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Funding to Help Shine Spotlight on Alcohol’s Career Consequences

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has awarded $15,000 to Pennsylvania College of Technology for ongoing prevention and education efforts regarding underage drinking and the employment consequences of alcohol violations.

“The overall goal of grant-related efforts continues to be to reduce underage, excessive or otherwise dangerous consumption of alcohol and the harm that can result,” said Mort Neely, coordinator of student outreach services at Penn College. “This year, our focus will be to heighten student awareness of the potential negative impact to employability and earning potential in an effort to inspire a greater degree of personal responsibility among students who choose to use alcohol.”

Two significant consistencies were noted during the 2008-09 academic year, he said. These were related to student perception of personal responsibility for legal consequences resulting from underage possession/consumption and student appreciation for the potential negative impact such legal consequences can have on employability and earning potential.

“The vast majority of students attributed their legal involvement due to underage consumption/possession to “˜bad luck’ and likewise responded with surprise when informed that a charge of underage possession/consumption could show up on a pre-employment background check,” Neely said.

Additionally, he said, many students communicated a mistaken belief that the charge of underage possession/consumption automatically would be removed from their record after a certain age (typically 21) or after a certain period of time (such as five years).

“Clarification of these issues almost always resulted in student expression of greater regret for the conduct that resulted in their legal involvement,” Neely added.

The funding is part of the $903,522 in grants allocated to 72 organizations throughout the state 32 of them colleges and universities to support initiatives aimed at preventing underage and dangerous drinking. Since 1999, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has awarded $4.5 million to 246 such groups across Pennsylvania.

The college annually offers a variety of related programs, including simulated traffic fatalities, “beer goggles” to replicate (and hopefully discourage) impaired driving, enlightening speakers on the life-altering upshot of irresponsible alcohol usage and a “mocktail” competition among School of Hospitality students who concoct nonalcoholic beverages for a social in the Bush Campus Center.

For more information about the college, visit online , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

For more information about grant-funding opportunities, faculty and staff may contact the Grants and Contracts Office at ext. 7562 or through its Web portal.

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