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~ Affordable pricing, job prospects in high-demand careers attract students across every region of Virginia. ~

RICHMOND — Virginia’s unique pay-for-performance program to help more individuals earn the workforce credentials necessary for jobs in high-demand careers is, itself, generating high demand.

In just its first seven months, Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Industry Credential Grants program has enrolled 3,309 people, of which more than half have already completed training, and 824 have earned an industry-recognized credential in a high-demand field.

The credentials at the heart of this program are postsecondary, industry-recognized certifications and licensures that people achieve through short-term community college training programs in fields ranging from healthcare and information technology to manufacturing, skilled trades and logistics. The grants program focuses on specific skills that Virginia businesses say are in high demand and can lead to good jobs in growing career fields.

“These credential grants represent the most important change in the way the state prepares workers for jobs of the future. Businesses across the state told us to focus less on degrees and more on skills, and that is what this program does. We’re off to a good start,” said Del. Kathy Byron (R-Bedford County), who sponsored the legislation creating the grants program last year, along with state Sen. Frank Ruff (R-Clarksville).

The grants program, which relies on businesses to determine what credentials are in high demand within their region, is facilitated through the Virginia Board for Workforce Development. Community colleges respond to that need by creating or expanding short-term training programs. More than 130 specific training programs have been deemed eligible through that process.

“For years the business community has been concerned about the ability to find potential employees with the skills needed in today's economy. This program has given businesses hope that they are being heard, and that we are responding. I look forward to expanding this effort,” said Sen. Ruff.

Students who pursue these training programs are eligible for the grants on a first-come, first-served basis. The grants cover two-thirds of the training program costs, leaving students to pay for the remaining third, typically a price ranging between $100 and $1,100.

Nearly a third of the students who enroll in the program (28%) are pursing credentials in the healthcare field. A similar percentage (30%) are working toward logistics-related credentials. A quarter of the students are enrolled in manufacturing and welding (15%) and other skilled trades (9%). Information technology credentials, including cybersecurity, attracted 11% of grant students, and the remaining 8% are pursuing credentials in business and education.

“This is a good news story for both individuals and the employers who seek to hire them,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “These grants have accelerated the work of our colleges to deliver the trained and skilled workforce that everyone agrees is critical to Virginia’s economic future.”

The success of this program can be found in every region of Virginia, with colleges serving urban, suburban and rural communities all experiencing enrollment increases.

“This grant program is the most important economic development legislation that the General Assembly has passed in a decade,” said Brett Vassey, president and CEO of the Virginia Manufacturers Association. “Our members tell us that these industry-recognized credentials meet more than 60 percent of their workplace needs. This program is taking Virginia in the right direction.”

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 300,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND — The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education is presenting Paul D. Camp Community College with the 8th Annual Valley Proteins Award for Workforce Development. The $10,000 grant is funded by Valley Proteins, and it will help the college create a Career Studies Certificate (CSC) program in energy technology with a focus on solar energy.

With four large solar farms in various stages of review, approval, and construction within the PDCCC service region, college officials were eager to get the program up and running to accommodate the nearly 500 specially-trained jobs the facilities will require. Paul D. Camp has campuses in both Franklin and Suffolk.

“This CSC in energy technology will provide both the entry-level and mid-level solar energy training to support the construction, operation, and maintenance of the burgeoning solar industry currently underway in the rural Hampton Roads area,” said VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois.

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.

"We are very grateful to have received this Valley Proteins grant. The goal of our program is to provide the community and industry with the best-trained students possible. This generous grant will provide our students job opportunities in the growing field of solar energy in PDCCC’s service region,” observed PDCCC President Dan Lufkin.

The process of earning a certificate in energy technology can be completed in one academic year. PDCCC expects to begin offering the Energy Technology Career Studies Certificate program in the fall of 2017. It is anticipated that the success of the first class of graduates will attract even more students to the program.

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

Headquartered in Winchester, Valley Proteins, Inc. is committed to supporting the workforce, particularly in the areas in which it has a business presence. The 66-year-old firm operates plants in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Its processing facilities recycle food waste materials into usable products and bio fuels for feed and industrial applications.

*Featured image: PDCCC President Dan Lufkin (l) is presented a check by Valley Proteins President J.J. Smith during this year's Hire Ed Conference at the Homestead.

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; helping more Virginia foster youth pursue and complete higher education through its Great Expectations program; and leading a partnership to improve rural Virginia’s education pipeline through the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu/giving.

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 approximately 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu. ###

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RICHMOND — The inaugural George B. Vaughan Leadership Award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty has been awarded to an impressive group of community college professors. The five award recipients were chosen from among the approximately 9,000 adjunct faculty members throughout Virginia’s 23 community colleges and announced during a dinner reception held in conjunction with the 2016 VCCS First Year and Adjunct Faculty Institute in Glen Allen, VA on Nov. 17.

The award, named in honor of Vaughan’s distinguished career in higher education was created by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to highlight the achievements of part-time faculty members. Vaughan was the founding president of Mountain Empire Community College who would go on later to take the helm at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Vaughan has written more than 100 books and been named one of America’s 50 most effective community college presidents.

The Vaughan Award recognizes one outstanding adjunct faculty member from each of the Virginia Community College’s five regions served by a Regional Center for Teaching Excellence. Each award also includes a check for $1,000.

“The instructors we honor with the Vaughan Award are among our very best,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “These part-time instructors make a big-time impact on the students they serve, as well the success of those students. And we are honored to have George Vaughan joining us as these inaugural awards are announced.”

The honorees include:

Dr. Trina Campbell
Adjunct Instructor for Math, Germanna Community College, Northern Virginia Region
Mrs. Toby Cook
Adjunct Instructor for Health Care Technician I & II (Nurse Aide), Virginia Highlands Community College, Southwest Region
Ms. Marcie Gale
Adjunct Instructor for Electronics, Engineering, Math, and STEM Academy, Central Virginia Community College, Central Virginia Region
Dr. Joyce Hurt
Adjunct Instructor for English, Southside Virginia Community College, Mid-Central Region
Mr. David Warren
Adjunct Instructor of Music, Tidewater Community College, Tidewater Region

*Feature image (L to R): Toby Cook (VHCC), VHCC President Gene Couch, Marcie Gale (CVCC), CVCC President John Capps, David Warren (TCC), Dr. Kerry Ragno (TCC), Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Peggy Vaughan, Dr. George Vaughan, Trina Campbell (GCC), Dr. Jeanne Wesley (GCC), Dr. Joyce Hurt (SVCC), and SVCC President Al Roberts.

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 300,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – Dr. Glenn Dubois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, announced today the appointment of Dr. Charlie White as interim president of New River Community College (NRCC) effective January 2017. White’s appointment as the college’s interim president will continue until a statewide committee selects the next permanent president of the college, which serves Virginia’s New River Valley communities.

[caption id="attachment_26045" align="alignright" width="125"]charlie-white_2 Dr. Charlie White[/caption]

Dr. White was employed in various positions within Virginia’s Community College (VCCS) since 1971 when he joined the NRCC faculty. He chaired the Division of Arts and Sciences at NRCC from 1983-1998, and was a professor of Biology and chair of the Math and Science Division prior to that. White was also NRCC’s vice president for instruction and student services, as well as interim vice chancellor for academic services and research in the VCCS office during 2005 before serving as president of Wytheville Community College from 2006-2015.

White holds a doctorate from the University of Tennessee and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from East Tennessee State University. He also holds an associate degree from Hiwassee College in Tennessee.

“Charlie is legendary within the VCCS,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “He did a tremendous job as president of Wytheville Community College for nine years. But he also has a pedigree with New River Community College as a faculty member and chief academic officer. We are delighted he has agreed to come out of retirement to serve as interim president of New River.”

“I couldn’t be happier to return to my old stomping grounds,” said White. “It’s like coming home. I look forward to reconnecting with the college, faculty and students, and to the challenges and opportunities the position brings.”

White will succeed Dr. Jack M. Lewis, who will retire in December 2016 and served NRCC in various capacities for nearly 42 years before becoming president in 2000.

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 approximately 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND — Virginia’s Community Colleges are making strategic investments to ensure that thousands of people will be able to earn valuable workforce credentials for new careers. The Community College system has directed $5.3 million to community colleges around the commonwealth to augment or create new workforce credential training programs, based on local needs and innovative proposals.                                                          

[caption id="attachment_26032" align="alignright" width="288"]workforce-grant_5 Christopher Nicely used Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grants program to reduce out-of-pocket costs to enroll in HVAC certification training at Lord Fairfax Community College.[/caption]

“Expanding capacity for workforce credential training has major implications both in the near-term and long-term to help people prepare for meaningful and rewarding careers,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Our ongoing goal is to meet the needs of Virginians who want good jobs, as well as serve businesses eager to hire workers with the right skills and credentials.”

“This investment puts Virginia’s Community Colleges in a better position to deliver on the promise of the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant program approved by state lawmakers earlier this year,” said Craig Herndon, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development. “Lawmakers provided resources to help add an estimated 10,000 credentialed workers into Virginia’s economy over the current two-year budget period. Not only is our expanded training capacity vital to achieving that goal, these new facilities and faculty investments will help build a skilled workforce for years to come.” 

The General Assembly created the Workforce Credential Grant program to increase training of the skilled workers that Virginia businesses want to hire. Through the workforce grant program, state funds are available to greatly reduce out-of-pocket costs for Virginians who enroll in designated workforce credential training programs.

“I commend Virginia’s Community Colleges for expanding program capacity for workforce credential training,” said Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “Building a more credentialed and capable workforce will pay big dividends to our citizens, our businesses and our economy.”

According to the National Skills Coalition, almost half of the job openings in Virginia between 2010 and 2020 will require some post-high school education, but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. 

People who enroll in workforce training programs to earn industry-recognized credentials, certifications and licenses qualify for good-paying jobs in a wide variety of fields, including health care, transportation, manufacturing, information technology and skilled trades.

Information about the Workforce Credential Grant program is available at workforce development offices on Virginia Community College campuses statewide, and at www.vccs.edu/workforce.

The following new workforce training opportunities are made possible by the new capacity building funds. (Media representatives are invited to contact local Community College public information officers for more details.)

  • Collaborative project by Wytheville Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, New River Community College and Southwest Virginia Community College – $412,856 to expand WCC’s current commercial truck driver's license program to serve regional needs and train drivers across four community college territories.
  • Collaborative project by Piedmont Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College and Central Virginia Community College – $163,785 to purchase trailer and training equipment to build a mobile welding school that will be shared by the three colleges.
  • Collaborative project by Southside Virginia Community College, Patrick Henry Community College and Danville Community College – $601,651 to establish a regional training program for commercial truck drivers. 
  • Collaborative project by Germanna Community College, Paul D. Camp Community College and Virginia Western Community College - $179,313 to expand GCC’s public-private partnership with the Virginia Asphalt Association and VDOT for trained asphalt technologists to serve regional needs.
  • Blue Ridge Community College - $500,152 for welding and machining, and commercial driver’s license programs.
  • Central Virginia Community College - $299,900 for credential training programs in project management, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and human resources.
  • Community College Workforce Alliance (Reynolds and Tyler Community Colleges) - $100,000 for commercial truck drivers training.
  • Eastern Shore Community College - $118,859 for expanded training in healthcare, cybersecurity and commercial truck drivers.
  • Germanna Community College - $283,237 to establish a new facility in Fredericksburg to deliver training in welding, manufacturing, skilled trades.
  • Lord Fairfax Community College - $375,587 to increase workforce training capacity in multiple programs in manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare.
  • New River Community College - $131,781 for certification training in manufacturing, pharmacy technician.
  • Northern Virginia Community College - $121,491 to expand industry credential programs and corresponding job placement services in IT, healthcare, welding, and commercial driver's license.
  • Patrick Henry Community College - $110,605 for credentials training in health care, medical billing and coding.
  • Paul D. Camp Community College - $199,609 to establish new credential training for industrial maintenance electrical and instrumentation.
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College - $300,000 to expand training in healthcare, aviation, logistics, and cybersecurity.
  • Southwest Virginia Community College - $200,000 for credentials training for health care and building trades.
  • Thomas Nelson Community College - $416,565 to create EKG technician and plumber programs and to redesign six other programs in health sciences and skilled trades.
  • Tidewater Community College - $200,000 for training programs in welding and cybersecurity.
  • Virginia Highlands Community College - $194,400 for healthcare and commercial truck drivers.
  • Virginia Western Community College - $100,000 for certification training for computer machining operations.
  • Wytheville Community College - $231,231 to expand existing power lineman training in collaboration with Southside Virginia Community College.

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 approximately 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND — A handful of Virginia’s Community Colleges will soon be working together to elevate early childhood education in the commonwealth thanks to a $1 million personal gift from Ben and Betty Davenport. The funding will establish the Davenport Early Childhood Development Institute in partnership with four of Virginia’s Community Colleges: Danville, Patrick Henry, Virginia Western, and New River community colleges.

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the gift at the 50th Anniversary gala celebration, hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, in Richmond on Saturday.

"We believe every child should have the opportunity to have a successful, productive life,” the Davenports stated. “We like to compare childhood development to planting a crop. You would never sow the seeds without first preparing the ground and nurturing the planting until time to harvest. Similarly, children need proper care and educational instruction from the beginning of life. The community college system is at the forefront of providing the training to make this happen."

The Institute’s purpose is to create a talented workforce in Southern and Southwestern Virginia to ensure access to high-quality training and education for individuals working in childcare centers or family childcare homes, and increasing access to high quality childcare options for all working parents. Programming will include training, a network of professional development opportunities, coaching, and a Fellows Program, which will provide select students with financial incentives, service opportunities and leadership experiences.

“Early childhood development is increasingly important to tomorrow’s Virginia,” said Glenn DuBois, VCCS chancellor. “It’s one of those unmet needs our colleges were created to address. The future of Virginia’s workforce and economy is related to quality education starting at birth. This timely gift will ensure that a more qualified early childhood development workforce is available for years to come.”

The Davenports of Chatham, Virginia, are longtime philanthropists, with a special interest in education. Ben Davenport currently serves as chairman of two companies, each of which employs more than 100 area residents – Davenport Energy and First Piedmont Corporation, a full-service waste management company he started in 1969. Both of the Davenports have a history of advocating on behalf of early childhood education. Betty has served on the board of Smart Beginnings Danville/Pittsylvania, and Ben is director emeritus of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.

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 approximately 340,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND — Students pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields statewide will continue to have access to some of the best and brightest minds at NASA, thanks to an agreement between Virginia’s Community Colleges and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC).

The extended STEM Takes Flight at Virginia’s Community Colleges NASA Research Experience Program will provide a total of 23 students per year for 2017 and 2018, potentially one from each college, with a rigorous research experience at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton or NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

[caption id="attachment_25884" align="alignright" width="300"]glenn-mary_agreement-signing VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois and VSGC Director Mary Sandy lend their signatures to new agreement that extends STEM Takes Flight Program for two more years.[/caption]

Dr. Van Wilson, assistant vice chancellor for academic and student services for Virginia’s Community Colleges, describes the program as competitive and hands-on.

“NASA provides some of the best and brightest of their scientists to work side-by-side with these students. In addition to the technological component, the students also learn the importance of so-called soft skills like teamwork and communication.”

While NASA officials will ultimately determine which students are selected, Wilson says Virginia’s Community Colleges’ responsibility will be to solicit applications from talented and qualified students who are aligned with NASA’s mission and objectives.

Wilson adds that participating students will be involved in the same kind of problem-solving challenges NASA engineers face every day.

“Some of the things that these students are doing, it really is rocket science. It is a level of engagement in STEM that other students just don’t have the opportunity to do.”

The STEM Takes Flight at Virginia’s Community Colleges NASA Research Experience Program is designed to foster community college retention in STEM academic tracks through graduation with an associate degree or transfer to a four-year institution. It also embraces the VCCS goals of increasing access to affordable education and training in preparation for workforce success. The program is made possible by joint funding from the VCCS and the VSGC.

STEM Takes Flight at Virginia’s Community Colleges NASA Research Experience Program partners include: the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is part of NASA’s Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.  VSGC affiliate members include:  Virginia Community College System; College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility, Science Museum of Virginia, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Virginia Department of Education, MathScience Innovation Center, Virginia Air and Space Center, and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology.

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 approximately 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu.

*Featured image: The 2016 STEM Takes Flight NASA Research Experience Program participants tour the NASA Langley Research Center Mach 10 Wind Tunnel and Control Room.

Students who've participated in the STEM Takes Flight program share their experiences in this video.

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RICHMOND — Virginia’s Community Colleges are off to a promising start in their quest to triple the number of credentials students earn annually by the year 2021. As the VCCS celebrates its 50th anniversary, the 2016 class was the most successful in history, reaching record numbers for both individual graduates and credentials earned. This past spring’s graduations also represented the end of the first year of the VCCS’s six-year statewide strategic plan, Complete 2021, which established the goal of tripling credentials.

All told, Virginia’s Community Colleges saw a 7.6% increase in degrees, certificates and diplomas earned, from 31,194 to 33,580 – and a 5.2% increase in the number of individual graduates, from 25,562 to 26,899. There were significant increases in certain groups driving those record numbers including:

•A 14% increase in the number of Hispanic/Latino graduates;
•An 11.4% increase in the number of so-called traditional-age graduates, those between the ages of 18 and 24; and
•A 9% increase in the number of graduates who are the first in their family to attend and graduate college – in fact, first generation students earned one out of every five awards earned by the 2016 class.

There was also a smaller, though notable, increase of 6.5% in the number of men graduating. Traditionally, men pursue and complete postsecondary credentials at rates well below that of women. Today, men make up just more than 41% of the total VCCS enrollment.

The graduation numbers above do not include the more than 13,000 industry-certified credentials earned by VCCS students in short-term workforce training programs last year. Those programs operate outside of a traditional academic calendar and are counted separately.

“With a focus on student success, we are helping more individuals overcome the barriers that can prevent them from earning a postsecondary credential, the passport that is essential today to pursuing the American Dream,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Much work remains, however, if we are going to reach that tripling goal of Complete 2021 and truly prepare individuals for the new Virginia economy.”

No one, perhaps, better personifies that pursuit of the American Dream better than Augusto “Gus” Infantas, 22, who became the first in his family to attend and graduate college when he earned his degree last May from Northern Virginia Community College.

Infantas was born in Peru but raised in America. The sometimes-frustrating process of obtaining legal residency, and a lack of resources, delayed his pursuit of a college education. Instead, he began working fulltime to support his family. He wasn’t sure what to think by the time he made it to campus.

“As a very non-traditional student, I was nervous going into college; I was older and working two jobs all through school. But the diversity of people, thoughts and ideas made me comfortable. I was encouraged by faculty and other students to succeed. They motivated me to reach toward my goals,” said Infantas.

Infantas is now studying finance at the University of Virginia. “NVCC really sets students up for success,” he added. “You just have to be willing to work for it.”

Featured image: Augusto “Gus” Infantas graduated from Northern Virginia Community College last May before transferring to the University of Virginia.

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 approximately 340,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND — Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, released the following statement today to the former Virginia students of ITT Tech:

“Today’s announced closing of ITT Tech affects an estimated 2,500 students in Virginia. For them, this can be an especially emotional and confusing time. What it should not be, however, is a reason to stop pursuing a postsecondary credential.

“I want former ITT Tech students to know that you are neither abandoned nor alone and that we stand ready to help you continue and complete the educational aspirations you sought at ITT Tech.

“Virginia’s Community Colleges offer hundreds of industry-certified credentials available through our short-term training programs. In addition, we offer pathways to traditional associate degrees and even bachelor’s degrees through our guaranteed transfer agreements with more than three-dozen public and private universities.

“Please use the chart below to reach out to your nearest community college so that we can help you on your way as quickly as possible:

ITT Technical Institute Campus  
(in Virginia)

Nearest VCCS College

Toll Free

Norfolk Campus

Tidewater Community College

855-308-5614

Northern Virginia Campus - Chantilly

Northern Virginia Community College

855-323-3199

Northern Virginia Campus - Springfield

Northern Virginia Community College

855-323-3199

Richmond Campus

John Tyler Community College

855-874-6684

Roanoke Campus

Virginia Western Community College

855-874-6690

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 approximately 400,000 students each year.  For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu.

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RICHMOND – With more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry, James Cuthbertson is accustomed to making critical decisions that impact entire organizations.

Cuthbertson-for-web-insert_816

As the former president and chief executive officer of the Texas Heart Institute – the world’s largest cardiovascular treatment center- he is an acknowledged authority on complex medical organizations, their governance, and the strategies that have allowed them to achieve their prominence. These attributes make him ideally suited to assume his new role, that of chairman of the State Board for Community Colleges.

Cuthbertson feels the biggest challenge now facing Virginia’s Community Colleges is demonstrating to prospective students and their families that a community college education represents a solid return on their investment. “Through our system of community colleges, we can help students build foundations upon which they need to launch and sustain successful careers in a world that is quickly and constantly changing,” Cuthbertson said.

Cuthbertson says the explosive demand for a credentialed workforce is the most pressing need in higher education today. “Our assets position us to provide individuals with the training they need to earn the workforce credentials that matter most to businesses in every corner of the commonwealth,” he observed. “Our colleges are not only geographically distributed in such a way as to permit easy access to all Virginians, but they remain constantly engaged with their business communities to ensure that the workforce credential training programs we offer are tuned to the current demands of the regional economies our colleges serve.”

Cuthbertson describes his leadership style as one of participative guidance and inclusion. He adds that he’s honored to have been selected as board chair.

“I am encouraged by the challenges that we as a board face and confident that we will succeed in supporting the mission of our system and the strategic goals, including Complete 2021, that Chancellor DuBois has established.”

Also taking on a new role on the board is Eleanor Saslaw. She becomes the board’s vice chair, the title previously held by Cuthbertson. A licensed professional counselor, Saslaw began her career as a teacher in the Fairfax County school system. She has won numerous awards including the Friend of School Psychologists Award (2011) and Counselor of the Year (1998 and 1994).

Saslaw was appointed to the State Board for Community Colleges in 2014 by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and currently serves as liaison to both Rappahannock and Patrick Henry Community Colleges.

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 approximately 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu. To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit 50.vccs.edu.

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