DANVILLE, Va. -

A nearly $2 million investment into Averett University will help instructors invest more into the future of their students and beyond.

The university is using the grant to create a Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness.

The new center is helping students find internships, ways to volunteer, and service-learning possibilities in the area.

The new department's main focus is getting students ready for jobs, particularly those in the Dan River Region.

This is open to students not only at Averett but at Danville Community College, Piedmont Community College, and within the public schools.

The university is encouraging a deeper relationship with local businesses and industries to allow students to better understand their major.

That allows companies to interact with possible future employees.

"Our faculty is so committed to our students having experience as well when they graduated that they put into our general education requirement an experiential learning component for our students. So the center is only going to provide more partnerships for our students and more opportunities to do just that," said Alexis Ehrhardt, the executive director of the new department.

The university is calling this center a hub for the community to interact with students through academic partnerships.

This is open to all majors and businesses.

The nearly $2 million grant is from the Danville Regional Foundation and will be awarded over five years.