Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Virginia’s Community Colleges are poised to launch a new outreach campaign designed to attract people to short-term training programs that will prepare them for high-demand career opportunities.

In March 2016, the Workforce Credential Grant program (WCG) was established when Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a broadly bipartisan measure into law that positioned Virginia to establish a workforce training program for specific industry certifications that met the needs of businesses in each region of the state. In just one year, the VCCS awarded 2,173 credentials through the program. That’s 2,173 lives forever changed.

It’s been a terrific program to date, but one with a complicated name. Thanks to state and federal grant funds, that is about to change. Moving forward, the Workforce Credential Grant program will be marketed as FastForward: Credentials for A Career that Matters.

This new outreach campaign will target some of Virginia’s most eager prospective students and will focus its efforts on closing the interest gap and filling the positions businesses across the Commonwealth have available. Additionally, this outreach effort will help students who receive a credential and secure a job obtain a renewed sense of self and professional fulfillment that comes with turning their lives around. Efforts will also focus on advisors and other influencers who can become advocates of FastForward in their communities.

The FastForward outreach effort will highlight the following messages:

  • These training programs can change your future in weeks or months, not semesters or years;
  • Acquiring more skills leads to more opportunity in today’s workplace;
  • These training programs are the most affordable, attainable higher education option; and
  • VCCS FastForward Career Coaches are here to help you when real life happens.

Using data gathered about FastForward’s target audience, the VCCS will use a variety of digital outlets to communicate key messages, including: a website, blog, video content, webinars, social media, newsletters, display ads, Pandora ads and other more traditional tactics like print materials and sponsorship opportunities.

Take a sneak peek at FastForward by visiting our new website at'

Jeffrey Kraus

Jeffrey Kraus loves a well-told story; a great conversation; and the perfect glass of iced tea. He’s worked as a speechwriter, a journalist and a Zamboni operator (but not all at the same time or even in that order). Don’t talk to him about Steelers football, Penguins hockey, Pirates baseball or VCU Rams basketball unless you want a lengthy conversation.

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