RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC) is accepting applications for its student loan repayment program, known as the Talent Attraction Program (TAP).
TAP was created to encourage recent graduates to live in parts of southern and southwest Virginia and work in targeted, hard-to-fill occupations in the Tobacco Region by providing up to $12,000 annually in student loan repayment with a two-year commitment.
Loan repayment awards may be renewed for another two years if eligible with a maximum award of $48,000.
The TAP program requires that recipients have specific, desired credentials, contribute meaningfully to their communities through civic engagement, and work in occupations for which there is currently a workforce shortage.
To be eligible for the TAP program, recipients must:
- Have graduated (or will graduate) between Mar. 15, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2021, with a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education, public or private, in-state or out-of-state
- Be able to legally work in the U.S.
- Reside within the Tobacco Region during the 24-month period of employment in which the award is made:
- Become significantly civically engaged in their community by volunteering with local non-profit or government activities, such as the United Way, Ruritan Club, Junior League, PTA, citizen committee for local government, local fire/EMS, food banks, youth sports coach, etc., with a total annual engagement of at least 50 hours of work.
- Have qualifying educational loans
- Begin full-time employment in Southwest or Southern Virginia within six months of the award letter or graduation, whichever is later, and work for 24 months in one of the following occupations in the tobacco region:
- Public School Teacher in Science, Math, Technology/Computer Science, or Career and Technical Education (Grades 6-12)
- Public School Special Education Teacher (K-12)
- Speech Language Pathologist
- Physical Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Industrial or Electrical Engineer
- Information Security, Network, or Computer Systems Analyst
The application deadline for the TRRC TAP program is April 30.
Priority will be given to graduates who are from Tobacco Region localities and to those whose permanent residence was in the Tobacco Region for at least 12 months prior to attending college.
Full details can be found on TRCC’s website.