New Community College Collaboration Aims to Boost Hampton Roads Business and Industry Priorities, and Address Regional Skill Gaps

Home|News|New Community College Collaboration Aims to Boost Hampton Roads Business and Industry Priorities, and Address Regional Skill Gaps

December 14, 2020                                                                                                                   

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Jeffrey Kraus
Asst. Vice Chancellor for
Strategic Communications
(804) 592-6767
jkraus@vccs.edu

RICHMOND – Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS), is announcing a new collaboration among three community colleges in Hampton Roads designed to meet the large-scale job training needs of the region’s businesses and industries. The new Community College Workforce Cooperative (CCWC) will create a single point of contact to access the workforce training resources of Camp, Thomas Nelson, and Tidewater community colleges which together serve 11 cities and four counties through 10 college locations.

“This innovation will move our community colleges beyond our traditional workforce training role,” said DuBois. “It will position us as a dependable partner in advancing the region’s economic development priorities, filling workforce gaps, and making us more accessible than ever to large employers.”

The CCWC will direct and coordinate the job training resources, leveraging facilities, labs, and additional training resources of all three community colleges to address the sizeable training needs that exist today in industries like shipbuilding and ship repair. That centralized coordination means those needs will be addressed faster and more cost-effectively. The CCWC will also ensure that the colleges are better prepared to meet emerging trends in the region, like the growing alternative energy industry.

“Newport News Shipbuilding is excited to partner with the new Community College Workforce Collaborative to address our significant hiring demand,” said Tom Cosgrove, manager, External Affairs, Newport News Shipbuilding. As a major employer that recruits from multiple community colleges, we appreciate the single point of access that CCWC will provide to implement regionally focused training programs. CCWC will improve the responsiveness, quality, and capacity of Hampton Roads’ talent pipeline to better meet the demands of all employers and connect residents with high-paying careers.”

“This collaboration will create synergy between our colleges, enhancing our ability to meet those high-volume workforce training needs,” said Dan Lufkin, president of Camp Community College. “Our entire region is working together to overcome challenges that diminish our competitiveness. This cooperative allows us to join in that effort.”

The CCWC effort is similar, though not identical, to one that coordinates the workforce training efforts of two community colleges that serve the greater Richmond region. The biggest difference is that in the CCWC, individual colleges will continue to coordinate the FastForward workforce training opportunities offered to individual students.

“In my first year as college president, I quickly learned how limiting the artificial boundaries of our college service regions can be to the work we do,” said Marcia Conston, president of Tidewater Community College. “This is an important step for us to take to ensure that boundaries that were mapped out in the 1960s don’t stop us from addressing Hampton Roads’ many training needs.”

The CCWC will soon announce the hiring of an executive director, who will begin working in early 2021. That individual will be responsible for not only beginning the cooperative, but quickly building relationships with chambers of commerce, business and industry groups, economic development officials, elected leaders, and other workforce development officials essential to CCWC’s success.

“As I prepare to assume the presidency of a dynamic institution, I’m excited to be part of this groundbreaking agreement,” said Porter Brannon, incoming president of Thomas Nelson Community College. “I was attracted to this college, in part, because its easy to see that the community it serves is on the rise. This collaboration unleashes the potential of our colleges so that we may, in turn, unleash the potential of the Hampton Roads workforce.”

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 270,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

About Camp Community College: Camp serves the cities of Franklin and Suffolk and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton. Since the college’s 1971 founding, nearly 50,000 Virginian’s have taken classes at Camp Community College, which has awarded more than 4,500 academic credentials and trained more than 44,500 individuals through workforce development.

About Thomas Nelson Community College: Founded in 1968, TNCC is an accredited, two-year institution of higher education established as a part of a statewide system of community colleges. The college primarily serves the residents of the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, and the counties of James City and York. In the 2018-2019 academic year, TNCC served 11,588 students in credit instruction, making it the fifth largest college within the Virginia Community College System in terms of headcount.

About Tidewater Community College: As a part of Virginia’s Community College System, TCC serves the 1.1 million residents of the South Hampton Roads area with four fully comprehensive campuses and five regional centers. As the second largest community college in Virginia, TCC enrolls more than 32,000 students. Founded in 1968, the college is the largest provider of higher education and workforce development training and services in the region.

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