The Virginia Community College System (VCCS)
VA Ready worked with over 30 leading companies across Virginia to understand future hiring needs, and establish a public-private partnership with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and the Commonwealth’s existing FastForward Workforce Credential Grant Program. VCCS’s 23 community colleges are located throughout the Commonwealth and already provide successful training programs in a wide variety of fields, including the programs that are eligible for VA Ready.
VCCS leaders will engage on our Talent Task Force for further collaboration to meet employer needs by evolving curricula and adding new programs. The FastForward program also has $13.5 million appropriated for the 2020-21 fiscal year to cover ⅔ of the cost of students’ certification program tuition. The program has an impressive 90% completion rate. VA Ready’s $1,000 Credential Achievement Award further incentivizes motivated students to complete their certificate, reinforcing strong completion rates.
What is FastForward?
FastForward is a short-term, low-cost workforce credential program to train Virginians for top, in-demand jobs across the Commonwealth. FastForward covers ⅔ of the cost of tuition for a wide range of credential programs offered through Virginia’s Community Colleges.
Most FastForward programs take between six and 12 weeks and are built so students can get their education quickly. FastForward helps students gain the skills they need quickly and affordably, while creating more opportunity for their future.
Sentara College of Health Sciences
As part of a new pilot project, VA Ready has partnered with Sentara’s College of Health Sciences to support the Patient Care Technician Credential being offered in January 2021. This program will span 16 weeks and include nearly 180 hours of hands-on training in classes, clinicals and labs. The program will be made affordable thanks to tuition support provided by the Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC) funding to those who qualify.
Sentara College of Health Sciences is an accredited, not-for-profit institution of higher learning that specializes in healthcare education. Much more information is available at Sentara’s website.