Skilling the Gap aims to expand the depth of career-oriented learning in Columbia and Greene counties by creating opportunities for educators, nonprofits and employers to learn together and take action. The goal is to provide new and expanded experiential learning opportunities to students that introduce career pathways and foster skills that support a successful transition into the workforce or post-secondary education. Toward this end, Skilling the Gap is intentionally seeking to strengthen existing and new community partnerships that activate the inspiration, resources and relationships of schools, nonprofits and employers who have a shared interest in advancing this goal in Columbia and Greene Counties.

On October 21, 2022, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Columbia-Greene Community College and Columbia Economic Development Corporation partnered to host Skilling the Gap, a half-day forum for employers, schools, community-based organizations and funders to generate new ideas and partnerships for a thriving economy. Read more about the event on our blog.


As one means to activate the ideas and energy to expand career-oriented learning in Columbia and Greene counties, BTCF’s Fund for Columbia County (FCC) and the Dyson Foundation are offering small grants, $2,500 to $5,000, to support the following activities. Proposed projects can include strategies to address underlying transportation challenges as one of several components supported through a grant.

  • Planning activities that bring schools, employers and nonprofits together to develop a new approach or expand a current program.
  • Funding a small pilot program that tests a new model or approach through a community partnership.
  • Expand a current program that has demonstrated early promise to serve more students and/or employers through more robust community partnership.

The Fund for Columbia County anticipates offering larger grants for career-orientated learning in 2023 that may be a source of support to implement new programs or program expansion designed and/or implemented through this round of activation grants.


Proposals are considered from nonprofits, civic entities, schools, and community organizations serving the residents of Columbia and Greene counties that meet the following criteria:

  • In operation as a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status or in an established fiscal sponsorship arrangement with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

Community groups may apply under the fiscal umbrella of a nonprofit organization.

The Fund for Columbia County committee will review applications and make award decisions for Columbia County proposals. A committee with knowledge of Greene County convened by Columbia-Greene Community College will review applications and make award decisions for Greene County proposals.

Neither the Fund for Columbia County nor Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation supports organizations which in their constitution, by-laws or practice discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender/gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until Jan. 15, 2023. Funds must be deployed in 2023.


Email a description of the project and project’s goals, with a summary of the budget, to The application process opens on October 21, 2022.



Interest Area


Grant Amount

Up to $5,000


1/15/2023 - applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

How To Apply

Email a description of the project and project’s goals, with a summary of the budget, to