Navigators, coaches and admissions personnel at Virginia’s community colleges have been working overtime since the governor announced millions of dollars to provide free workforce training programs for people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Re-Employing Virginians (REV) initiative provides grants for targeted career training programs for qualifying Virginians, if they are enrolled by close of business next Monday, December 14.
The limited-time nature of the program was required by governor’s use of federal CARES Act money for the grants.
Reflecting the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, Virginians have responded in overwhelming numbers. Since the REV grants were announced, more than 150,000 visits have been logged at the VCCS web page that explains the program.
Of those visitors, more than 32,000 signed up to learn more and see if they qualify for training grants, as of the end of day on December 3, the latest numbers available at this newsletter’s deadline. The number of inquiries was up more than 6,000 from the previous newsletter on November 24. (See table below for college-by-college numbers)
“These inquiries are not just lines in a spreadsheet; each one represents a person who has hope that we can help them,” said Laura Clark, VCCS assistant vice chancellor for student success and professional development. In a note of encouragement to navigators, coaches and advisors who are working to get as many people signed up as possible, she added, “The work that you do opens doors. People will find the careers they need to move their families and our commonwealth forward after this pandemic because of you.”
“Do whatever you can to remove barriers. Continue to work diligently to connect every person who has reached out with the needed resources. Look for ways to fast track those who we can get through the gate before it swings shut on this opportunity. You are giving everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and our communities are strengthened. This project is a chance to see our mission personified. We need you. Your community needs you.”
As of December 3, 2,343 applicants had been successfully enrolled in qualifying training programs, which will begin in the spring 2021 semester.
Here are the inquiries at vccs.edu/rev as of end of day Thurs 12/3/20:
|College||Continue/start a certificate or degree program||Spend 6-12 weeks training for an industry credential||Grand Total|
To learn more about the REV initiative, visit https://www.vccs.edu/rev/