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Governor Northam Announces Collaborative Effort to Transform Virginia Community College System

Governor Northam Announces Collaborative Effort to Transform Virginia Community College System

~Governor allocates $5 million investment of federal workforce funds to redesign career pathways to place skills training at forefront~

RICHMOND—Today, at an event held at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Governor Ralph Northam announced a collaborative effort to transform workforce programs offered through the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). Currently, many programs intended to train students with applied skills require them to take general education courses before advancing to essential skills-based courses. To best prepare students with the skills needed for high-demand, well-paying jobs, VCCS will work to redesign career pathways so that skills training begins at the start of each program.

“Completion shouldn’t be the only measure of success at the community college level—it should also be defined by securing a good job,” said Governor Northam. “We can and should prepare students with high-demand skills the moment they enter the community college system, and ensure that they have a foundation that will yield success at several points over the course of the program, including if they leave with a job before completion.”

Governor Northam has allocated $5 million of federal workforce discretionary funds to support the redesign of Virginia’s community college system. Each college will compete for funds used to rethink how they will do business and support students as well as current and future companies. Each college will receive a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $500,000. Businesses will endorse each pathway to ensure curricula align to twenty-first century needs.

“This thoughtful transformation of the VCCS will benefit Virginians throughout the entire Commonwealth,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor to the Governor Megan Healy. “A recent study revealed that 650,000 people are currently out of work in Virginia. We are proud and excited that this initiative will allow this significant population, along with those who seek more gainful employment, an opportunity to pursue pathways to well-paying and in-demand jobs within their local communities.”

“Virginia’s community college system has always offered an abundance of programs that can help students learn new skills and continue their education,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “Moving in this new direction will be transformational for job-seeking students and employers across Virginia as it seeks to improve how the system prepares and trains the workforce of the present and future.”

“What we’re announcing today will enhance our traditional applied programs, making them attractive to those seeking to stack earned credentials and further their careers,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System.

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Ofirah Yheskel
Office of Governor Ralph Northam
Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov


Content credit: Office of the Governor.
Photo: Governor Northam with Reynolds Community College Nursing students.

CCWA Selected as Partner of the Year by The Virginia Manufacturers Association

CCWA Selected as Partner of the Year by The Virginia Manufacturers Association

~ Two-time award winner honored for training practices~

Williamsburg (VA) At the recent Workforce Solutions Symposium at Kingsmill Resort, the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) announced the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA) as “2018 Partner of the Year.” Honored with this award for the second time (the first award presented in 2015), CCWA, the workforce development partnership between John Tyler and Reynolds community colleges, continues to enhance its manufacturing technician training and apprenticeship programs – providing a pipeline of qualified applicants for the industry’s employers in the Greater Richmond region. Virginia’s major manufacturing companies, along with regional workforce and economic development partners, attended the event earlier this month.

“CCWA recognized early the need for a pipeline of qualified job seekers and employees to decrease the skills gap in manufacturing workforce,” said Dr. Victor Gray, Executive Director of Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSi). “Since 2015, CCWA and the Virginia Manufacturers Association have worked together to incorporate the Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certification training into the community college education system. Each year, CCWA trains hundreds of Virginians for the MT1 certification, and they were the first organization in the Commonwealth to incorporate this certification within registered apprenticeship programs.” Gray added, “This year, working with Virginia Department of Veterans Services, CCWA launched a pilot ‘Military to Manufacturing’ program, which provides transitioning service members and veterans with free MT1 certification training, on-site industrial tours, and job interviews. To date, CCWA has certified more workers and job seekers in the MT1 certification than any other workforce agency in the country, and CCWA continues to develop new employer partnerships every day.”

In a recent study released by Deloitte, data shows the United States facing a massive labor shortage for technical jobs. Over the next decade, Deloitte points out that 2.4 million jobs could remain unfilled as a result of baby boomer generation retirements. The issue could cost the U.S. over $2 trillion in missed opportunities for the economy.

“CCWA is striving to make a dent in the skills gap and labor shortage,” said Dana Newcomer, CCWA’s Apprenticeship Coordinator. “Integrating industry recognized credentials and apprenticeships into the workplace is a primary tactic we’re focusing on as an educational partner. It’s imperative we develop our younger generations to not only become interested in these promising careers, but also competent.”

According to the VMA, winning the award twice within a four-year period demonstrates CCWA’s commitment to provide vital career pipeline services and credentialing initiatives to the region.


In the Photo:
Nat Marshall and Whitney Harrison are the Workforce Solutions Committee Co-Chairs
Dr. Victor Gray, Executive Director Workforce Solution
Wes Smith, CCWA Interim AVP of Workforce Development

Mission Tomorrow 2018: CCWA’s Interactive Exhibit

Mission Tomorrow 2018: CCWA’s Interactive Exhibit

Manufacturers will continue to actively recruit qualified employees in the Greater Richmond region; and, introducing thousands of eighth graders to the industry expands CCWA’s commitment to create a pipeline for these in-demand jobs.

In its third year, ChamberRVA’s Mission Tomorrow event (October 18 & 19) gave students the opportunity to meet with more than 100 businesses as they consider their higher education and career options. CCWA delivered information about training for careers in manufacturing and hands-on demonstrations that enhance the experience of working with equipment, tools and technologies.

Fall 2018 Schedule

Fall 2018 Schedule

On the path to professional growth or searching for a new career? CCWA invites you to discover how short-term training courses and certificate programs can prepare you for the next level. Fall is the perfect time to renew your educational goals and engage with experts that can help you build your professional portfolio. And learn more about the FastForward credential program where you can earn an industry-recognized certificate that leads to new opportunities in high-demand fields like healthcare, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and construction.

Browse our Fall 2018 schedule of classes (PDF of Fall 2018 Schedule) or visit our online registration for more information.