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CCWA’s Fall Schedule: Now Available

CCWA’s Fall Schedule: Now Available

This fall, we invite you to unlock opportunities to gain new skills or move toward a new career path. Our September-December schedule of classes is packed full of courses designed to prepare students with the tools to propel forward, into a secure and confident future in the midst of today’s uncertainty.

With many courses adjusted to accommodate the health and safety of all students via online format and some small, in-person class options, there has never been a better time to pursue your next level of potential, on your own time. Explore our certifications and professional development courses and get started today.

Click here for our schedule of classes (PDF) or visit our online registration for more information.


The preview above shows the first 15 pages of our catalog.  Download/view the complete catalog here (PDF).

Getting Virginia’s Unemployed Back to Work 

Getting Virginia’s Unemployed Back to Work 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect life on a global and local scale, many of our region’s workers have suffered impacts in their employment status or earnings—in fact, in Virginia, newly filed unemployment claims neared 800,000 last month. The Community College Workforce Alliance is proud to be part of a new initiative formed to help get Virginians back to work.

The Virginia Ready Initiative is a privately funded, business supported program focused on helping Virginia’s unemployed gain the skills for in-demand occupations in high-growth industries. Often, this may involve retraining or career switching from industries that are stagnant right now to those that are growing jobs and hiring—including computer and cyber, health care and manufacturing/skilled trades.

Virginia Ready participants receive a $1,000 Credential Achievement Award upon finishing selected credential courses through the FastForward credential program, which reports that job applicants with workforce credentials are twice as likely to be hired than applicants with no credentials. Plus, FastForward covers two-thirds of tuition for its workforce training and certifications—and with CCWA, additional financial aid is available to cover even more costs.  (Financial aid will not disqualify students from receiving the $1,000 award).

Courses currently offered through CCWA that are part of the VA Ready program include:

  • Health Care
    • Medical Coding
    • Certified Nurse Aide
    • Clinical Medical Assistant
    • Pharmacy Technician
    • EMT
  • Manufacturing and Trades
    • Commercial Driver’s License
    • HVAC
    • Electrical

CCWA is working to add to its schedule more FastForward classes that qualify for Virginia Ready benefits.

Anyone who is currently unemployed can qualify for Virginia Ready when they enroll in a FastForward training course that began on or after August 1, 2020. Sign up for a CCWA course and then enroll in the VA Ready program.

Read the recent Virginia Ready article on the Richmond Times Dispatch website. 

Talley Workforce Center is Now Open – CCWA Returns to Chester

Talley Workforce Center is Now Open – CCWA Returns to Chester

CCWA, with its partners at John Tyler Community College, are pleased to announce the opening of the William H. Talley, III Center for Workforce Development at the Chester campus. In addition to CCWA staff offices, the center houses several new classrooms and learning spaces, including two digital labs and a state-of-the-art flex lab for developing technical skills in a hands-on environment. Offering a variety of courses in the areas of manufacturing, logistics, trades, information technology, customer service and more, training and credential programs at this location will begin next month.

A spacious event and meeting space was also renovated as part of the center’s construction, creating a modern, flexible facility that can accommodate groups large and small.

This new advanced building allows CCWA to offer greater educational opportunities for businesses and jobseekers in the Tri-Cities and surrounding counties and expands CCWA’s ability to provide training, credentialing and career development solutions.

CCWA continues to offer training programs and services at John Tyler’s Midlothian campus and the Downtown, Goochland and Parham Roads campuses of Reynolds Community College.

Read more about the Talley Workforce Center grand opening. https://jtcc.edu/about/news/10796?fbclid=IwAR0flH2ZlO0t_1dJmAZyeafVDVFQmMx8nHnQjFKh_yoRLlaucJhRBjaVJRY

Creating New Pathways to Construction Industry Careers

Creating New Pathways to Construction Industry Careers

~ VCCS Grant will Support Regional Training Programs~

CCWA is creating new ways to connect job seekers and employers with support of the recently announced Fast Forward Workforce Training Grant from Virginia’s Community Colleges. CCWA was awarded $160,135 to build a new heavy equipment program utilizing The National Center for Construction Education and Research  (NCCER) credentials. The program created by Lord Fairfax, Germanna, and Blue Ridge community colleges, will include construction basics and train participants using construction industry simulators. Partnering with local employers for job openings, CCWA will engage industry and align curriculum to this job sector.

Elizabeth Creamer, CCWA’s Vice President of Workforce Development and Credential Attainment, explained, “The new Fast Forward program improvement grant will allow CCWA to ramp up outreach and recruiting for manufacturing, logistics and trades classes, and thus increase the region’s pipeline of credentialed workers for occupations in industries much in need of new sources of skilled talent.”  CCWA plans to launch the program in 2020 with customized curriculum in response to demand from regional and local construction companies and quarries.

Read the recent release from Virginia’s Community Colleges:
http://www.vccs.edu/newsroom-articles/virginias-community-colleges-investment-expands-training-opportunities-for-job-seekers/

In-Demand Across the Region – Certified Manufacturing Technicians

In-Demand Across the Region – Certified Manufacturing Technicians


What is a Manufacturing Technician Level 1 Certification?

The Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certification program was developed to meet the growing employment demands of the manufacturing industry. The MT1 program addresses the core industry-wide skills standards required for skilled production occupations in all sectors of manufacturing.  The core competency areas certified are: (1) Math and Measurement, (2) Spatial Reasoning and Manufacturing Technology, and (3) Quality and Business Acumen.

The purpose of the MT1 certification program is to document individuals’ mastery of the critical competencies required for modern manufacturing production and production-related occupations.  The goals of the MT1 certification program are to:

  • Develop a workforce pipeline capable of meeting the requirements of existing and emerging employers in advanced technology industries such as manufacturing,
  • Provide a customized fast track pathway to stackable credentials for 21st Century advanced technology careers in industry,
  • Provide online and instructor-led training to address identified technical skill gaps, and
  • Provide a pathway to advanced level training and specialized training based on industry requirements for potential new hires and incumbent workers.

More on MT1

An MT1 operates precision machinery, systems and processes. Typical skills expected in these positions usually include: CAD skills, computer controlled machine programming, precision measurement, process and machine trouble-shooting, problem-solving, machine maintenance and proficient use of diagnostic and statistical tools.  These positions generally describe someone who has enough broad-based knowledge about a multi-step process to successfully troubleshoot and solve problems beyond the scope of typical “machine operators”. Sample MT1 Job Titles: Operator, Production Operator, Production Technician, Technician, Chemical Equipment Operator, Chemical Operator, Fixers, CNC Technician Manufacturing Technician and Production Manufacturing Specialist. NOTE: To review a full list of production occupations in modern manufacturing requiring MT1 industry-wide technical skills, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Why RVA Needs Certified Manufacturing Technicians

Manufacturing is still alive and well in the Greater Richmond region. Our local economy continues to benefit greatly from this thriving business sector, which has created more ancillary jobs in comparison to others. This is one of the primary reasons national leaders are frantically searching for new ways to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

It is widely known that economies with a strong manufacturing base are more secure in other economic areas. But, the manufacturing industry is only as good as its human capital; and a large skills gap has appeared in the last decade.

Read More

GOVERNING: The Education Investment States Should Be Making

GOVERNING: The Education Investment States Should Be Making

Now completing its second year of offering reduced cost training for occupations with lots of openings across the Commonwealth, Virginia Community Colleges workforce credential programs are meeting the needs of business and industry by preparing individuals for these skilled jobs. In addition to tuition assistance, occupational training and certifications, Fast Forward programs offer career coaching and other support services, when needed.  CCWA and other colleges throughout the state are being recognized nationally for their success in getting more than 8,000 Virginians trained and prepared to launch new careers in a matter of weeks or months.

Read this recent article from GOVERNING:
https://www.governing.com/columns/public-money/gov-skills-gap.html