Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

CVCC Named VMA 2017 Workforce Partner of the Year

Submitted by Vanessa Rastberger, Workforce Solutions Director, Manufacturing Skills Institute, and Ken Bunch, PR/Marketing Coordinator, Central Virginia Community College

The Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) selected Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) as the recipient of the 2017 Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) Workforce Partner of the Year for its outstanding leadership and diversity. The award was presented at the MSI Workforce Solutions Symposium at the annual VMA Industry Forum in Newport News on Nov. 2, 2017.

Using MSI workforce solutions, CVCC partnered with local manufacturers to create several paths leading to nationally-recognized industry credentials. CVCC and MSI partnered to provide economic stability and growth in Region 2000.

“It is an honor to receive the VMA Workforce Partner of the Year award,” said Cynthia M. Wallin, Ed.D, CVCC’s dean, science, math and engineering division. “We believe it validates CVCC’s efforts to meet the manufacturing needs of our region. The alignment of our Mechatronics Career Studies Certificate program and our MT1 credentials with Region 2000 industry partner needs provides our students with a pathway to real world skills and a successful career through advanced manufacturing.”

CAPTION: From left to right: Kate Kaegi, Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Service; Dr. Victor Gray, MSI Workforce Solutions; Ken Koleszar, CVCC, Marcella Gale, CVCC; Dr. Cynthia Wallen, CVCC; Elizabeth Narehood, CVCC; Vanessa Rastberger, MSI Workforce Solutions; and Nat Marshall, BXW Technologies.

CVCC has offered the MT1 certification in a variety of ways to expand student opportunities in the Lynchburg area. The college partnered with Adult Education of Central Virginia to offer a career studies certificate to students enrolled in the Plugged-In Virginia Program (PIVA) focused on preparing individuals for entering manufacturing careers. Also, CVCC offered the MT1© in a non-credit rapid-train format over the summer to target individuals who are unemployed or underemployed.

CVCC is also in the process of finalizing a customized program to offer MT1© training in partnership with the Regional Jail Authority for individuals preparing to re-enter the workforce. In addition, an innovative step was taken to integrate the MS and MT1© into a new Mechatronics program coordinated with local industry in Lynchburg. The program launched this fall and students can obtain a career studies certificate. The development of an associate degree is currently in progress.

“CVCC has created a service delivery model that incorporates both the skill needs of manufacturers and the employment needs of individuals by creating training cohorts of job candidates that receive a customized connection with employers upon MT1© program completion and attainment of the MSI nationally recognized MT1©  certification,” said Dr. Victor Gray, MSI Executive Director. “CVCC understands the value of industry credentials as a way in which individuals can signal they are ‘manufacturing work ready’ and companies appreciate the return on value in the hiring marketplace.”

The VMA projects that over the next decade, there will be about 66,000 job openings in manufacturing. Of those, some 40,000 will require skilled workers with more than a high school diploma, with the majority requiring industry credentials.

By using MSI workforce solutions, CVCC is helping to develop a workforce pipeline to meet the skill standards identified by industry. As an MSI Academic and Workforce Partner, CVCC has access to MSI’s world-class workforce solutions, which are endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The MSI Partner Network currently spans 16 states and includes more than 120 partner institutions, including middle schools, high schools, community colleges, universities, one stop workforce centers, and technical centers.'

Laura Osberger

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