Posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

By Amanda Christopher, Communication Coordinator, Office of Academic and Workforce Services

Virginia’s Community Colleges are making additional investments in their successful FastForward Virginia workforce training programs to help more Virginians earn workforce credentials for new careers and better provide for themselves and their family.

The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) has directed $2.75 million in FastForward Workforce Training Grants to community colleges around the commonwealth to develop new and expand existing high-demand training programs.

Central Virginia Community College

“These grants reaffirm our commitment to helping Virginians start, or re-start their careers” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “More than 16,000 postsecondary credentials have been awarded since FastForward launched three years ago and Virginia’s workforce is stronger because of it. Our graduates typically boost their take home pay by 25-50%, in a matter of weeks not years. We want to make sure every Virginian knows about this life-changing opportunity.”

“This capacity building will touch every region of Virginia and help build a skilled workforce for years to come,” said Sharon Morrissey, VCCS senior vice chancellor for academic and workforce programs. “This investment allows our colleges to increase their capacity for providing FastForward training through instructor salaries, materials and supplies, curriculum development and much more.”

Training opportunities the grants will provide for include:

Eastern Shore Community College will begin a medical scribe credential program, helping train new medical professionals to address a need of local employers.

Piedmont Virginia Community College will expand its capacity to train welding students by 50 percent, yielding 150 student per year.

• The Certified Production Technician program at Virginia Highlands Community College will assist local manufacturers with workforce demands.

Lord Fairfax Community College will expand its electrical trades program and HVAC training.

Dabney D. Lancaster Community College will respond to immediate shortages among regional employers for skilled trade labor through a new Industrial Maintenance Mechanic program.

To see the complete list of new workforce training opportunities made possible by the FastForward grants, read the VCCS news release here.

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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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