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.
“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.