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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

CCWA Supports Wage Gains with Workforce Credentials

CCWA Supports Wage Gains with Workforce Credentials

When training is aligned with high-demand occupational fields, it creates the perfect opportunity for job seekers to gain skills and earn credentials for occupations that will offer them higher wages.  Those with jobs may be looking to jumpstart a new career in education or manufacturing.  Those transitioning from military service may need training for credentials that provide access to occupations such as health care.  And high school graduates may want workforce training that can get them a job, and also a few credits towards a college credential.  CCWA offers training for nationally-recognized industry credentials in manufacturing, construction and transportation, logistics and warehousing, health care, education and business services. As of January (2018), CCWA has enrolled 1181 students in training for workforce credentials with 714 of those students having completed their training and already earned credentials.  There are even CCWA programs that allow job seekers to combine GED preparation and training for a high growth occupation.

Last week, Virginia’s Community Colleges reported significant statewide outcomes, on impact of the program on participant wages, for the first year of the Workforce Credential Grant.

Read more below from Virginia’s Community Colleges:

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Early Wage Data Reveals Strong Gains for Workforce Credentials Grant Recipients

RICHMOND – Virginians taking advantage of a new state grants program for workforce training are graduating and being hired into careers that typically increase their take-home pay between 25 percent and 50 percent, and even higher in some cases. Those statistics represent a first look at the wage data of those who used Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Credentials Grants to earn FastForward credentials at a Virginia Community College.

“Businesses are lining up to hire workers with the right skills, and the salary increases are transforming the lives of Virginia families,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

PROMISING EARLY NUMBERS
Since the program’s inception, some 4,500 Virginians have used the grants to earn credentials in about 40 high-demand occupations. The average grant recipient is 36 years old, with an annual salary of $22,000 upon entering the program. Two out of three are new to community college education; and 20 percent received some form of public assistance in the year before the grants program began.

Early indicators show welders are seeing some of the biggest increases, up 50 percent. Manufacturers (31 percent), commercial truck drivers (33 percent), and healthcare administrators (23 percent) represent occupations with strong income growth. Construction and power line workers, and certified nursing assistants are also showing strong gains.

Wage analysis compares the program participant’s income before entering a program and the annualized salary earned for two or more quarters after earning a credential. Researchers say wage data from additional program graduates will allow for deeper analysis of these and other occupations.

SURPASSING EXPECTATIONS
“The success of Virginia’s Workforce Credentials Grants has surpassed even our most optimistic expectations,” noted Del. Kathy J. Byron (R-Bedford), sponsor of the House of Delegates legislation to enact the program. “This program is changing lives and transforming our workforce as a result.”

“Those with certifications have quickly found employment with family-supporting wages,” said state Sen. Frank Ruff (R-Clarksville), sponsor of the state Senate legislation. “And we expect each reporting period will yield further results. This is a win for employers and students.”

Virginia’s median income for those 25 and older stood at $42,000 in 2016, which represents a 2.1 percent increase from 2014, and a 4.8 percent increase from 2012. As the program name suggests, FastForward credentials are among the quickest way for an individual to elevate his or her career prospects.

CRUCIAL TO BUSINESSES
“We are pleased to see that the FastForward program is off to a successful start,” said Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “The availability of high-demand credential and degree programs is crucial to the businesses who employ these workers and to growing our economy. We look forward to working with public policy leaders to build on the program’s capacity.”

“Demand is high among both the businesses looking to fill these jobs, and the individuals seeking opportunity,” said DuBois. “The beauty of the program’s pay-for-performance nature is that money is spent only when results are achieved. This is a direct investment in Virginia’s workforce, and a boost for its competitiveness.”

MEETING GREATER DEMAND
The Virginia General Assembly created the grants program in 2016, allocating $12.5 million for the program’s first two years. The pay-for-performance program sold out early each year, exhausting the grant funding. The 2018 introduced biennial budget included $9.5 million for the grants in each of the next two years. Concerned over the high demand for the grants, business leaders and community college officials are working with legislators to further increase the funding.

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.

About FastForward: A high-demand program helping Virginians get the jobs they want and the salaries they need, FastForward programs are short-term training courses offered through Virginia’s Community Colleges to help you fast-track your career for 40 different occupations. State grants and other forms of financial assistance may be available for program applicants. For more information, please visit www.FastForwardVa.org.

SOURCE: http://www.vccs.edu/newsroom-articles/early-wage-data-reveals-strong-gains-for-workforce-credentials-grant-recipients/

VCCS MEDIA CONTACT: Jeffrey Kraus
Asst. Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications
(804) 592-6767
jkraus@vccs.edu

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.

###

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/.

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.

How to Train Front-line Supervisors

How to Train Front-line Supervisors

Several employers in the region have told us they need to develop new supervisors for improved productivity. Despite tight training budgets, there are low-costs ways to enhance the front-line supervisors’ performance. Front-line supervisors play an integral role in coaching and training what is often the largest segment of organizational teams.

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