Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tidewater, Paul D. Camp and Thomas Nelson community colleges will provide shipyard repair training under a new federal grant that will target women who have suffered abuse or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Eastern Shore Community College also will refer students into the program.

A half-million dollar federal grant for Tidewater Virginia was announced in late August and will provide training and support services to 40 women to start new careers in high-demand fields like welding and pipe fitting.

“We’re proud to be a part of this program,” said Angela Lawhorne, director of workforce development at PDCCC. “The grant will allow us to serve this population not only with training, but crucial wrap-around services, like transportation and child care, that will enable these participants to complete training and obtain sustainable careers.”

The program aims to help women who have survived domestic abuse and trafficking, who have dealt with homelessness or poverty, or who find themselves under-employed and unable to make ends meet. The U.S. Labor Dept. grant also is funding workforce training initiatives in Chicago and Wisconsin.

“These are women who are rebuilding their lives and they’re looking for opportunities to thrive,” said Christina Brooks of the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, which is coordinating the grant program locally. “There are so many families headed up by women in our region who struggle to make ends meet every month. Helping them gain these valuable skills and secure employment in the shipyard repair industry definitely will change a lot of lives.”

Also participating in the grant program are the Virginia Ship Repair Association, the local United Way and Tidewater public broadcaster WHRO. Questions can be directed to Christina Brooks at the Hampton Roads Workforce Council:'

Jim Babb

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

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