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CCWA Assisting in COVID Job Loss Recovery in Region

CCWA Assisting in COVID Job Loss Recovery in Region

CCWA is excited to collaborate with the Capital Region Workforce Partnership (CRWP) and other regional partners in directly connecting to job seekers impacted by COVID-19, thanks to a Go Virginia grant announced last week. Utilizing an information exchange with the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), the CRWP and CCWA, in partnership with Reynolds and John Tyler community colleges will proactively reach out to the more than 110,000 residents of the Greater Richmond and Petersburg areas who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Along with job services, the grant initiative will support the delivery of skills assessments and training to prepare job seekers for re-entry into the workforce. Job seekers accessing a new portal will find chat features and direct phone numbers to job assistance.  The vision is to provide personal outreach to those who have applied for unemployment insurance benefits at a level not previously envisioned.

In the coming weeks, CCWA and CRWP will make initial email contact with individuals receiving unemployment benefits encouraging them to visit a portal organized into “zones” featuring jobs with immediate openings; career interest and aptitude assessments; training and education opportunities; virtual workshops on job searching and interviewing; and, connections to support services such as transportation and child care.

Read more here from the Richmond Times Dispatch (June 23, 2020):

https://www.richmond.com/business/go-virginia-awards-more-than-230-000-in-grants-to-help-with-job-recovery-in/article_9aaca894-4156-5e3f-a517-1c91bcc02281.html

 

5th Annual RVA LogistXGames June 13, 2019

5th Annual RVA LogistXGames June 13, 2019

CCWA is excited to join Colliers and other industry partners to host the 5th Annual LogistX Games to be held Thursday, June 13, 2019, 9:00am – 1:00pm, at the Richmond Distribution Center, 4667 Carolina Avenue in Richmond. The competition allows local companies to showcase their skills and expertise in the supply chain and distribution industries. Colliers, Virginia Credit Union, and The Port of Virginia return as platinum sponsors.

The logistics industry is very competitive in Central Virginia, and the employees are the backbone of each company. The LogistX Games honors those companies and employees, while building awareness for new talent to enter the industry.

–Wes Smith, Interim AVP, Workforce Development

How do the games work?

There are four events in the 2019 competition. They are each designed to test the teamwork, talent, efficiency and speed of each competing company. The games mirror the types of environments which logistics professionals work, but they are presented with a “twist.”

Those games are:

  • Pallet Puzzle Sprint – Three-person teams each take 36 different-sized corrugated boxes from floor locations, assemble them and stack them on a pallet. The team with the quickest time wins.
  • Pallet Jack Relay – Three-person teams participate in a timed pallet jack relay race through an obstacle course while keeping the boxes on the pallet.
  • Pick/Pack Hurdle – Three-person teams move boxes from the pallet to a warehouse racking system while memorizing positioning and SKUs in a timed race.
  • Box Put –Teams will have packed one box with fragile bottled liquid items, in the Pallet Puzzle Sprint event, utilizing selected packaging material from various options. During the Box Put event, one team member will then throw the box for distance and accuracy without breaking the contents.

An objective group of volunteers will serve as judges for the competition. The winning company will receive the “Golden Pallet” award.

The warehousing and distribution industry is very strong in the Greater Richmond region, and employees are the backbone of each company. The LogistX Games honor those companies and employees, while building awareness for new talent to enter the industry. Sponsorship dollars raised for the games are used as scholarships for job seekers who want to obtain the Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) certification through the Community College Workforce Alliance and seek entry-level positions in the industry. For sponsorship information, participation in the games or the logistics certifications, see the information below.

Why Hold the LogistXGames?

First held in 2007 in Louisville, Ky., the games were created as a means for participating companies to build employee pride, foster teamwork principles and reinforce safety standards.


Competing Teams:

  1. McKesson
  2. Port of Virginia
  3. Lutron
  4. Niche Logistics
  5. CCWA Student Team
  6. Walmart Distribution
  7. Goodwill
  8. Fort Lee
  9. Need Supply Co.
  10. Riverside Logistics
  11. Worth Higgins & Associates

Platinum Sponsors:

VACU logo Port

Additional Sponsors Include:

Gold Level – Rite Hite, Arbon Equipment Corporation, ChamberRVA

Silver Level – Hourigan Construction, Sign Crafters

Bronze Level – TK Promotions, Manufacturing Skills Institute, Becknell Industrial, Lutron, Walmart Distribution

In-Kind – PAR, PeakLogix, Richmond Corrugated Box Company

Supporting Sponsors – Goodwill, Chesterfield County Economic Development

Host Sponsor – Liberty Property Trust

For sponsorship information, contact Wood Thornton at wood.thornton@colliers.com. To join us in person or to learn more about the Certified Logistics Associate course, complete the form below:

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

CCWA Selected as Partner of the Year by The Virginia Manufacturers Association

CCWA Selected as Partner of the Year by The Virginia Manufacturers Association

~ 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

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