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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.

Higher Pay May Not Be the Best Way to Keep Your Workforce Intact and Engaged

Higher Pay May Not Be the Best Way to Keep Your Workforce Intact and Engaged

Employee retention and engagement are on the minds of more than the human resources department these days. The entire C-suite is taking notice as leaders realize the impact of high turnover on the overall financial performance of the organization. Although money is commonly believed to be a strong motivator, “most engagement research shows that learning opportunities, professional development, and career progression are among the top drivers of employee satisfaction.”

Beverly Kaye, founder of Career Systems International, agrees that investing in learning and development to help employees advance their careers can be one of the most effective tools an organization has for increasing both retention and engagement. “Without career development, employees won’t see a place for themselves in the future of the organization—and therefore, they won’t engage with the organization.”

While the importance of learning is rising, organizations’ confidence that they are doing enough in this area is dropping. CCWA works with hundreds of employers every year to:

  • Identify the learning needs that impact business processes
  • Develop solutions that fit a company’s needs and culture, and
  • Deliver training or consulting services that provide a return on investment

CCWA can support the development of technical and professional skills as well as increasingly important soft skills such as communication and emotional intelligence. To learn more about how CCWA can support your employee retention and engagement efforts through learning, contact:

Joyce Lapsley
Client Solutions Manager
Corporate Training & Consulting
Community College Workforce Alliance
Phone: 804-706-5180
Email: jlapsley@ccwa.vccs.edu

Workforce Virginia Podcast : Online Training

Workforce Virginia Podcast : Online Training

The growth of online learning has made training more accessible and impactful. In fact, many training platforms integrate discussion groups, polls, social media, blogs, virtual study rooms, and a host of other tools in the courses. But it is not for everyone. Prospective students must understand that online learning requires discipline, time management, self-motivation, effective writing, and technological proficiency.

To hear more about online learning with CCWA, we welcome you to Workforce Virginia, an all-new series of podcasts. Produced by CCWA, these conversations will connect human resource professionals, job seekers and working individuals to valuable training and development options that build the workforce.

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Do job applicants have the skills your organization needs?

Do job applicants have the skills your organization needs?

It’s easy to read the news today and see a reference to the widening skills gap. What’s hard is to figure out how to close that gap.

“Skills gap” describes the mismatch between the skills employers need and the skills that job seekers have. While the term is commonly referenced in the manufacturing industry, it applies to industries across the board from technology to healthcare to engineering. What if a program could provide the opportunity for job seekers to close the skills gap, thereby giving employers access to a more qualified applicant pool? And what if that program also provided funding to the employer to offset the costs of training the new employee?

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Captivating Your Audience with Prezi and PowerPoint

Captivating Your Audience with Prezi and PowerPoint

It’s not “what” you say, it’s “how” you say it. Only seven percent of what we say is retained when we use words alone. A whopping ninety-three percent is received through non-verbal channels – therein lies the problem. Many presenters believe using more text in their presentations directly relates to how well their message is received and retained. I can assure you, verbosity is not the answer to getting your point across; you do not have to be eternal to be effective. One only needs to listen to a few TED Talks to hear an effective message without copious text or time.

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