manufacturing facilities that produce well over 2,000 items. With two distribution centers and 31 retail stores operating on military bases, LC Industries serves all branches of the U.S. armed forces.
In announcing the lead partnership to the UNC Board of Governors, UNC President Tom Ross thanked LC Industries President Bill Hudson for the commitment and underscored its long-term importance. “Partner support for this initiative will enable the University to market our academic programs to military-affiliated students and better meet their needs,” Said Ross. “These are some of our nation’s best students, and as they prepare to transition into the civilian workforce, we want to do our part to keep these smart, experienced, capable people right here in North Carolina.”
Since 2009, the University of North Carolina system has established partnerships with North Carolina-based military commands and created new infrastructure, policies and resources to better serve military partners and military-affiliated students. Through its UNC Partnership for National Security, the University is engaged in a system-wide effort to better support service members, the military community, and North Carolina’s military economy. The Partnership effort has strengthened the University’s culture of support for the military and military-affiliated students through a wide range of activities including education, training, scholarship and research. UNC Joining Forces will build on those efforts.
For more information about the UNC Joining Forces initiative, contact Emily Dickens, UNC Assistant Vice President for Federal Relations at (919) 962-4628.