Posted on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New Grants Jump Start Workforce Training at Virginia’s Community Colleges

Thanks to the Commonwealth’s new emphasis on workforce training, Virginia’s Community Colleges nearly tripled the number of people who trained and were credentialed for high demand careers last year.

To mark the first anniversary of Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grants program, Governor Terry McAuliffe, VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois and other dignitaries joined with Virginians who are on new career paths because of their community college workforce training.

To kick off the event July 10th at John Tyler Community College’s Midlothian Campus, one of the newly trained Virginians flew an aerial drone to drop off ceremonial certificates to be signed by the governor.

In the 12 months ending June 30th, community colleges statewide provided workforce training that enabled 4,268 Virginians to secure industry-recognized credentials, licenses and certifications needed for high-demand careers. 

A year earlier, before the new workforce training grant program went into effect, community colleges provided training for 1,528 Virginians to earn those professional credentials.

“This success is a tribute to the power of collaboration,” said Chancellor DuBois. “As we ramped up our workforce training capacity to respond to the new state grants program, we also created new training opportunities that motivated students to tap into a variety of other funding sources.”  

More than half of the credential earners took advantage of the new workforce credentials grants. Of the 4,268 credentials awarded this past year, training for 2,173 was supported by the state’s new workforce training grant program. Training for the remaining 2,095 credentials was funded by employers, federal grants or other private sources.

Now entering its second year of operation, Virginia’s New Economy Workforce Credential Grant program greatly reduces the out-of-pocket cost for Virginians to enroll in specified training programs to earn industry-recognized certifications. Currently, grants are available to support 146 training courses offered throughout Virginia’s 23 community colleges. Learn more about workforce credential grants at


CAPTION: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe address a crowd of well-wishers at the one-year anniversary event of the Workforce Credentials Grant program, flanked by recent WCG graduates.

CAPTION: A drone, operated by WCG graduate and Sheriff’s Deputy, Ben Worcester (PVCC), delivers ceremonial credentials to the July 10 event.

CAPTION: Gov. McAuliffe tries his hand at virtual welding machine during the July 10 event.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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