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Employment Signing Day

Employment Signing Day

Employment Signing Day for Prince George County High School Graduates

~Local company offers full-time positions to certified logistics specialists~

Three 2019 graduates of Prince George County High School, offered full-time employment with Standard Motor Products, Inc., were honored at a “Signing Day” ceremony at the Hopewell/Prince George Chamber of Commerce, June 11, 2019. The students, who have also earned the Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) credential from the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), signed a Letter-of-Intent to accept entry-level employment as order fillers with Standard Motor Products, Inc. in Disputanta (Prince George County).

“The CLA provides candidates with a broader understanding of a significant portion of our business as well as the world economy,” said Mark Hanlon, Human Resource Manager at Standard Motor Products.   “More importantly, we utilize the CLA training as a development tool for our team leaders – the first level of leadership within our facility.  Candidates with the certification have a ‘leg up’ if they are looking for long-term career opportunities with us.”

Standard Motor Products, the Community College Workforce Alliance, and Prince George County Public Schools partnered to provide a credentialing program in warehousing and distribution logistics during the academic school year. The program provided participants with a workplace readiness skills certification, the CLA credential, employment with Standard Motor Products, and served as a sustaining a workforce development program for the company.

Hanlon added, “Our partnership with CCWA began as a method of providing internal training.  As our relationship has grown, our desire to make an impact on the local community grew and CCWA has been an integral part of our outreach efforts.  Recently, we partnered with the CCWA, Crater Workforce Development Board, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, and Prince George County Public Schools to create a taskforce that led to this pilot workforce development program in warehousing and distribution.”

Evan Monger, Nathan Beiro, and Jamal Berry II completed the coursework and Signing photo of studentexaminations to earn a Certified Logistics Associate credential, a program created by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC). These students will also graduate from Prince George High School on Saturday, June 15.

Monger, said he learned a lot about the industry in the CLA class. “While I was taking the class, I thought it would just be a good addition to my resume,” he explained. “I passed the exam with flying colors but I never thought it would lead to immediate full-time employment.” He added, “logistics is more than forklifts and pallet jacks – there is a lot of technical information.”

The CLA course trains individuals for a wide range of skills necessary for success in the logistics industry. Through this program, individuals learn safety, material handling, quality control principles, supply chain management, receiving, storage, and workplace communication skills.

“The CLA certification was developed to create a pipeline of qualified applicants in order to decrease the skills gap in the logistics workforce, and to meet the employment demands of the logistics industry,” said Dana Newcomer, CCWA’s Apprenticeship Coordinator. “With the CLA certification, students not only gain training in logistics, they also earn a nationally-recognized industry credential positioning them as qualified and competitive candidates for frontline positions in the logistics industry.”

CCWA offers the CLA course throughout the year to meet the business and employment demands. Since program inception, nearly 200 individuals have earned the CLA certification at CCWA.

Preventing Workplace Accidents in the RVA

Preventing Workplace Accidents in the RVA

Preventing Workplace Accidents in the Greater Richmond Region ~ CCWA Provides FREE OSHA-10 Construction Training to Employers! ~ By Wes Smith, Interim Assistant Vice President for Workforce Development

Accidents are one thing, but deaths in the workplace are another. Did you know that in 2017 there were 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry? To make matters worse for the construction industry, 20.7% of these deaths were construction related. OSHA has stated that the leading causes of death (excluding traffic collisions) are caused by four primary accident areas, which they’ve titled the “Fatal Four.” These include falls, struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. The “Fatal Four” are responsible for 59.9% of the deaths which occur in the construction industry. That percentage is why OSHA routinely holds more inspections on construction companies vs. other sectors. In 2018, there were over 32,000 inspections completed by OSHA.

Accidents are incredibly preventable when workers and employers put an emphasis on safety and set standards and responsibilities for safety protocols. Outside of death and accidents, there’s another reason for job seekers, employees, and employers to focus on safety. Simply put, it’s bad for business. When federal OSHA inspections are completed, most companies receive multiple citations. After compiling all of the data from these citations, OSHA was able to identify the most frequent citations. These include falls, hazard communication, scaffolding, ladders, respiratory protection, lockout/tag-out, powered industrial trucks, fall protection, machine guarding, and eye and face protection.

It is for the reasons mentioned above that the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA) has decided to engage with industries to get more Virginians certified in relevant and life-changing credentials. OSHA-10 Construction Certification involves ten hours of instruction, and typically comes at a financial cost to the individual or the employer. This cost barrier stops many individuals from receiving training each year. It’s a proven fact that individuals who are formally trained and certified are safer in the workplace not only for themselves but for everyone around them. A safe employee adds value in many ways to a company. This is why it’s normal to see construction and industrial companies make safety a top priority.

CCWA will be hosting its first free OSHA-10 Construction training class on May 2nd & 3rd. CCWA is doing this to give back to the community it serves, as well as addressing the importance of industry credentials and life-long learning in the workplace.

If your company is interested in attending or sending staff to this free certification training, then click on the link below for registration or contact us at 804-897-7602. Stay safe out there!

Register for CCWA’s FREE OSHA Class – May 2/3
Training to Be First on the Scene

Training to Be First on the Scene

~ CCWA Kicks Off Young Adult Initiative with EMT Certification Training in Petersburg ~ By Amy Taloma

For 15 students, the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program is the first step to a new career in a high-demand field.  Last month, through a partnership supported by the Virginia Community College System’s Young Adult Initiative, Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), John Tyler Community College, and Southside Adult Education Programs, began training the partnership’s first student cohort for the EMT certification.

EMT Students Together

One remarkable facet of the class is that it is held three nights a week (6pm – 10pm) at Southside Virginia Emergency Crew (SVEC) in Petersburg (VA).  By locating the course at an active medical facility, CCWA students come into contact with EMTs and get a glimpse at the activities and atmosphere surrounding an active emergency crew.

SVEC is the primary EMS agency for the Tri-Cities area answering thousands of calls for service annually with over a million man hours accumulated to keep up with the demand. SVEC also provides other services in the region such as standbys, public events, and combined training and preparedness exercises in conjunction with other public service organizations.EMT Students working

The EMT course is unique because it follows the Plugged In Virginia model which integrates adult education and career coaching within the occupational and credential training. In this process, the students learn EMT course content two of three evenings per week. During occupational training, on the remaining class night, students work with an adult education instructor on key math, vocabulary, and study strategies.  Another key component of the course is the involvement of CCWA career coaches who teach employability skills and help students prepare for their new roles as EMTs.

Students who successfully complete the course and earn certification will be able to join the workforce as an entry-level EMT.  This model assists students who may have thought that a career in health care was unavailable to them because of their lack of educational credentials.  The program strengthens academic skills and builds student confidence while they work on attaining the EMT credential.

EMT Thank You Notes to CCWA

During the first week of class, students enrolled in the program took time to get to know each other with icebreakers. When asked about their motivation to pursue a certification, student responses ranged from a longing to help people in their community to seeking advancement opportunities within health sciences or military career fields.

CCWA Student Paris Brown says that the credential will provide him with a flexible career, not just a job – providing a public safety role and keeping people alive. Summer Brown has been trying to get this certification for the past year, but never found an affordable program that fit her schedule, until now. She is currently a lifeguard and wants to explore more health care fields, but knows this certification is a great first step to earning medical experience that will fuel her career.

With over 360 hours of training completed, CCWA’s first class of EMT students, taught by John Tyler EMT Instructor, Daniel Linkins, is now learning how to lift up to 125 pounds, and preparing for mass casualty situations – using their newly formed skills on simulated patients.  In June, the Tri-Cities region will welcome 15 highly trained EMTs onto the first response scene.

For more information on upcoming EMT courses, visit ccwatraining.org/EMT

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.

# # #

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.