CCWA’s regional coordinator for the American Apprenticeship Initiative, Dana Newcomer, recently received the “Rising Star” award during the HIRE Education Conference hosted by Virginia’s Community Colleges. The award is presented annually to “a college-based faculty or staff member with three or less years of workforce development experience” and for “exemplary potential for future contributions to the field.” Newcomer has led the apprenticeship grant program from the U.S. Department of Labor helping to surpass, a year early, the grant’s goal of training 300 registered apprentices She did this by partnering with companies like Rolls-Royce, Philip Morris USA, DuPont, eCMMS, and ITAC. Her work with employers extends to build internal training programs for incumbent employees.
As Newcomer explains, “I love working with our partners, because they are willing and eager to help us develop programs that ensure incumbent workers receive all they need to upskill and advance in their careers – not just in their companies but also in the industry. There is a real need for skilled workers in our region, and with our partnerships and training programs, we are developing a pipeline of qualified applicants that literally meet the requests of the employers.”
Newcomer was also recognized for her extraordinary work to certify job seekers withFastForward and Complete 2021 credentials and connect them to employment with local manufacturing and logistics companies. A few examples of this work include: the development of a logistics technician training program at Fort Lee for service members and their families, a new pilot for high school graduating seniors in Prince George County that culminated in guaranteed job interviews and a signing day event with a local employer, Standard Motor Products and managing a new grant from the Cameron Foundation with a workforce partner, Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia that enhances manufacturing recruitment for industry leaders such as Church & Dwight, Service Center Metals, Gerdau, and Lutron.
In addition to her commitment to employer engagement, creating quality curricula, and enhancing student satisfaction, Newcomer believes strongly in teamwork and values the roles of her colleagues in delivering these programs. We have an amazing team at CCWA and our parent colleges and they have been an integral part of the successes within my programs,” she said. “I couldn’t be more grateful and it feels great to know that they support and believe in me.”
Newcomer is no stranger to the classroom. As an educator, previously working as a high school teacher, she added, “I love getting to know our students, and helping them work towards their career goals and ultimately improving their lives. Many of our students come to CCWA with barriers to higher education and the workforce, but with so much determination. Seeing them succeed is very fulfilling.”
In the Photo:
Wes Smith, CCWA AVP of Workforce Development
Dana Newcomer, CCWA Apprenticeship Coordinator
Elizabeth Creamer, CCWA VP of Workforce Development