Virginia’s Community Colleges investment expands training opportunities : Augusta Free Press

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Virginia’s Community CollegesVirginia’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 families.

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.

“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.

The following is a full list of workforce training opportunities made possible by the FastForward Workforce Training Grants. (Media representatives are invited to contact local community college public information officers for more details.)

  • Blue Ridge Community College $160,100 for Heavy Equipment Operator Levels I and II, and Machining
  • Community College Workforce Alliance $160,135 for NCCER Electrical Level 1, Manufacturing Technician Level 1, NCCER HVAC Level 1, Certified Logistics Associate, benefitting Richmond-area students of John Tyler and Reynoldscommunity colleges
  • Dabney S Lancaster Community College $173,143 for Electrical and Commercial Driver’s License – B; the college intends to update training for Phlebotomy and Pharmacy Technician and offer a new program: Industrial Maintenance Mechanic
  • Eastern Shore Community College $23,965 for Electrician Level 2 and an intended medical scribe program
  • Germanna Community College $197,879 for NCCER Core Craft; additional programming options through the National Institute for Metalworking Skills are planned
  • Lord Fairfax Community College $182,466 for Electrical and HVAC
  • Mountain Empire Community College $187,151 for Welding and Fabrication (The Custom Creation Shop)
  • New River Community College $33,500 for Apartment Maintenance Technician and EKG/Phlebotomy Technician
  • Northern Virginia Community College $75,000 for CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Network+
  • Patrick Henry Community College $62,853 for NCCER Plumbing Level 1 and NCCER HVAC Level 2
  • Paul D. Camp Community College $200,000 for Fast Track Welding (Certified Welder)
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College $199,982 for Certified Nurse Aide, Medication Aide, Clinical Medical Assistant and Welding
  • Rappahannock Community College $120,013 for Customer Service and Sales, CNC Milling: Programming Setup and Operations- NIMS, CNC Turning: Programming Setup and Operations – NIMS, Pipe Welding – AWS – Certified Welder and Commercial Driver License
  • Southside Virginia Community College $187,500 for HVAC
  • Southwest Virginia Community College $190,000 for Welding and Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Thomas Nelson Community College $33,536 for Electrical Level 1, Electrical Level 2 and HVAC Level 1
  • Tidewater Community College $179,493 for NCCER Core expansion and Advanced Medical Billing and Coding
  • Virginia Highlands Community College $82,708 for Certified Nurse Aide and Certified Production Technician
  • Virginia Western Community College $105,482 for Certified Nurse Aide, Medication Aide, and Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Wytheville Community College $174,131 for a planned Automotive Technician program

Information about FastForward Virginia is available at workforce development offices on Virginia Community College campuses statewide, and at

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