Workforce training graduates at Virginia’s Community Colleges report higher wages, better work-life balance

Home|News|Workforce training graduates at Virginia’s Community Colleges report higher wages, better work-life balance


Jeffrey Kraus
Asst. Vice Chancellor for
Strategic Communications
(804) 592-6767


RICHMOND, VA (Jan. 21, 2021) – Graduates of FastForward workforce training programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges see an average of $8,000 in wage increases, plus more satisfaction with work schedules and employer benefits, according to an annual survey of students who completed FastForward training and attained industry recognized workforce credentials.

Since launching FastForward in 2016, Virginia’s Community Colleges’ grant-funded career training program has prepared more than 24,500 Virginians to earn industry-recognized workforce credentials in a wide range of high-demand fields, including healthcare, information technology, logistics and transportation, education and skilled trades.

“FastForward has been serving Virginia’s workforce and employers for almost five years now,” said Dr. Corey McCray, associate vice chancellor for programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges. “With the pandemic driving the need for a skilled workforce, now more than ever, short-term, affordable training is critically important, and we’re thankful that FastForward can be that resource forVirginians in need of a leg up.”

The survey reports experiences from 289 respondents who earned workforce credentials between July
2019 and March 2020, and found that, in addition to wage increases, students reported
quality-of-life enhancements:

• 83% of graduates have work that offers paid-vacation time
• 81% reported employer-paid medical insurance
• 87% reported satisfaction with their work schedule

On average, FastForward students are older than a traditional college student, averaging 35 years old, and three out of four are new to community college. Additionally, more than 40% of FastForward students are minorities. The survey also found that more than 60% have dependents.

Individuals interested in learning more about FastForward at their local community college can visit, and fill out a contact form to be directed to the nearest program.


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