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Find Your Path and Move Ahead: Fall Schedule

Find Your Path and Move Ahead: Fall Schedule

Fall into a season of learning and build your skills, to boost job performance or land a new position. CCWA’s fall catalog is full of short-term classes or certification programs, offered at our three convenient locations and online. And learn more about our Workforce Credential Grant (WCG) program offering industry-recognized certificate programs for one-third of the cost to help you with a new career in high-demand fields throughout the region.

Take a look at our new catalog or visit us at ccwatraining.org for more information.

Download a PDF of the full catalog: CCWA Fall 2017 Schedule.

Governor McAuliffe Announces 2,173 Credentials Awarded Through New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant Program

Governor McAuliffe Announces 2,173 Credentials Awarded Through New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant Program

~ New grants spur big gains in Virginia Community Colleges’ Workforce Credential Training Programs ~

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that, through the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program, Virginia’s Community Colleges provided workforce training that enabled 2,173 Virginians to secure industry-recognized credentials, licenses, and certifications needed for high-demand careers, in the first year of the grant program. Governor McAuliffe awarded the 2,172nd and 2,173rd credentials at an event commemorating this achievement this afternoon.

This milestone nearly triples the number of people who were credentialed last year, bringing the total to 4,268 Virginians. More than half of the credential earners, 2,173, took advantage of the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grant program. Training for the remaining 2,095 credentials was funded by employers, federal grants, or other private sources.

“Today’s announcement is a landmark achievement for our workforce development efforts,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe speaking at the announcement event. “Clearly, the timing was right for this innovative initiative to help our businesses find qualified workers and empower more Virginians to seek good-paying jobs. In partnership with the General Assembly and our public and private sector partners, we are filling key gaps in the workforce pipeline and putting more Virginians to work in the new Virginia economy.”

“Whether we’re attracting new businesses to Virginia or helping our existing employers grow and compete, we need to continually strengthen our workforce,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Today’s announcement marks a nearly 180 percent increase in earned credentials in the first year of this program. This significant growth is a great sign for what we can do for Virginia’s workforce moving forward.”

With broad bipartisan support, the 2016 General Assembly created the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Fund and program to encourage more Virginians to prepare for careers that require specialized training, but not necessarily college degrees. This fund provides grants covering two-thirds of the tuition for students who are enrolled in a workforce training program designed to fill in-demand jobs in their home region. The year before the new workforce training grant program went into effect, community colleges provided training for 1,528 Virginians to earn those professional credentials.

“This success is a tribute to the power of collaboration,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “As we ramped up our workforce training capacity to respond to the new state grants program, we also created new training opportunities that motivated students to tap into a variety of other funding sources.”

“This is a significant milestone in Virginia’s efforts to better align the workforce system to help close the skills gap and prepare Virginians for good careers in high priority industries,” added Mark Herzog, Chair of the Virginia Board of Workforce Development.

Virginia’s businesses are eager to hire workers with a wide variety of skills in fields ranging from information technology and advanced manufacturing to education, health care, logistics and transportation. By pursuing industry-recognized credentials, students can qualify for promising careers in weeks or months instead of semesters and years, and without incurring large amounts of student debt.

“Through better and more accessible training, Virginia is boosting its ability to create a 21st century workforce,” said Barry DuVal, President and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “This is great news for our business community and for people who are starting out or getting a fresh start on their careers.”

Now entering its second year of operation, Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grant program greatly reduces the out-of-pocket cost for Virginians to enroll in specified training programs to earn industry-recognized certifications. The Virginia Board of Workforce Development has developed a list of high-demand occupations, which is further vetted as educators work closely with Virginia businesses in regions across the Commonwealth to develop and deliver related workforce training to prepare people for those jobs. Currently, grants are available to support 146 training courses offered throughout Virginia’s 23 community colleges.
To learn more about workforce credential grants, please visit http://www.vccs.edu/workforce/.

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 more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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Charlotte Gomer
Office of Governor Terence R. McAuliffe
Press Assistant
Charlotte.Gomer@governor.virginia.gov


Content credit: Office of the Governor.

Photo credit: Clement Britt, Virginia’s Community Colleges

Learn more about the workforce certificates offered at CCWA by visiting http://ccwatraining.org/certifications/.

Are you engaging your employees?

Are you engaging your employees?

Investing in talent development for your employees benefits your bottom line.
You’ve probably heard this paradox:
What if we train them, and they leave?
What if we don’t, and they stay?

Where does your organization stand on these questions?

The 2017 Gallup State of the American Workplace report asserts that “the key to an organization’s growth has been and always will be its workforce.” Employee retention and engagement are more than buzz words; they are critical components of the overall performance of an organization.

According to Gallup, “The desire to learn and grow is a natural human need and one that is required to keep employees motivated and progressing. When employees feel they are learning and growing, they work harder and more efficiently. And the best employees are never quite satisfied with their work. They always strive to find better, more productive ways to work. In this kind of work environment, innovation emerges. When people grow, companies evolve and grow and are more likely to stay in business.”

Renee Gendron, in a blog for the Association of Talent Development, writes that employers can be proactive and intentional about the professional growth of their employees. According to Gendron, “When employers develop their own talent, not only are they saving money because they have lower turnover rates, but they are also developing their own internal leadership skills.” Building leaders from within helps to create stronger teams in an improved culture of development.

Likewise, a recent Robert Half blog entry discusses some reasons why investing in employee growth is a smart idea. They suggest that professional development will:

  • Increase collective knowledge of your team
  • Boost job satisfaction
  • Attract the right kind of job candidates during recruitment
  • Enhance the organization’s appeal to prospective and incumbent employees
  • Identify future leaders from within the organization
  • Increase retention

“Unfortunately,… many organizations spend more on recruiting new talent than developing the top talent they already have; that has to change in order for companies to be successful in a tight talent market.”

— Joyce Maroney
Kronos Incorporated & Director of the Workforce Institute

CCWA partners with hundreds of employers each year to offer a wide range of professional development services to engage your team. Our custom-designed programs may begin with an assessment, followed by the creation of tools to fill performance gaps; then, we can provide training and coaching solutions that allow your employees to reach their full potential. If you’re interested in learning more about CCWA’s client services, please contact:

Joyce Lapsley
Client Solutions Manager
Community College Workforce Alliance
Phone: 804-706-5180
Email: JLapsley@ccwa.vccs.edu

Chart Your Course: Summer Schedule

Chart Your Course: Summer Schedule

Steer in a new direction this summer – build new skills for your professional portfolio.  CCWA’s summer catalog is full of short-term classes or certification programs, offered at our three convenient locations and online.  Get anchored with development programs that support your growth or employee productivity at your organization.

Take a look at our new catalog or visit us at ccwatraining.org for more information.

Download a PDF of the catalog: CCWA Summer 2017 Schedule.

Training for Administrative Professionals

Training for Administrative Professionals

CCWA is committed to the development of administrative professionals. Having coordinated workshops and events for more than 30 years, CCWA remains at the forefront of providing effective training programs for those who serve in these integral roles throughout the Greater Richmond region.

Contact us for more information at help@ccwa.vccs.edu or by phone at 804-523-2292.

Do your frontline employees consistently give your customers more than they are expecting?

Do your frontline employees consistently give your customers more than they are expecting?

Frontline employees deal with challenging issues and interact directly with customers daily—whether on the phone, face-to-face, email, or social media.  The ability to provide excellent customer service is a result of learning and applying a combination of skills, such as communication, problem solving, listening, phone etiquette, choosing the correct words, asking questions, building confidence with difficult customers, to name a few.

In their book, Raving Fans, Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowls, write that “raving fans” will share with friends and coworkers about your service, instead of being merely satisfied and telling no one or broadcasting poor service over social media.

Did you know that it costs more to attract new customers than it does to maintain a relationship with current customers? A two percent increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10 percent. (Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet & Mark Murphy)

96% of unhappy customers do not complain; however, 91% of those same customers will leave and will not come back, not because of the quality of the product, but because they did not like the way they were treated.

Skills, Knowledge, and Attitude

Nothing substitutes for knowledge of your organization and its products and services, except maybe for displaying a winning attitude and honing your customer service skills. These three qualities—Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude–work together to keep your customers coming back. They also build teamwork among your company’s internal customers. When employees work together well, external customers notice, which, in turn, contributes to customer loyalty and the bottom line.

Training Makes a Difference

Investing in employee customer service training is key to providing your customers with a stellar experience. Putting an extra effort into customer service may give companies a competitive advantage. With products and services becoming more and more similar, customer service is one of the few ways in which an organization can differentiate itself and stand out.

The Community College Workforce Alliance’s (CCWA’s) training can help you and your employees create best practices that will improve both customer and employee satisfaction. CCWA’s Customer Service Academy provides an updated Building Blocks for Excellent Customer Service program that will help your team learn new and better ways to deliver excellence to your customers.

Upgrade to a Certification

CCWA has partnered with the National Retail Federation (NRF) and created the added option of obtaining a Customer Service & Sales certification once the training is completed. This certification confirms that your customer service professionals are knowledgeable with winning attitudes and enhanced skills. This credential will help the employees advance in their careers and contribute to the quality of the customer experience.

A recognized certification will help your employees stand out and will put your organization ahead of competitors.

Remember that customer service is everybody’s business! Set a goal today to make certain that your staff is making every client connection a positive one.

CCWA is here to help you raise the bar and become more customer service-centered. Our bench of highly motivated instructors is ready to help your team provide excellent customer service that will keep your customers coming back!

Joyce Lapsley
Client Solutions Manager
Corporate Training & Consulting
804-706-5180
jlapsley@ccwa.vccs.edu