Oct 24 2016
MEDIA CONTACT:Jeffrey KrausAsst. Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications (804) 592-6767
(RICHMOND) October 24, 2016 - 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 Credentials 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 credentials 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 Credentials Grant program is available at workforce development offices on Virginia Community College campuses statewide, and at http://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 t