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Achieving the Dream, a nonprofit organization focused on community college student success, on Tuesday announced the first institutions participating in a new initiative called Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work.

The initiative aims to increase rural colleges’ capacity to provide students with the skills they need to enter the workforce and to connect students to well-paid jobs.

Seven colleges have so far joined the initiative: Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Mass.; Clovis Community College in Clovis, N.M.; Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y.; Halifax Community College in Weldon, N.C.; Louisiana State University-Eunice in Eunice, La., Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Miss.; and Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Cumberland, Ky.

“Achieving the Dream is thrilled to work with these colleges to build a deeper understanding across higher education -- and among policy and funding communities for how rural colleges and their partners can promote the economic mobility of students, particularly as part of our equity work,” Monica Parrish Trent, vice president for network engagement at Achieving the Dream, said in a news release.

The initiative is funded by the Cognizant U.S. Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Community Focus Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation, and Ascendium Education Group.

“Equitable access to skills and real-world work experience is key to connecting students to good jobs, regardless of their ZIP code,” Monique Baptiste, vice president of global philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase, said in a statement.