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Free Training in High-Demand Fields for the Region’s Unemployed

Free Training in High-Demand Fields for the Region’s Unemployed

In an effort to support Virginians affected economically by COVID-19, Governor Ralph Northam today announced a new CARES Act-funded $30 million initiative. The program, called Re-Employ Virginians, will provide free workforce and certification training for Virginians who are now unemployed and under-employed as a result of COVID-19. Virginia residents receiving unemployment insurance on August 1st or after, or who lost a job or work hours due to the pandemic, may be eligible for free occupational training in health care, trades, manufacturing, and IT career fields.

At CCWA, individuals interested in the following certification training programs can receive vouchers and grants to participate in upcoming fast-track programs that lead to high-demand careers in the Greater Richmond region.

  • Certified Nurse Aide
  • Certified Professional Coder
  • Clinical Medical Assistant
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Medical Coding & Billing Specialist
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Core-Introductory Craft Skills
  • Electrical – Level 1
  • HVAC – Level 1
  • Heavy Equipment Operations – Level 1
  • Manufacturing Specialist (MS)
  • Manufacturing Technician 1 (MT1)
  • AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate)
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Linux+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • VDOT Central Mix Aggregate Plant
  • VDOT Intermediate Work Zone Traffic Control Training and Flagger Certification
  • VDOT Inspector Series:

Bridge Preservation for Inspectors
Documentation & Record Keeping for Inspectors
New Structures and Bridges for Inspectors
Plan Reading for Inspectors
Roadway Construction & Drainage for Inspectors
Site Manager
Structures and Bridges for Inspectors
Surveying for Inspectors

The initiative will also allow qualified individuals to enroll in degree-seeking programs in the region at Reynolds and John Tyler community colleges.

“CCWA and our colleges are proud to help job seekers in the Greater Richmond and Crater regions to rapidly get back to work,” says Elizabeth Creamer, Vice President of Workforce Development and Credential Attainment.

“Through the new Re-Employing Virginia program, we can help residents of our region prepare in a matter of weeks for new careers in fields such as healthcare and trades that offer unlimited opportunity for continued education and training, career progression, and personal growth,” she continues. “The new program is a great benefit to those looking for work, and businesses looking for a skilled workforce.”

Participants will have to attest that they are unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-19 and residents of Virginia.  Students must enroll in training programs by December 14, 2020 and complete the training by May 2021. To learn more and register for an upcoming training program, please complete the form below.

Press Release:
Governor Northam Directs $30 Million to Support Workforce Training for Unemployed Virginians (October 30, 2020)


CCWA’s Fall Schedule: Now Available

CCWA’s Fall Schedule: Now Available

This fall, we invite you to unlock opportunities to gain new skills or move toward a new career path. Our September-December schedule of classes is packed full of courses designed to prepare students with the tools to propel forward, into a secure and confident future in the midst of today’s uncertainty.

With many courses adjusted to accommodate the health and safety of all students via online format and some small, in-person class options, there has never been a better time to pursue your next level of potential, on your own time. Explore our certifications and professional development courses and get started today.

Click here for our schedule of classes (PDF) or visit our online registration for more information.


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Getting Virginia’s Unemployed Back to Work 

Getting Virginia’s Unemployed Back to Work 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect life on a global and local scale, many of our region’s workers have suffered impacts in their employment status or earnings—in fact, in Virginia, newly filed unemployment claims neared 800,000 last month. The Community College Workforce Alliance is proud to be part of a new initiative formed to help get Virginians back to work.

The Virginia Ready Initiative is a privately funded, business supported program focused on helping Virginia’s unemployed gain the skills for in-demand occupations in high-growth industries. Often, this may involve retraining or career switching from industries that are stagnant right now to those that are growing jobs and hiring—including computer and cyber, health care and manufacturing/skilled trades.

Virginia Ready participants receive a $1,000 Credential Achievement Award upon finishing selected credential courses through the FastForward credential program, which reports that job applicants with workforce credentials are twice as likely to be hired than applicants with no credentials. Plus, FastForward covers two-thirds of tuition for its workforce training and certifications—and with CCWA, additional financial aid is available to cover even more costs.  (Financial aid will not disqualify students from receiving the $1,000 award).

Courses currently offered through CCWA that are part of the VA Ready program include:

  • Health Care
    • Medical Coding
    • Certified Nurse Aide
    • Clinical Medical Assistant
    • Pharmacy Technician
    • EMT
  • Manufacturing and Trades
    • Commercial Driver’s License
    • HVAC
    • Electrical

CCWA is working to add to its schedule more FastForward classes that qualify for Virginia Ready benefits.

Anyone who is currently unemployed can qualify for Virginia Ready when they enroll in a FastForward training course that began on or after August 1, 2020. Sign up for a CCWA course and then enroll in the VA Ready program.

Read the recent Virginia Ready article on the Richmond Times Dispatch website. 

Adapting to Unprecedented Shifts in Employment, CCWA is Here to Help 

Adapting to Unprecedented Shifts in Employment, CCWA is Here to Help 

Like it has throughout much of the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented shift in the job market here in central Virginia. As we all navigate changing working conditions, potential job losses, and upheaval in our personal and professional lives, our team at CCWA knows many job seekers are reexamining their careers and skill sets.

A recent editorial in the Richmond Times-Dispatch highlights our efforts to support local workers looking to gain new skills and find new pathways to employment during these challenging times. In response to the pandemic, we moved quickly to shift our FastFoward programs to accommodate virtual learning and are taking significant safety precautions for the components that still require in-person instruction.

No matter the challenges, CCWA remains committed to our core mission: helping Virginians find good-paying jobs. Check out our offerings today.

“We needed to look at all our classes, but particularly those FastForward [offerings]…because those really are a vehicle for getting people into the workforce very quickly,” 

-Elizabeth Creamer, CCWA’s Vice President for Workforce Development and Credential Attainment

New Position Expands Workforce Development in the Region 

New Position Expands Workforce Development in the Region 

The evolving partnership between the region’s economic and workforce development engines is vital to job seekers, industry, and our region’s growth. Working in a new joint position for both Virginia’s Gateway Region and CCWA, Michelle Rogers will help education and workforce development faculty and staff ensure our programs meet labor market and employer needs. Michelle will also support incoming and expanding businesses in the region access the range of services and resources to develop the workforce they need.

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