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CCWA’s Fall Schedule: Now Available

CCWA’s Fall Schedule: Now Available

This fall, we invite you to unlock opportunities to gain new skills or move toward a new career path. Our September-December schedule of classes is packed full of courses designed to prepare students with the tools to propel forward, into a secure and confident future in the midst of today’s uncertainty.

With many courses adjusted to accommodate the health and safety of all students via online format and some small, in-person class options, there has never been a better time to pursue your next level of potential, on your own time. Explore our certifications and professional development courses and get started today.

Click here for our schedule of classes (PDF) or visit our online registration for more information.


The preview above shows the first 15 pages of our catalog.  Download/view the complete catalog here (PDF).

Getting Virginia’s Unemployed Back to Work 

Getting Virginia’s Unemployed Back to Work 

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
    • EMT
  • Manufacturing and Trades
    • Commercial Driver’s License
    • HVAC
    • Electrical

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.

Read the recent Virginia Ready article on the Richmond Times Dispatch website. 

Talley Workforce Center is Now Open – CCWA Returns to Chester

Talley Workforce Center is Now Open – CCWA Returns to Chester

CCWA, with its partners at John Tyler Community College, are pleased to announce the opening of the William H. Talley, III Center for Workforce Development at the Chester campus. In addition to CCWA staff offices, the center houses several new classrooms and learning spaces, including two digital labs and a state-of-the-art flex lab for developing technical skills in a hands-on environment. Offering a variety of courses in the areas of manufacturing, logistics, trades, information technology, customer service and more, training and credential programs at this location will begin next month.

A spacious event and meeting space was also renovated as part of the center’s construction, creating a modern, flexible facility that can accommodate groups large and small.

This new advanced building allows CCWA to offer greater educational opportunities for businesses and jobseekers in the Tri-Cities and surrounding counties and expands CCWA’s ability to provide training, credentialing and career development solutions.

CCWA continues to offer training programs and services at John Tyler’s Midlothian campus and the Downtown, Goochland and Parham Roads campuses of Reynolds Community College.

Read more about the Talley Workforce Center grand opening. https://jtcc.edu/about/news/10796?fbclid=IwAR0flH2ZlO0t_1dJmAZyeafVDVFQmMx8nHnQjFKh_yoRLlaucJhRBjaVJRY

In-Demand Across the Region – Certified Manufacturing Technicians

In-Demand Across the Region – Certified Manufacturing Technicians


What is a Manufacturing Technician Level 1 Certification?

The Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certification program was developed to meet the growing employment demands of the manufacturing industry. The MT1 program addresses the core industry-wide skills standards required for skilled production occupations in all sectors of manufacturing.  The core competency areas certified are: (1) Math and Measurement, (2) Spatial Reasoning and Manufacturing Technology, and (3) Quality and Business Acumen.

The purpose of the MT1 certification program is to document individuals’ mastery of the critical competencies required for modern manufacturing production and production-related occupations.  The goals of the MT1 certification program are to:

  • Develop a workforce pipeline capable of meeting the requirements of existing and emerging employers in advanced technology industries such as manufacturing,
  • Provide a customized fast track pathway to stackable credentials for 21st Century advanced technology careers in industry,
  • Provide online and instructor-led training to address identified technical skill gaps, and
  • Provide a pathway to advanced level training and specialized training based on industry requirements for potential new hires and incumbent workers.

More on MT1

An MT1 operates precision machinery, systems and processes. Typical skills expected in these positions 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.  These positions generally describe someone who has enough broad-based knowledge about a multi-step process to successfully troubleshoot and solve problems beyond the scope of typical “machine operators”. Sample MT1 Job Titles: Operator, Production Operator, Production Technician, Technician, Chemical Equipment Operator, Chemical Operator, Fixers, CNC Technician Manufacturing Technician and Production Manufacturing Specialist. NOTE: To review a full list of production occupations in modern manufacturing requiring MT1 industry-wide technical skills, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Why RVA Needs Certified Manufacturing Technicians

Manufacturing is still alive and well in the Greater Richmond region. Our local economy continues to benefit greatly from this thriving business sector, which has created more ancillary jobs in comparison to others. This is one of the primary reasons national leaders are frantically searching for new ways to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

It is widely known that economies with a strong manufacturing base are more secure in other economic areas. But, the manufacturing industry is only as good as its human capital; and a large skills gap has appeared in the last decade.

Read More

GOVERNING: The Education Investment States Should Be Making

GOVERNING: The Education Investment States Should Be Making

Now completing its second year of offering reduced cost training for occupations with lots of openings across the Commonwealth, Virginia Community Colleges workforce credential programs are meeting the needs of business and industry by preparing individuals for these skilled jobs. In addition to tuition assistance, occupational training and certifications, Fast Forward programs offer career coaching and other support services, when needed.  CCWA and other colleges throughout the state are being recognized nationally for their success in getting more than 8,000 Virginians trained and prepared to launch new careers in a matter of weeks or months.

Read this recent article from GOVERNING:
https://www.governing.com/columns/public-money/gov-skills-gap.html

Get Assistance to Earn Industry Credentials – A third of the cost for Professional Certificates

Get Assistance to Earn Industry Credentials – A third of the cost for Professional Certificates

CCWA offers 10 workforce credential grant programs as announced in the Governor’s release below. Governor McAuliffe Announces Workforce Grant Program and speaks to how “Credentials Will Open Doors to Promising, High-Demand Career Opportunities.”

Learn more about CCWA’s Certificate Programs.

Governor McAuliffe Announces Workforce Grant Program

~ Credentials Will Open Doors to Promising, High-Demand Career Opportunities~

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the launch of a new grant program designed to ensure that workforce credentials are accessible and affordable for Virginians seeking the skills they need to obtain good-paying jobs in high-demand fields.

The New Economy Workforce Industry Credentials Grant program covers 124 different community college training programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges geared toward providing workforce credentials at one-third of their former cost.

“This program establishes a first-in-the-nation performance funding formula to create and sustain a supply of credentialed workers who meet the needs identified by our business leaders,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This week’s launch is the culmination of many months of hard work by public and private sector partners, all of us working together to ensure that Virginia has a 21st century workforce with the skills and experience to compete in today’s global economy.”

Virginia’s Community Colleges consulted with Virginia businesses to develop the list of eligible credentials that can provide access to a wide variety of high-demand jobs, such as certified welder, electrician, medical records tech, computer network specialist, pharmacy tech, digital security specialist, emergency medical tech, industrial machinery mechanic, dental assistant, and commercial truck driver.  The Virginia Board of Workforce Development identified more than 170 in-demand jobs aligned with the Commonwealth’s economic development targets for which Virginians can prepare through the new workforce program.

These are jobs that require specific skills, but not necessarily a traditional college degree. Community Colleges are making it even easier to earn workforce credentials by developing new programs and adding classes and locations for increased convenience.

“To create the skilled workforce the Commonwealth needs now and in the future, we need more options for training and credentialing that work for Virginians of all ages and life circumstances,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “With the New Economy Workforce Credentials program, for the first time, we have new options for workforce training and development that promptly get trainees into the skilled labor force.”

Research indicates that these workforce credentials are in high demand across Virginia and will be for the foreseeable future. The company Burning Glass produced a recent report indicating that there were more than 175,000 job vacancies for so-called middle-skill occupations last year in Virginia – the types of jobs that typically require some type of credential. The jobs paid more than $28 per hour (or more than $58,500 per year). According to the research, the jobs went unfilled for an average period of 26 days, which is longer than the national average. As a result, Virginia businesses lost 36.4 million hours of productivity. Virginia families lost more than $1 billion in potential wages, and Virginia’s General Fund lost more than $54.3 million in revenue.

Other studies predict that Virginia will have to fill more than 1.4 million jobs over the next decade. As many as two-thirds of those positions will require postsecondary level workforce credentials.

“The New Economy Workforce Industry Credentials Grant program will be a game changer for the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “The in-depth research that has gone into establishing this innovative program will help us to increase access and success in higher education, especially for some of our most underserved populations.”

Students enrolling in one of the workforce credential training programs covered by the new grants will pay only one-third of the normal cost. Program costs vary widely, depending on the length and complexity of the training. For a list of programs covered by the grants, visit this link on the VCCS website.

The maximum value of each grant is $3,000. For example, a student who enrolls in and successfully completes a grant-eligible program that normally costs $4,500 will now pay $1,500, and the grant covers $3,000 of the cost. Additional financial aid can offset that cost even further. More information is available at the workforce development offices of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Governor McAuliffe won bipartisan support this year among Virginia lawmakers for funding to enable approximately 10,000 Virginians to receive Workforce Credentials Grants for training costs over the next two years. This unique performance-based funding model is the first in the nation. Further, it represents the first significant public funding for workforce training programs in the 50-year history of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

“These workforce credentials increasingly represent the American Dream in the 21st century,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Individuals earn these credentials in weeks and months, not semesters and years. Those students are often quickly employed by businesses hungry for their skills. And they accomplish all that without piling on a decade’s worth of student debt.”

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve approximately 400,000 students each year.  For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu.