RICHMOND – The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) has partnered with one of the nation’s largest retailers to respond to a growing need in the local labor market.
Thanks to a generous $80,000 grant from Walmart, the VFCCE is pledging to help hundreds of Richmond-area community college students pay for their certification exams.
The students targeted for assistance through the Workforce Credential Award initiative have completed their studies in a high-demand field like manufacturing, IT, or healthcare but may not be able to afford the cost of the certification exam (average cost of $200). The lack of certification delays their entry into the workforce.
The target population for the initiative are students at J. Sargeant Reynolds and John Tyler Community Colleges who have completed an industry-recognized and approved credit workforce training program but lack the financial resources to pay for the required certification exam.
Awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. The grant is expected to fund certification exams for an estimated 360 students. It is projected that 90% of the students who participate in the program will pass the exam and immediately enter the workforce in the Greater Richmond area.
Featured image (l to r): Dr. Sharon Morrissey, vice chancellor for academic services & research, Dr. Gary Rhodes, president, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Glenn DuBois, chancellor, Peter Johnson, Walmart market manager (north Richmond), Dennis Dickson, Walmart market manager (south Richmond), Robert Davis, Walmart regional general manager, Dr. Ted Raspiller, president, John Tyler 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; 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/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 more than 300,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.