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Military Pathway to Employment

Military Pathway to Employment

CCWA is excited to announce an upcoming training and certification opportunity for the military community. In partnership with Altria and the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, CCWA will offer two free Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certification courses as part of its summer 2018 programming. Open to all active duty and transitioning service members, as well as their spouses, these MT1 certification courses will provide students with crucial job training, an introduction to regional manufacturers, and a pathway to potential employment. While the tuition for MT1 certification at CCWA is normally valued at over two thousand dollars, a generous grant from Altria will allow CCWA to waive fees for all eligible students.

“The opportunity is a win-win scenario for all involved,” said Wes Smith, CCWA’s Interim AVP of Workforce Development. “Large employers get access to highly-skilled veterans, and participants get an intimate look inside the local manufacturing sector, not to mention national certification and opportunities to interview for available, in-demand jobs.”

Partnering for Employment Opportunities

CCWA’s program for the military community offers a unique focus on employment. In order to integrate the job search process into its curriculum, the program has built relationships with several regional manufacturers. Program partners include leading companies such as Altria, Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Concrete Pipe & Precast, Dominion Energy, Gerdau, Service Center Metals, Niagara Bottling, Lutron, Colortree, ITAC, and MGC Advanced Polymers. Class participants will take tours of each employer’s manufacturing facility. Moreover, upon the conclusion of the program, students will be guaranteed interviews for open positions with program partners.

Increasing Earnings

Along with opening doors to potential employers, CCWA’s MT1 certification program aims to improve participants’ overall earning ability. According to a 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage in Virginia for an employee in a production occupation was $37,620. However, with training and certification, employees can move to specialized areas of production and see a substantial increase in pay. For example, the mean annual wage for a Chemical Plant and System Operator in 2017 in Virginia was $49,610. By earning an MT1 certification with CCWA, members of the military community will have the opportunity to build a skillset that increases their long-term earning potential.

What is a Manufacturing Technician?

An MT1 operates precision machinery, systems, and processes in the field of manufacturing. The certification program’s core competency areas focus on math and measurement skills, spatial reasoning and manufacturing technology, and quality and business acumen. Typical skills expected in MT1 positions vary, but 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. In general, MT1 positions describe someone who has enough broad-based knowledge about a multi-step process to successfully troubleshoot and solve problems beyond the scope of a typical machine operator.

For more information on CCWA’s MT1 Certification Courses for Veterans, please visit ccwatraining.org/miltarypathways.

Bridge To Career – Preparing Young Adults for In-Demand Careers

Bridge To Career – Preparing Young Adults for In-Demand Careers

Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), Reynolds and John Tyler Community Colleges, Capital and Crater Regions’ Adult Education programs, and Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia are partnering to increase opportunities for young adults to rapidly gain the basic skills and credentials needed for readily available jobs offering career and wage growth.

Our Bridge to Career programs in the Greater Richmond and Crater regions provide FREE conveniently-scheduled training for occupations in demand by regional business and industry. Programs also include: basic skills, career coaching, preparation for interviews and employment, opportunities to earn industry certifications, digital literacy, and assistance finding the transportation and services participants might need to get to training and work. Participants also have placement specialists working with them to secure employment at the program’s end.

Currently offered programs train students for careers in health care, warehousing and distribution, customer service and construction occupations. Cohorts begin year-round. Programs are available for those with and without a high school diploma. Thanks to funding from several sources including the Strada Education Network, there is no charge for tuition, fees, books, supplies or support services such as transportation and childcare.

Upcoming Sessions

Reynolds Community College – Downtown Campus:

  • Construction/Trades – NCCER – Core (Sep 10 – Nov 15; Monday – Thursday; Afternoon Sessions)
  • Warehousing/Distribution – Certified Logistics Associate/CLA (Sep 17 – Nov 15; Tuesday – Thursday; Evening Sessions)

Petersburg High School:

  • Health Care – Clinical Medical Assistant (Sep 24 – Jan 31; Monday – Thursday; Evening Sessions)
  • Health Care – Nurse Aide (Sep 24 – Jan 31; Monday – Thursday; Evening Sessions)
  • Warehousing/Distribution – Certified Logistics Associate/CLA (Sep 24 – Jan 31; Monday – Thursday; Evening Sessions)

Hanover County:

  • Warehousing/Distribution – Certified Logistics Associate/CLA (Sep 17 – Nov 27; Monday – Thursday; Afternoon Sessions)

For more information on the program, please complete the form below:

CCWA’s 2018 Summer Youth Camps

CCWA’s 2018 Summer Youth Camps

We’re excited to offer digital arts camps to the region’s youth – now in our sixth summer with industry experts, Black Rocket. While the Minecraft camps continue to be a popular, our new offerings including ROBLOX® Makers-Coders-Entrepreneurs, Drone Adventures and Code Your Own Adventure! Interactive Storytelling build skills in a safe and fun environment at our campus locations.

These ten week-long offerings will boost creativity, collaboration and tech savvy for your student. A recent article by the Education Development Center (EDC), “The Future of Work: Three Ways to Prepare Now,” notes “…it’s about helping young people develop a comfort with using, modifying, and creating technologies, and developing the dispositions needed for future success that they will carry forward into the workforce.”

Students were able to upload their work to a website to share with parents, receive comments and access their progress. Returning students were able to create more advanced projects and build onto previous projects.

Click here to download the 2018 Summer Camp flyer.

2018 Summer Camp Offerings:

App Attack!      Fee: $185 

Take the first steps into the world of mobile app design and customize your own game app! Using a specialized app and game development tool, students will explore the world of web-based (HTML5) mobile apps. In addition to learning the basics of mobile app design and game development, you will also see firsthand how the world of App publishing functions. 

JUN 25-29 M–F Mornings WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED

Minecraft© Modders      Fee: $185 

Use your favorite game to learn the basics of modding and foundations of programming. Learn scripting and logic statements as you create your first mods! Introductory coding will also be taught through a simulated environment inspired by Minecraft. 

JUN 25-29 M–F Afternoons WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED

Creative Design and Robotics      Fee: $185 

The world of the future belongs to…robots! In this cutting-edge class students will learn the fundamentals of motorized mechanisms, design principles, sensors, and sound activation. Separate fact from fantasy by designing and building prototypes of task oriented robots. Learn problem-solving to improve how their robots function in a series of design challenges! 

JUL 9-13 M–F Mornings WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED

NEW! Drone Adventures      Fee: $185 

The Drones are here! Let the battles begin. In this hands on, interactive class you will learn how to fly and drive drone robots. Working in teams you will be able to code your drone to compete in missions that will prepare you for the ultimate team challenge at the end of the week. 

JUL 9-13 M–F Afternoons WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED

Make Your First Video Game!      Fee: $185 

If you love playing video games, this is the camp for you! Make your first video game in this one-of-a-kind class that shows you the keys to designing your first 2D platformer game. Conceptualization, play experience, level design, graphics, sounds, and simple coding are just some of the concepts that we’ll explore. 

JUL 16-20 M–F Mornings WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED

NEW! ROBLOX® Makers-Coders-Entrepreneurs!      Fee: $185 

Discover how to code in the Lua language while playing and designing worlds in ROBLOX® , an online universe where you can create anything you dream of. This new class combines game design concepts, coding, and fun! Young entrepreneurs will also learn how to navigate Roblox’s fast growing marketplace to publish their games. 

JUL 16-20 M–F Afternoons WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED

NEW! Advanced 3D Video Game with Unity      Fee: $185 

Are you ready to take your game design skills to another level? With Unity, an industry grade design software, aspiring game designers will learn level editing, 3D modeling, intermediate event scripting, and the impact of game play on user experience. 

JUL 23-27 M–F Afternoons WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED

AUG 6-10 M–F Mornings MIDLO: REGISTRATION CLOSED

NEW! Code Your Own Adventure! Interactive Storytelling      Fee: $185 

Watch as the characters in your imagination come to life in this unique course that blends classic storytelling with animation techniques and coding. Start with a concept, design the characters, and choose not just one ending, but many! Learn how to create your own text-based adventure games with variables, conditional logic, images, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

JUL 30-AUG 3 M–F Mornings WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED 

Minecraft© Designers      Fee: $185 

If you love the game Minecraft, and always wanted to design your own world, this class is for you! Learn how to create a custom map, the basics of creating 3D models using a new software to design your very own objects, how to build with Redstone and Command blocks, and create custom textures for you to import at home or share with friends. 

JUL 30-AUG 3 M–F Afternoons WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED  

Virtual Reality: The Future is Now      Fee: $205 

Embark on an EPIC adventure in virtual reality! In this cutting edge class, you will learn the foundations of VR design by creating your own virtual worlds, exploring simulated environments, and crafting memorable 3D experiences. At the end of the week, take home your first cardboard VR headset to show friends and family the new worlds you created. 

JUL 23-27 M–F Mornings WDCC: REGISTRATION CLOSED

AUG 6-10 M–F Afternoons MIDLO: REGISTRATION CLOSED 

Logistics Program Certifies Mastery in Core Competencies

Logistics Program Certifies Mastery in Core Competencies

Logistics is the broad pathway for the products we use to reach their final destination, and it’s a booming business in Virginia. According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the industry has a direct economic output of $11.3 billion and employs over 78,000 people, primarily in trucking, warehousing, and transportation support. Nearly 500 logistics jobs are currently available in the Greater Richmond area, ranging from entry-level to senior management.*

You probably have roles in your own company that fall into the logistics category — supply chain coordinator, transportation manager, warehouse supervisor, or operations manager. But how can you ensure that the people you hire for these roles will enhance your company’s productivity and competitiveness?

CCWA offers the Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) certification program, which covers a wide range of skills necessary for success in the logistics industry. These skills include safety, quality control, supply chain management, receiving, storage, and communications. The program begins with basic logistics knowledge and skills and prepares an individual for entry-level positions by earning a Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) certification. The program then moves on to more advanced skills by preparing individuals for the mid-level CLT exam.

Skills Covered under Each Credential Area

Certified Logistics Associate (CLA)

  1. Global supply chain logistics life cycle
  2. Logistics environment
  3. Material handling equipment
  4. Safety principles
  5. Safe material handling & equipment operation
  6. Quality control principles
  7. Workplace communications
  8. Teamwork & workplace behavior
  9. Using computers

Certified Logistics Technician (CLT)

  1. Producing receiving
  2. Product storage
  3. Order processing
  4. Packaging & shipment
  5. Inventory control
  6. Safe handling of hazmat materials
  7. Evaluation of transportation modes
  8. Dispatch & tracking
  9. Measurements & metric conversions

“The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War


CCWA – Summer 2018 Schedule of Classes – Download Here

To learn more about the CLA/CLT certification program, please contact:

Dana Newcomer
Apprenticeship Coordinator
Community College Workforce Alliance
Phone: (804) 523-2289
Email: dnewcomer@ccwa.vccs.edu

*Source: Indeed.com as of 6/1/18

Film Industry Training: Get Your Start!

Film Industry Training: Get Your Start!

In partnership with the Virginia Film Office and the Virginia Production Alliance:

Film Industry Training (FIT) provides practical training for entry level Production Assistant positions. This valuable 2-day training will allow you to work confidently on the sets of commercials, television shows, new media projects, fashion shows, theatrical stage or movie sets. Participants will learn on-set etiquette and protocol from seasoned filmmakers. Get the tools required to be a success from the very first day on a film set.

Location: CCWA – Workforce Development & Conference Center (on the Parham Road Campus of Reynolds Community College)

FOR CLASS PARTICIPANTS:

Welcome to the Production Assistant Training Seminar
Welcome from Gary Fiorelli
CCWA Call Sheet Day 1
CCWA Call Sheet Day 2

Gloriana FonsecaTaught by Gloriana Wills who is a seasoned producer, director and editor of nonfiction television and corporate materials. Working on many large studio productions and smaller independent films, Wills credits as a Production Assistant include the AMC show TURN: Washington’s Spies and as an Assistant Director, Wills’ films include Apocalypse Earth, Troop 491: The Adventures of the Muddy Lions and By the Grace of Bob. Her experience ranges from advertising to episodic television to feature film projects.

The Enrollment Roller-Coaster

The Enrollment Roller-Coaster

~Numbers fall in a rising economy, but college continues to train students to meet workforce needs~

The following content, courtesy of Virginia Business:

Reynolds students

While it has three campuses, half of the students take some classes online. Courtesy Reynolds Community College

At the opening convocation of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in late September, President Gary Rhodes listened to the school’s alma mater, introduced and recognized other guests and college board members gathered on the college’s Henrico County campus.

Rhodes noted that the college foundation had, among other moves, awarded $500,000 in student scholarships while raising money for a new IV pump for the health-care programs, a 3-D printer for engineering and a drone for horticulture studies. He also went over some improvements at the college’s three campuses in Henrico, Goochland counties and Richmond.

Then, under a PowerPoint slide headlined “Challenges,” Rhodes dropped a bombshell. “Enrollments are down 25 percent over the past five years,” he said. The audience greeted the revelations with silence.

Later, Rhodes said that, while he was not offering excuses for the drop in enrollment, the dynamics under which community colleges operate explain a lot about what happened.

In 2012, when Virginia’s economy still was clawing its way out of the Great Recession, Reynolds hit an enrollment high of more than 20,000 students. Many sought workplace skills to help them find new jobs or careers.

Now, with Richmond’s unemployment hovering at 4 percent or less, enrollment has dipped to 16,800 or so. People are less likely to enroll in college when they have jobs and things are good, Rhodes notes.

He says the formula for the roller coaster that community colleges ride in enrollments is simple. “Weak economy equals strong enrollments. Strong economy equals weak enrollments,” he explains.

Every year, Rhodes says, the college makes “a conservative guesstimate” of what its enrollment will be. If enrollment falls, and the cash flow from tuitions is lower than expected, faculty and staff are not replaced if they leave or various programs are merged.

“Ultimately, we want to have healthy enrollment, and it’s not just the money side. It’s the workers,” Rhodes says. “Pick any industry out there, and they’re just screaming that they can’t find trained workers.”

Students from 42 countries
Preparing those workers is a top priority for Reynolds and other community colleges. Students obtain industry certification, earn associate degrees or transfer to four-year institutions for more education. On average, about 900 students transfer each year from Reynolds.

Rhodes, a former board chair of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce (now, ChamberRVA), says his favorite data point — one that nearly always gets an audience’s attention — is this: “One out of every four workers in the Greater Richmond region has attended Reynolds Community College, and one in every three health-care workers,” Rhodes says, citing a study by the Richmond-based SIR consulting firm.

Since Reynolds opened in 1972, it has become the third-largest community college in Virginia (behind Northern Virginia and Tidewater community colleges), and officials say that more than 310,000 students have enrolled in for-credit courses.

Today, half of Reynolds students are taking one or more classes online, and 17 percent are earning all of their credits online. This fall, the student body included representatives from 42 foreign countries, including war-torn Afghanistan.

Besides fluctuations in the economy, Rhodes cites other factors that affect enrollment.

Low birth rates 18 years ago led to fewer U.S. students entering college in 2017. Also, state funding has dwindled over the years from 60 percent to 35 percent of Reynolds’ operational budgets, Rhodes says. As a result, tuitions are higher, and students have to shoulder more of the costs.

To boost its student body, Reynolds is making the enrollment process simpler and engaging more students while they are still in high school or middle school, through programs such as Advance College Academies. Under that program, outstanding high school students can earn associate degrees while completing their high-school diploma requirements.

The program has set up an interesting dynamic for its high school seniors. They are awarded their associate degrees in May before they receive their high-school diplomas in June. “They graduate from college before they graduate from high school,” Rhodes says with a laugh. In 2017, 63 high school students graduated from the program.

Students typically apply to an academy program in the eighth grade through their local school division, enroll in advanced high-school courses in the ninth and 10th grades and take the required college coursework for their associate degrees during the 11th and 12th grades. “They will stay together all four years,” Rhodes says of students in the program.

JLARC report
Community colleges are likely to come under scrutiny at the next session of the General Assembly as the result of a report issued in September by the state Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC).

Among other findings, JLARC reported that only 39 percent of Virginia’s community college students earned degrees or other credentials, a trend in line with patterns seen across the nation.

JLARC also says that the process and resources enabling community college students to transfer to four-year institutions are difficult to use.

JLARC adds that rising tuition rates and fees at community colleges could affect access, affordability and student success. During the past 10 years, tuition and fees have grown from 6 percent of per-capita disposable income to 11 percent, the report says.

Echoing comments by community college Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Rhodes notes that, while there is room for improvement, many of the issues raised by JLARC can be traced to the different populations served by community colleges and four-year institutions. Generally speaking, community college students are older, poorer and attend college part time, Rhodes says. “Seventy-five percent of our students are part time,” the Reynolds president says, “and 75 percent work.”

Workforce development
While Reynolds has seen an overall drop in enrollment, students have been rushing to enter the college’s workforce development program for high-demand fields, such as welding, manufacturing and health care.

“The Community College Workforce Alliance, which is a partnership of Reynolds and John Tyler [Community College], was No. 1 in the state for workforce credential attainment, No. 1 for the number of people we have enrolled in the program,” says Elizabeth Creamer, vice president for workforce development at Reynolds.

As of mid-September, more than 900 students have been through the program under the Reynolds/Tyler alliance. The principal driver of the program has been the Workforce Credential Grant, established by the legislature, which has just completed its first year.

Under the grant, the state pays two-thirds of the tuition costs directly to the college, with students responsible for the other third. But requirements are stringent. The college is paid a third of the cost only when a student successfully completes the course, and the final third is received only if the student successfully obtains a credential or certification from an industry or certifying agency.

The bar also is high even before the first dollar is paid. “You can only get a credential through the state at greatly reduced or no cost if it’s aligned with a regionally available job for which there is a documented shortage of workers,” Creamer says.

Besides preparing students for high-demand occupations, the program also certifies teachers.

Those teachers, who must already possess a bachelor’s degree before they enter the program, are largely destined for public schools in subject areas where instructors are hard to find: technical education, science and technology, engineering technology and mathematics.

“We’re not going to get the teachers in the fields we need through the teacher education programs at the universities,” Creamer says. “So, we have expedited programs for those who have a baccalaureate and who are willing and able to go into teaching. They can access that job now and get their teaching credentials in a matter of months, not years.”

Transfer students
Reynolds also transfers about 900 students annually to four-year institutions. One of them was Sofia Duarte, whose parents operate a small residential cleaning service in the Richmond area.

Duarte, now 21, says she chose to go to a community college to save on higher-education costs — about $20,000 less when a student first goes to a community college and then transfers — and to help ensure that her parents had enough money to help her younger sister.

Duarte, an honors student, earned scholarships at Reynolds, worked a variety of part-time jobs, and then transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University where she is now a senior in the School of Engineering, earning a degree in electrical engineering. “Honestly, for me Reynolds opened a lot of doors to meet amazing people and have amazing opportunities,” Duarte says. She says Reynolds offered small classes, good teachers and strong academic advising.

And her younger sister, Sabrina, 18, whom she mentored, has done okay, too. She’s now enrolled at the University of Richmond, on scholarship.

Rhodes, who is now in his 16th year as president of Reynolds, says he knows enrollments will continue to fluctuate as the economy fluctuates. But that’s not what concerns him most.

He is worried about many young people and adults — from underemployed baccalaureate degree holders who can’t find jobs in their field to high school dropouts to laid-off workers — who could benefit from the wide variety of programs offered by Reynolds. “Everything we do here at the community college is preparing people for life and careers,” Rhodes says.


Content credit: Gary Robertson, Virginia Business
Photo credit for students and Dr. Rhodes: Reynolds Community College
Photo credit for Elizabeth Creamer: Shandell Taylor
Original Article: http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-enrollment-roller-coaster