Close

Search Courses & Register (804) 523-CCWA

Tag Archive for: skills

Preventing Workplace Accidents in the RVA

Preventing Workplace Accidents in the RVA

Preventing Workplace Accidents in the Greater Richmond Region ~ CCWA Provides FREE OSHA-10 Construction Training to Employers! ~ By Wes Smith, Interim Assistant Vice President for Workforce Development

Accidents are one thing, but deaths in the workplace are another. Did you know that in 2017 there were 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry? To make matters worse for the construction industry, 20.7% of these deaths were construction related. OSHA has stated that the leading causes of death (excluding traffic collisions) are caused by four primary accident areas, which they’ve titled the “Fatal Four.” These include falls, struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. The “Fatal Four” are responsible for 59.9% of the deaths which occur in the construction industry. That percentage is why OSHA routinely holds more inspections on construction companies vs. other sectors. In 2018, there were over 32,000 inspections completed by OSHA.

Accidents are incredibly preventable when workers and employers put an emphasis on safety and set standards and responsibilities for safety protocols. Outside of death and accidents, there’s another reason for job seekers, employees, and employers to focus on safety. Simply put, it’s bad for business. When federal OSHA inspections are completed, most companies receive multiple citations. After compiling all of the data from these citations, OSHA was able to identify the most frequent citations. These include falls, hazard communication, scaffolding, ladders, respiratory protection, lockout/tag-out, powered industrial trucks, fall protection, machine guarding, and eye and face protection.

It is for the reasons mentioned above that the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA) has decided to engage with industries to get more Virginians certified in relevant and life-changing credentials. OSHA-10 Construction Certification involves ten hours of instruction, and typically comes at a financial cost to the individual or the employer. This cost barrier stops many individuals from receiving training each year. It’s a proven fact that individuals who are formally trained and certified are safer in the workplace not only for themselves but for everyone around them. A safe employee adds value in many ways to a company. This is why it’s normal to see construction and industrial companies make safety a top priority.

CCWA will be hosting its first free OSHA-10 Construction training class on May 2nd & 3rd. CCWA is doing this to give back to the community it serves, as well as addressing the importance of industry credentials and life-long learning in the workplace.

If your company is interested in attending or sending staff to this free certification training, then click on the link below for registration or contact us at 804-897-7602. Stay safe out there!

Register for CCWA’s FREE OSHA Class – May 2/3
Training to Be First on the Scene

Training to Be First on the Scene

~ CCWA Kicks Off Young Adult Initiative with EMT Certification Training in Petersburg ~ By Amy Taloma

For 15 students, the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program is the first step to a new career in a high-demand field.  Last month, through a partnership supported by the Virginia Community College System’s Young Adult Initiative, Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), John Tyler Community College, and Southside Adult Education Programs, began training the partnership’s first student cohort for the EMT certification.

EMT Students Together

One remarkable facet of the class is that it is held three nights a week (6pm – 10pm) at Southside Virginia Emergency Crew (SVEC) in Petersburg (VA).  By locating the course at an active medical facility, CCWA students come into contact with EMTs and get a glimpse at the activities and atmosphere surrounding an active emergency crew.

SVEC is the primary EMS agency for the Tri-Cities area answering thousands of calls for service annually with over a million man hours accumulated to keep up with the demand. SVEC also provides other services in the region such as standbys, public events, and combined training and preparedness exercises in conjunction with other public service organizations.EMT Students working

The EMT course is unique because it follows the Plugged In Virginia model which integrates adult education and career coaching within the occupational and credential training. In this process, the students learn EMT course content two of three evenings per week. During occupational training, on the remaining class night, students work with an adult education instructor on key math, vocabulary, and study strategies.  Another key component of the course is the involvement of CCWA career coaches who teach employability skills and help students prepare for their new roles as EMTs.

Students who successfully complete the course and earn certification will be able to join the workforce as an entry-level EMT.  This model assists students who may have thought that a career in health care was unavailable to them because of their lack of educational credentials.  The program strengthens academic skills and builds student confidence while they work on attaining the EMT credential.

EMT Thank You Notes to CCWA

During the first week of class, students enrolled in the program took time to get to know each other with icebreakers. When asked about their motivation to pursue a certification, student responses ranged from a longing to help people in their community to seeking advancement opportunities within health sciences or military career fields.

CCWA Student Paris Brown says that the credential will provide him with a flexible career, not just a job – providing a public safety role and keeping people alive. Summer Brown has been trying to get this certification for the past year, but never found an affordable program that fit her schedule, until now. She is currently a lifeguard and wants to explore more health care fields, but knows this certification is a great first step to earning medical experience that will fuel her career.

With over 360 hours of training completed, CCWA’s first class of EMT students, taught by John Tyler EMT Instructor, Daniel Linkins, is now learning how to lift up to 125 pounds, and preparing for mass casualty situations – using their newly formed skills on simulated patients.  In June, the Tri-Cities region will welcome 15 highly trained EMTs onto the first response scene.

For more information on upcoming EMT courses, visit ccwatraining.org/EMT

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.

Read More

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?

Read More