~ Two-time award winner honored for training practices~
Williamsburg (VA) – At the recent Workforce Solutions Symposium at Kingsmill Resort, the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) announced the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA) as “2018 Partner of the Year.” Honored with this award for the second time (the first award presented in 2015), CCWA, the workforce development partnership between John Tyler and Reynolds community colleges, continues to enhance its manufacturing technician training and apprenticeship programs – providing a pipeline of qualified applicants for the industry’s employers in the Greater Richmond region. Virginia’s major manufacturing companies, along with regional workforce and economic development partners, attended the event earlier this month.
“CCWA recognized early the need for a pipeline of qualified job seekers and employees to decrease the skills gap in manufacturing workforce,” said Dr. Victor Gray, Executive Director of Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSi). “Since 2015, CCWA and the Virginia Manufacturers Association have worked together to incorporate the Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certification training into the community college education system. Each year, CCWA trains hundreds of Virginians for the MT1 certification, and they were the first organization in the Commonwealth to incorporate this certification within registered apprenticeship programs.” Gray added, “This year, working with Virginia Department of Veterans Services, CCWA launched a pilot ‘Military to Manufacturing’ program, which provides transitioning service members and veterans with free MT1 certification training, on-site industrial tours, and job interviews. To date, CCWA has certified more workers and job seekers in the MT1 certification than any other workforce agency in the country, and CCWA continues to develop new employer partnerships every day.”
In a recent study released by Deloitte, data shows the United States facing a massive labor shortage for technical jobs. Over the next decade, Deloitte points out that 2.4 million jobs could remain unfilled as a result of baby boomer generation retirements. The issue could cost the U.S. over $2 trillion in missed opportunities for the economy.
“CCWA is striving to make a dent in the skills gap and labor shortage,” said Dana Newcomer, CCWA’s Apprenticeship Coordinator. “Integrating industry recognized credentials and apprenticeships into the workplace is a primary tactic we’re focusing on as an educational partner. It’s imperative we develop our younger generations to not only become interested in these promising careers, but also competent.”
According to the VMA, winning the award twice within a four-year period demonstrates CCWA’s commitment to provide vital career pipeline services and credentialing initiatives to the region.
In the Photo:
Nat Marshall and Whitney Harrison are the Workforce Solutions Committee Co-Chairs
Dr. Victor Gray, Executive Director Workforce Solution
Wes Smith, CCWA Interim AVP of Workforce Development