Seeking new direction for your career or navigating daily tasks and projects? CCWA offers hundreds of fast-track solutions in-class and online – expanding your range of opportunities for professional and personal development. The scope of our programs also includes FastForward credentials with an opportunity to earn an industry-recognized certificate that leads to employment in high-demand industries such as healthcare, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and construction.
~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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Office of Governor Ralph Northam
Content credit: Office of the Governor.
Photo: Governor Northam with Reynolds Community College Nursing students.
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.
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.
With facility expansions, increasing enrollments and in-demand programs, CCWA is proud of its partnership with John Tyler Community College that advances employment opportunities for students and supports workforce development throughout the region.
Read the recent Virginia Business Magazine article.
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.
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.