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Commonwealth of Virginia

Office of Governor Bob McDonnell

State Logo

Office of the Governor

Contact: Jeff Caldwell

Phone: (804) 225-4260

Email: Jeff.Caldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov

Virginia Community College System

Contact: Jeffrey Kraus

Phone: (804) 592-6767


Nearly Three Dozen Organizations Come Together to Connect Veterans with High-Demand Jobs and Careers

Virginia Community College Grants Spur Partnerships Across the Commonwealth

RICHMOND — Nearly three dozen organizations are working together in eight regional partnerships to connect veterans who have recently finished their military service, and their eligible spouses, with jobs and careers in high-growth, high-demand fields.

Virginia’s Community Colleges are funding the partnerships with $1.8 million in grants. Individual grant awards range from $142,500 – $250,000. Taken together, the innovative partnerships are expected to serve more than 700 people annually.

“We have worked to make Virginia the best state for military families to live and find work after they finish their service.” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “Today, I am pleased to announce another cost-effective strategy to serve those veterans and their families. By knocking down walls between programs and agencies and leveraging the great work these terrific organizations serving veterans already do, we can better help our heroes find good-paying jobs and promising careers.”

The projects selected for funding include regional and statewide strategies and tools to train and employ veterans in healthcare, advanced manufacturing and information technology, among other fast-growing industry sectors. These career pathways for veterans include additional tools to reward veterans with college credits for prior learning and for skills obtained in the armed forces.

“Community colleges are at their best when they can bring together various groups and organizations to answer a community challenge, and that’s what we’re doing here,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “We were impressed by both the quantity and the quality of the proposals we received. The selected proposals contained smart and creative ways to serve our veterans better. We’re excited to put those ideas to work.”

“Each of the selected grant proposals represents the sort of regional collaboration between education, economic and workforce development, and business and industry that Governor McDonnell’s workforce agenda has prioritized, “ said Secretary of Education Laura Fornash.  “Not only do the proposals include both higher education and employment services, they also include veterans’ services such as the V3 initiative which works directly with businesses to recruit and retain our returning heroes.”

Each of the selected projects includes collaboration between local workforce investment boards, community colleges, the Virginia Employment Commission, state government agencies and local businesses. A request for proposals for funding was announced in November 2012. Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Rapid Response Assistance funds will support these grants.

Award recipients include:

  • Alexandria Workforce Investment Board
  • Greater Peninsula Workforce Development Consortium
  • Opportunity Inc. of Hampton Roads
  • Patrick Henry Community College
  • South Central Workforce Investment Board
  • The Skills Source Group
  • Virginia Industry Foundation
  • Western Virginia Workforce Development Board


About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 400,000 students a year.  For more information please visit

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Office of the Governor
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Email: Jeff.Caldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov

George Washington University
Contact: Latarsha Gatlin
Phone: (202) 994-5631

Virginia Community College System 
Contact: Jeffrey Kraus
Phone: (804) 592-6767

Governor McDonnell Presides Over Signing Ceremony with George Washington University on Guaranteed Admission Program for Nursing Students Statewide

RICHMOND — Governor Bob McDonnell oversaw the ceremonial signing of an agreement today between George Washington University’s President Steven Knapp and Virginia's Community Colleges (VCCS) to provide guaranteed admission to students enrolled in accredited nursing programs across the state who meet established academic requirements.

The memorandum of understanding will allow students in any of the Commonwealth’s community colleges to transfer their Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree (ADN) credits to George Washington’s School of Nursing and pursue a Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree with credits that are applicable to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

“This agreement between George Washington University and Virginia’s Community Colleges has the potential to change the face of the nursing profession and healthcare education across the Commonwealth for generations,” said Governor Bob McDonnell. “We must continue to seek out thoughtful, innovative solutions like this, which expand both learning and economic opportunities to more Virginians. A well-educated and well-trained workforce is the backbone to Virginia and it is public-private partnerships like this that position Virginia to be a leader in the STEM-H industry.”

The agreement helps to realize Governor McDonnell’s recently adopted “Top Jobs” legislation which has a goal of 100,000 more degrees being awarded in STEM concentrations over the next 15 years. There are 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of which the majority offer accredited nursing programs to its students.

“The George Washington University is both delighted and honored to enter into this partnership in nursing education with Virginia’s Community Colleges,” said George Washington University President Steven Knapp. “We also deeply appreciate Governor McDonnell's recognition of the role of higher education in opening opportunities for all Virginians to help shape the future of this great Commonwealth.”

For students with a bachelor’s degree in another field and an associate degree in nursing with work experience as a licensed registered nurse, the guaranteed admissions program will allow them to transfer into the master’s program after taking a bridge course.

“George Washington University is a leader in the Commonwealth of Virginia for its willingness to partner with our colleges and universities to maximize opportunities for our students,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash. “Supporting nursing students as well as those shifting into nursing as a career change in this manner provides flexibility and accessibility to today’s healthcare professional. We’re pleased to see this partnership take shape and look forward to working with both institutions in the future.”

In spring 2012, the George Washington University School of Nursing and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College signed an agreement for nurses in rural Virginia to expand their education. That program, a pilot to the recent, statewide agreement, was targeted toward nurses prepared at the associate degree level seeking to get either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

“Virginia offers students the best transfer environment of any state in the nation because of exciting guaranteed agreements like this,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “We are excited to be partnering with George Washington University in this agreement and believe that it will expand affordable college access, strengthen GWU and our community colleges and help students across Virginia.”

Some of the benefits of the primarily online program are that participants have access to mentorship opportunities with nursing faculty members and students can stay in their home communities while advancing their education. The program will help address healthcare workforce shortages; a challenge made more pronounced in rural and medically underserved areas. The structure of the guaranteed admissions program allows for those healthcare workers to continue providing services to their communities while working toward their own career advancement.

To participate in the program, students must meet the following eligibility requirements: completed an associate degree from a community college in the VCCS that is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission; graduated with a 3.0 grade point average in nursing and overall; completed any additional prerequisite coursework; is currently a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) and has proof of employment in a field requiring nursing knowledge or experience.

Students enrolled part-time can go from an ADN to BSN in four semesters and can earn an MSN in approximately three years.

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Annual Valley Proteins Award will modernize BRCC Commercial Driving School equipment

Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) will soon update the safety equipment on much of its Commercial Driving School truck fleet thanks to an award funded by Valley Proteins and administered by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE).

The $10,000 gift will supply electronic driver logs and collision warning systems to more than one-third of the program’s big rig trucks. Both safety systems are increasingly common throughout the trucking industry. The upgrades will bolster the program’s reputation for producing graduates with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills.

The BRCC Commercial Driving School has produced more than 1,800 graduates over the last 21 years with a nearly 98 percent successful licensure rate. The driving school also provides customized training for companies, having served employers like ComSonics, Inc., Northrop Grumman and the United States Navy.

The Valley Proteins Endowment Fund is awarded annually to support workforce development programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges in the areas of environmental science, commercial truck driving, heating and air conditioning, and office technology in regions where the company conducts its rendering operations.

“We are both honored and excited to receive the Valley Proteins Award,” said Dr. John Downey, president of Blue Ridge Community College. “Everyone who lives in the I-81 corridor knows how important the trucking industry, and especially safe trucking, is to our economy and our community. It is not too much to suggest that the equipment this money will purchase and the training that it will provide our graduates might just someday save lives – and we’re grateful for that.”

“You don’t have to be a transportation expert to know how important safety is on our increasingly crowded roadways,” said Michael A. Smith, vice president of Valley Proteins and chair of the VFCCE. “Congratulations to Blue Ridge Community College on putting together a wonderful proposal! We are excited to think what this could mean for the truck drivers who will be sharing the roads with us and our families.”

“The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education is dedicated to expanding opportunities through creative partnerships,” said Jennifer Gentry, executive director of the VFCCE. “This endowment is a great example of the synergy that comes from joining together employers who are vested in the quality of tomorrow’s Virginia workforce and the community colleges that elevate it every day.”

Valley Proteins is committed to supporting the workforce, particularly in the areas in which it has a business presence. The 60-year-old firm, headquartered in Winchester, operates 14 plants in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Its processing facilities recycle food waste materials into usable products and bio fuels for feed and industrial applications.

This is the first time Blue Ridge Community College has earned the award. Previous recipients of the annual award include John Tyler Community College, Paul D. Camp Community College and Southside Virginia Community College.

About the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education:  Working hand in hand with Virginia’s 23 community colleges, the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education seeks to guarantee financial assistance to all students who dream of attending college.  The foundation is building an endowment that is already generating interest to provide full scholarships to selected community college students.  Donors to the fund are invited to endow a single scholarship in their name and designate it to any of Virginia’s community colleges or regions.  For more information, please visit

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 405,000 students each year. For more information, please visit

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RICHMOND – The State Board for Community Colleges will convene its regular meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 at 9 a.m. in the Godwin-Hamel Board Room on the 15th floor of the James Monroe Building, 101 N. 14th Street, Richmond.

State Board Committees will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 16, also in the James Monroe Building. The Academic, Student Affairs and Workforce Development Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee meet at 1:30 p.m.; the Facilities Committee meets at 3 p.m. and the Audit Committee meets at 4 p.m.

The Personnel Committee will meet at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 in the James Monroe Building in Richmond. A second public location has been established so that this committee meeting can be conducted electronically. That location is: The Breakers Hotel, One South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida. For information on connecting to this committee meeting, please call 804-819-4902.

Agenda items for the regular business meeting on Jan. 17 include:

Academic, Student Affairs & Workforce – The State Board will consider approval of revised Achieve 2015 goals and will consider a new associate of applied science degree in health information management at Mountain Empire Community College as well as a new associate of applied science degree in culinary arts at Piedmont Virginia Community College. The board will also receive a progress report on workforce development activities and an update on nursing transfer agreements, among other reports.

Facilities – The State Board will consider plans for student center renovations at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg and a master plan update for Lord Fairfax Community College at the Fauquier Campus. The board will also receive updates on capital outlay projects at the colleges.

Budget and Finance – The State Board will receive an update on the Governor’s budget recommendations.

Personnel – The State Board will consider policy language on faculty development and evaluation; revised Achieve 2015 goals; and workplace safety.

Chancellor’s Report – Chancellor Glenn DuBois will provide updates on the VCCS Reengineering Task Force and enrollment from Fall 2012, as well as report on 2013 Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Awards.


About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than a quarter-million credit students each year. For more information, please visit

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