Department of Labor awards $14M for job training programs at Virginia’s colleges

economic-forecast-headerGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that Virginia State University and four of Virginia’s community colleges will expand their capacity to provide innovative training programs in partnership with employers, thanks to a nearly $14 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (US DOL) Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative.

In Virginia, the  funding will  support the priorities of  Governor McAuliffe’s Executive Order 23, the “New Virginia Economy” Workforce Initiative, to increase STEM-H postsecondary education and workforce credentials, secure employment for veterans, align education with the needs of businesses, and diversify the economy.

“These five new grant awards will drive industry driven STEM-H credentials, apprenticeships and on the job training to help build the skilled, high tech workforce for Virginia businesses and industry sectors” said Governor McAuliffe.  “This is another step forward towards my vision of a new Virginia economy, and I congratulate each of the colleges on their success.”

“The success of Virginia State University and our community colleges in securing these awards suggests the strength of regional public-private partnerships,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “It’s encouraging to see our universities and community colleges working with employers, state agencies, non-profit organizations, and other partners to stand up new models of education and training that work for industry, job seekers, and for the Commonwealth’s economic development.”

Virginia State University received $3,249,817 to provide training in the wireless industry for veterans, dislocated and underemployed workers, which includes the Warriors4Wireless program, one of only two such programs in the U.S.  The college will work to accelerate credential completion, implement new instruction models, bolster online and technology-enabled learning, implement apprenticeships, and offer Wireless Technician certificates and associate and baccalaureate degrees

Lord Fairfax Community College received $3,250,000 to create Knowledge to Work, a new type of educational search engine and online portal designed to help workers find free and low-cost learning resources tied to competencies and credentials, including badges, certificates, and degrees. These low-cost credentials will be targeted to high demand industries that align with the Governor’s STEM-H goals in healthcare, information technology and advanced manufacturing.

Danville Community College received $2.5 million to incorporate workplace experiential learning in advanced manufacturing in an educational setting. The new program, Retooling America, focuses on realistic, fully integrated training experiences in a full-scale manufacturing faciltiy , which will be housed at the college’s project partner, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

Southwest Virginia Community College received $2.5 million to provide training in advanced manufacturing and carpentry industries through the college’s PluggedIn VA.  PluggedIn VA is a program, which provides expedited paths through a GED, postsecondary education and job training to a high demand job.

Thomas Nelson Community College received $2,476,840 to work with regional employers and workforce organizations to develop and implement an education and training system to produce multi-skilled technicians in advanced manufacturing.

VSU is honored that the Department of Labor has entrusted us with federal assistance to develop this wireless infrastructure career training program,” said VSU President Keith T. Miller.   “The market demand for wireless network workers remains strong in our region and throughout the country.  This grant will help VSU stay at the forefront of helping to build Virginia’s economic and technological future.”

“Community colleges are at their best when they are bringing together employers and career-seekers from across the community, and that’s exactly what this grant will help us do,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Virginia earned the largest amount of funding awarded to any state.  We take that to be a vote of confidence in the quality of our work and a challenge to go even further. We’re grateful for the opportunities this creates in helping us serve people across Virginia.”

A full list of grantees including project descriptions is available online at

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