Search Courses & Register (804) 523-CCWA

Community College Workforce Alliance Named VMA Partner of the Year

Community College Workforce Alliance Named VMA Partner of the Year

The Manufacturing Skills Institute(MSI) announced today that the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA) has earned the 2015 VMA Partner of the Year Award for its outstanding leadership in increasing access to industry certifications in the Central Virginia region of the Commonwealth. CCWA partners with industry to deliver the MSI Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certificate program onsite at companies as well as its college campuses.

“CCWA has created a service delivery model that incorporates both the skills needs of manufacturers and the employment needs of individuals by creating training cohorts of job candidates that receive a customized connection with employers upon MT1 program completion and attainment of the MSI nationally recognized MT1 certification,” said Katherine DeRosear, MSI Executive Director. “CCWA understands the value of industry credentials as a way in which individuals can signal they are ‘manufacturing work ready’ and companies appreciate the return on value in the hiring marketplace.”

CCWA is the workforce development partnership between John Tyler Community College and Reynolds Community College serving the economic development and workforce needs in four cities and 12 counties of Central Virginia. The organization provides non-credit training, custom-designed instruction, consulting, skills assessments and educational programs. CCWA is an MSI Academic Partner and has an authorized MSI Assessment Center and MT1 Certified Trainers.

“While manufacturing plants have many open positions, and opportunities exist for employees to progress upward internally, employers find it difficult to locate candidates with the needed technical knowledge,” said Mac McGinty, CCWA Vice President of Workforce Development. “This skills gap creates a significant opportunity for companies and individuals to break away from the pack. Job seekers and incumbent employees who are obtaining the MT1 certification become more competitive. Additionally, companies that actively invest in their employees increase productivity in their workplaces.”

The MT1 certification program documents individuals’ mastery of the critical competencies required for modern manufacturing production and production-related occupations. The core competency areas certified with MT1 are: Math and Measurement; Spatial Reasoning and Manufacturing Technology; and, Quality and Business Acumen. The specific skills required by a Manufacturing Technician 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. Manufacturing Technicians generally have broad-based knowledge about a multi-step processes to enable effective troubleshooting and problem solving.

Through the MT1 program, CCWA has developed a workforce pipeline to meet the requirements of existing and emerging employers in manufacturing and other advanced technology industries. CCWA has already graduated three classes of MT1-certified individuals and is the recipient of the American Apprenticeship Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to expand apprenticeships in manufacturing using the MT1. In addition, CCWA has a new Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Learning Lab. This 40-foot mobile lab is a flexible training venue that CCWA can take to any company location. The mobile lab has a wide variety of interchangeable mechatronic, electrical, mechanical, pneumatic, & hydraulic training labs that can be installed in the trailer to offer hands-on experiences during training. E-learning options are also available for the implementation of hybrid training programs.

Secondary and postsecondary educational institutions can join the MSI Academic Partner Network by becoming an authorized MSI Assessment Center and/or securing a MT1 Certified Trainer. Only MT1 Certified Trainers may use the MSI industry-endorsed curriculum for providing skill building training aligned to the MS and MT1 skills standards. MSI Academic Partners have access to exclusive continuing professional education seminars, webinars and programs on industrial talent solutions hosted regularly by the MSI. For more information, please contact Katherine DeRosear at

For more information:

Authored by Manufacturing Skills Institute

About the MSI

The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) provides relevant education and skills training for careers in advanced manufacturing by offering world-class training programs delivered by MSI and MSI education partner institutions. Through the partnership between industry and education, employers set the skill standards for MSI program offerings anywhere to ensure learning is linked to employment and career advancement opportunities. Employer-specific customized training can be provided onsite or at any MSI education partner location. Working learners advance their manufacturing technology knowledge and skills via OJT classes, classroom-based and online training offered by MSI and education partner faculty grounded in real world experience. MSI is an affiliate of the Virginia Manufacturers Association. MSI’s Manufacturing Technician Level 1 certificate program is part of the National Association of Manufacturers-endorsed Skills Certification System. For more information about MSI, visit

Photo names (left to right): Vanessa Rastberger, VMA Workforce Development Manager; Katherine DeRosear, VMA Director of Workforce Development; Larry Souverielle, General Dynamics and VMA Director; Wes Smith, CCWA Manufacturing Coordinator; Brett Vassey, VMA President & CEO; Tanya Cook, Philip Morris USA and VMA Director; and, Sidney Harrison, ITAC and VMA Director.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *