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Bridge To Career – Preparing Young Adults for In-Demand Careers

Bridge To Career – Preparing Young Adults for In-Demand Careers

Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), Reynolds and John Tyler Community Colleges, Capital and Crater Regions’ Adult Education programs, and Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia are partnering to increase opportunities for young adults to rapidly gain the basic skills and credentials needed for readily available jobs offering career and wage growth.

Our Bridge to Career programs in the Greater Richmond and Crater regions provide FREE conveniently-scheduled training for occupations in demand by regional business and industry. Programs also include: basic skills, career coaching, preparation for interviews and employment, opportunities to earn industry certifications, digital literacy, and assistance finding the transportation and services participants might need to get to training and work. Participants also have placement specialists working with them to secure employment at the program’s end.

Currently offered programs train students for careers in health care, warehousing and distribution, customer service and construction occupations. Cohorts begin year-round. Programs are available for those with and without a high school diploma. Thanks to funding from several sources including the Strada Education Network, there is no charge for tuition, fees, books, supplies or support services such as transportation and childcare.

Upcoming Sessions

Reynolds Community College – Downtown Campus:

  • Construction/Trades – NCCER – Core (Sep 10 – Nov 15; Monday – Thursday; Afternoon Sessions)
  • Warehousing/Distribution – Certified Logistics Associate/CLA (Sep 17 – Nov 15; Tuesday – Thursday; Evening Sessions)

Petersburg High School:

  • Health Care – Clinical Medical Assistant (Sep 24 – Jan 31; Monday – Thursday; Evening Sessions)
  • Health Care – Nurse Aide (Sep 24 – Jan 31; Monday – Thursday; Evening Sessions)
  • Warehousing/Distribution – Certified Logistics Associate/CLA (Sep 24 – Jan 31; Monday – Thursday; Evening Sessions)

Hanover County:

  • Warehousing/Distribution – Certified Logistics Associate/CLA (Sep 17 – Nov 27; Monday – Thursday; Afternoon Sessions)

For more information on the program, please complete the form below:

Summer 2018 Schedule

Summer 2018 Schedule

Transform your summer and take advantage of courses that will lead to improved work productivity or career advancement. Redesign your approach to daily tasks or prepare for your next position in the areas of technology, communications, management, trades and much more. You can also explore our FastFoward credential program offerings that lead to industry-recognized certificates toward a new career in high-demand fields throughout the region. Our short-term classes or certification programs are offered at our three convenient locations and online. Fill the season with new skills!

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

Download a PDF of the full catalog: CCWA Summer 2018 Schedule.

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

CCWA on RVA Today

CCWA on RVA Today

Elizabeth Creamer, CCWA’s Vice President of Workforce Development and Credential Attainment, explained programs, services and the significance of credentials in a recent interview at NBC12. In the past year, CCWA has awarded more than 1,000 industry certificates – allowing individuals a pathway to new careers and filling the pipeline for many employers.  Watch the interview here.

Learn more about certification programs by visiting http://ccwatraining.org/certifications/

The Enrollment Roller-Coaster

The Enrollment Roller-Coaster

~Numbers fall in a rising economy, but college continues to train students to meet workforce needs~

The following content, courtesy of Virginia Business:

Reynolds students

While it has three campuses, half of the students take some classes online. Courtesy Reynolds Community College

At the opening convocation of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in late September, President Gary Rhodes listened to the school’s alma mater, introduced and recognized other guests and college board members gathered on the college’s Henrico County campus.

Rhodes noted that the college foundation had, among other moves, awarded $500,000 in student scholarships while raising money for a new IV pump for the health-care programs, a 3-D printer for engineering and a drone for horticulture studies. He also went over some improvements at the college’s three campuses in Henrico, Goochland counties and Richmond.

Then, under a PowerPoint slide headlined “Challenges,” Rhodes dropped a bombshell. “Enrollments are down 25 percent over the past five years,” he said. The audience greeted the revelations with silence.

Later, Rhodes said that, while he was not offering excuses for the drop in enrollment, the dynamics under which community colleges operate explain a lot about what happened.

In 2012, when Virginia’s economy still was clawing its way out of the Great Recession, Reynolds hit an enrollment high of more than 20,000 students. Many sought workplace skills to help them find new jobs or careers.

Now, with Richmond’s unemployment hovering at 4 percent or less, enrollment has dipped to 16,800 or so. People are less likely to enroll in college when they have jobs and things are good, Rhodes notes.

He says the formula for the roller coaster that community colleges ride in enrollments is simple. “Weak economy equals strong enrollments. Strong economy equals weak enrollments,” he explains.

Every year, Rhodes says, the college makes “a conservative guesstimate” of what its enrollment will be. If enrollment falls, and the cash flow from tuitions is lower than expected, faculty and staff are not replaced if they leave or various programs are merged.

“Ultimately, we want to have healthy enrollment, and it’s not just the money side. It’s the workers,” Rhodes says. “Pick any industry out there, and they’re just screaming that they can’t find trained workers.”

Students from 42 countries
Preparing those workers is a top priority for Reynolds and other community colleges. Students obtain industry certification, earn associate degrees or transfer to four-year institutions for more education. On average, about 900 students transfer each year from Reynolds.

Rhodes, a former board chair of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce (now, ChamberRVA), says his favorite data point — one that nearly always gets an audience’s attention — is this: “One out of every four workers in the Greater Richmond region has attended Reynolds Community College, and one in every three health-care workers,” Rhodes says, citing a study by the Richmond-based SIR consulting firm.

Since Reynolds opened in 1972, it has become the third-largest community college in Virginia (behind Northern Virginia and Tidewater community colleges), and officials say that more than 310,000 students have enrolled in for-credit courses.

Today, half of Reynolds students are taking one or more classes online, and 17 percent are earning all of their credits online. This fall, the student body included representatives from 42 foreign countries, including war-torn Afghanistan.

Besides fluctuations in the economy, Rhodes cites other factors that affect enrollment.

Low birth rates 18 years ago led to fewer U.S. students entering college in 2017. Also, state funding has dwindled over the years from 60 percent to 35 percent of Reynolds’ operational budgets, Rhodes says. As a result, tuitions are higher, and students have to shoulder more of the costs.

To boost its student body, Reynolds is making the enrollment process simpler and engaging more students while they are still in high school or middle school, through programs such as Advance College Academies. Under that program, outstanding high school students can earn associate degrees while completing their high-school diploma requirements.

The program has set up an interesting dynamic for its high school seniors. They are awarded their associate degrees in May before they receive their high-school diplomas in June. “They graduate from college before they graduate from high school,” Rhodes says with a laugh. In 2017, 63 high school students graduated from the program.

Students typically apply to an academy program in the eighth grade through their local school division, enroll in advanced high-school courses in the ninth and 10th grades and take the required college coursework for their associate degrees during the 11th and 12th grades. “They will stay together all four years,” Rhodes says of students in the program.

JLARC report
Community colleges are likely to come under scrutiny at the next session of the General Assembly as the result of a report issued in September by the state Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC).

Among other findings, JLARC reported that only 39 percent of Virginia’s community college students earned degrees or other credentials, a trend in line with patterns seen across the nation.

JLARC also says that the process and resources enabling community college students to transfer to four-year institutions are difficult to use.

JLARC adds that rising tuition rates and fees at community colleges could affect access, affordability and student success. During the past 10 years, tuition and fees have grown from 6 percent of per-capita disposable income to 11 percent, the report says.

Echoing comments by community college Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Rhodes notes that, while there is room for improvement, many of the issues raised by JLARC can be traced to the different populations served by community colleges and four-year institutions. Generally speaking, community college students are older, poorer and attend college part time, Rhodes says. “Seventy-five percent of our students are part time,” the Reynolds president says, “and 75 percent work.”

Workforce development
While Reynolds has seen an overall drop in enrollment, students have been rushing to enter the college’s workforce development program for high-demand fields, such as welding, manufacturing and health care.

“The Community College Workforce Alliance, which is a partnership of Reynolds and John Tyler [Community College], was No. 1 in the state for workforce credential attainment, No. 1 for the number of people we have enrolled in the program,” says Elizabeth Creamer, vice president for workforce development at Reynolds.

As of mid-September, more than 900 students have been through the program under the Reynolds/Tyler alliance. The principal driver of the program has been the Workforce Credential Grant, established by the legislature, which has just completed its first year.

Under the grant, the state pays two-thirds of the tuition costs directly to the college, with students responsible for the other third. But requirements are stringent. The college is paid a third of the cost only when a student successfully completes the course, and the final third is received only if the student successfully obtains a credential or certification from an industry or certifying agency.

The bar also is high even before the first dollar is paid. “You can only get a credential through the state at greatly reduced or no cost if it’s aligned with a regionally available job for which there is a documented shortage of workers,” Creamer says.

Besides preparing students for high-demand occupations, the program also certifies teachers.

Those teachers, who must already possess a bachelor’s degree before they enter the program, are largely destined for public schools in subject areas where instructors are hard to find: technical education, science and technology, engineering technology and mathematics.

“We’re not going to get the teachers in the fields we need through the teacher education programs at the universities,” Creamer says. “So, we have expedited programs for those who have a baccalaureate and who are willing and able to go into teaching. They can access that job now and get their teaching credentials in a matter of months, not years.”

Transfer students
Reynolds also transfers about 900 students annually to four-year institutions. One of them was Sofia Duarte, whose parents operate a small residential cleaning service in the Richmond area.

Duarte, now 21, says she chose to go to a community college to save on higher-education costs — about $20,000 less when a student first goes to a community college and then transfers — and to help ensure that her parents had enough money to help her younger sister.

Duarte, an honors student, earned scholarships at Reynolds, worked a variety of part-time jobs, and then transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University where she is now a senior in the School of Engineering, earning a degree in electrical engineering. “Honestly, for me Reynolds opened a lot of doors to meet amazing people and have amazing opportunities,” Duarte says. She says Reynolds offered small classes, good teachers and strong academic advising.

And her younger sister, Sabrina, 18, whom she mentored, has done okay, too. She’s now enrolled at the University of Richmond, on scholarship.

Rhodes, who is now in his 16th year as president of Reynolds, says he knows enrollments will continue to fluctuate as the economy fluctuates. But that’s not what concerns him most.

He is worried about many young people and adults — from underemployed baccalaureate degree holders who can’t find jobs in their field to high school dropouts to laid-off workers — who could benefit from the wide variety of programs offered by Reynolds. “Everything we do here at the community college is preparing people for life and careers,” Rhodes says.


Content credit: Gary Robertson, Virginia Business
Photo credit for students and Dr. Rhodes: Reynolds Community College
Photo credit for Elizabeth Creamer: Shandell Taylor
Original Article: http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/the-enrollment-roller-coaster

Does your organization have an internal coaching culture to develop future leaders?

Does your organization have an internal coaching culture to develop future leaders?

Employers invest thousands of dollars annually to acquire new employees. According to Sharlyn Lauby at Business Management Daily, “They pour time and resources into recruiting, interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and training a new employee. So if a new employee—or a long-tenured one, for that matter—makes a mistake, it’s often best to consider coaching…instead of immediately thinking about discipline and possible termination.” Lauby suggests comparing the relative costs of replacing an employee with salvaging an already-established relationship.

When employees are not strong contributors–that is, their managers and coworkers recognize them as low performers—what happens? Either nothing or, often, the manager considers a disciplinary approach or even the possibility of termination. Is punishment the goal or is the purpose to change the employee’s behavior? This is where coaching enters the picture. Coaching should not be confused with mentoring or counseling. But what is it exactly?

According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), coaching is a process that inspires workers to maximize their personal and professional potentials. It is a series of discussions to help draw out the potential of people relevant to their goals and the expectations that their companies have set for them.

Bob Huebner, a CCWA coach and consultant, tells us, “The coach, through questions, helps individuals explore their goals, the obstacles and challenges they face, ways to overcome those challenges, and the next steps to advance their progress toward achievement. The best coaches ask the best questions.”

In Kathy Gurchiek’s article, Should Your Organization Use Internal Coaches?, Amy Lui Abel, Ph.D., who is managing director of human capital at The Conference Board, writes that coaching is now more targeted and often complements other leadership development programs. Organizations are now expanding their coaching cultures by:

  • Embedding coaching into talent and performance management processes
  • Developing leaders and managers at all levels to be coaches
  • Training senior leaders to lead coaching efforts within the company

Gurchiek’s article also describes Google’s “…plethora of internal coaches, including those who help new employees navigate the company culture and those who work with people managers to develop their teams. It also has an executive development team that focuses on leadership coaching.”

She discusses the launching of Career Guru at Google that has broadened into Guru-plus with 350 internal coaches in 60 offices around the world. “Google Hangouts” makes the virtual coaching possible. Coaches support many topics, such as sales or delivering presentations. A sales employee who is preparing for a big sales demonstration in the U.K. may receive coaching from one of the sales gurus working in the U.S. Someone working on delivering a presentation for TED Talks might be virtually coached by a TED Talks guru in another geographical location.

Do the managers in your organization encounter any of the following coaching challenges?

  • New employees confronting learning curves?
  • Seasoned staff members tackling unfamiliar tasks?
  • Difficult employees creating workplace problems?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” CCWA can help your managers learn specific coaching skills and techniques to handle these situations effectively. Managers who provide regular coaching increase overall engagement among their employees. If your organization is interested in learning more about making coaching an organizational priority, CCWA coaches are trained to work with leaders to inspire them to their personal and professional potential, thus increasing productivity and effectiveness.

“Coaching is a lot about asking questions that help individuals discover how their values may be driving their behavior in a particular situation and then helping them find solutions to challenges. Coaching is not telling people what to do and barking orders. It’s a skill”

— Amy Lui Abel

CCWA partners with hundreds of employers each year to offer a wide range of professional development services to engage your team. We tailor our programs to meet organizational needs.  If you’re interested in learning more about any of CCWA’s client services, please contact:

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