Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Workforce Wednesday

When there is so much activity taking place across our 23 community colleges to employ Virginians, choosing a blog topic can be daunting.

I thought about it a lot. Should I explain how workforce development is delivered in Virginia? Should I list the most in-demand jobs and explain how to get those skills at community colleges? Or, should I recommend job seekers pursue a Career Readiness Certificate (CRC)?

When I started thinking about what makes Virginia’s community colleges shine bright in the area of workforce development, it finally hit me.

Let’s start with a simple fact:

Virginia has long maintained a spot as one of the top states for business.

And here’s why:

Virginia’s Community Colleges are a main hub of Virginia’s Workforce.

What I mean by this is that the community colleges provide the core training to improve people’s  employability and help businesses grow a skilled workforce.

Drive 30 minutes south of Richmond, Virginia, past the historic battlefields, and you’ll find  the The Rolls-Royce Rotatives facility which has been operating in Virginia for three years, with 100 employees to date (and plans for adding 300 more over the next couple of years).

To ensure they build the best possible workforce, Rolls-Royce works with Virginia’s Community Colleges to develop a workforce-ready talent base for the future.

Rolls-Royce has reviewed community college program content to ensure the curricula is well matched with their needs and have developed tailor-made training courses to develop skills in machining (a skill that is scarce in the region).

A Machinist Apprenticeship Program was established by Rolls-Royce in 2013, now registered with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), and is beginning to provide a vital pipeline of talent.

This is just one of many examples of how Virginia’s Community Colleges provide an axis point for career seekers and businesses.  I hope you’ll check back next Wednesday and let me know what you’re interested in learning more about!'

Amanda Christopher

Amanda Christopher is a graduate of Hollins University and Virginia Commonwealth University. A native of the DC metro area, Amanda worked in public relations for the American Red Cross before joining the Virginia Community College System as the Workforce Communications Coordinator.

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