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
- Manufacturing and Trades
- Commercial Driver’s License
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.