Friday, June 14, 2024

Fast Forward training programs just got a $2 million boost

Welding is just one of the many skills you can get a certification in with this program. (HNNDaily Photo/courtesy of Pixabay photos)
Welding is just one of the many skills you can get a certification in with this program. (HNNDaily Photo/courtesy of Pixabay photos)

Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced the launch of a $2 million initiative to attract young adults in Virginia to high-demand jobs through FastForward training programs at the state’s community colleges.

This comes in response to a growing need for funding for training, career coaching and job placement services to address the historically challenging issue of youth employment, according to a news release from the Northam’s office.

RELATED STORY: Fast Forward program grows in popularity, but lacks in state funding to keep afloat

Working with the successful FastForward workforce training program, which helps Virginians get the jobs they want and the salaries they need through fast-track credential training courses, the initiative will provide 18-24-year-old Virginians with careers exploration and planning, accelerated occupational skills training, supportive services, digital and soft skills training and job placement assistance.

“The well-paying jobs of the 21st century are in what we call ‘new collar’ sectors—those that require skills, but not necessarily a four-year college degree. In order for our Commonwealth to maintain a highly-skilled, attractive workforce we need to make sure that every student has the opportunity to create a successful future,” Northam said.

“With this initiative we will help prepare young Virginians with the skills and training that employers are looking for and provide critical support to our youth as they start to build careers,” the governor added.

This initiative will launch at five community colleges: Thomas Nelson, on the Virginia peninsula; John Tyler and J. Sargeant Reynolds, in the Richmond area; and Southside and Patrick Henry, in Southern Virginia.

Each of community college will partner with their local workforce development boards and other community partners to recruit and train young adults to fill jobs in high-demand fields that employers struggle to hire for, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology.

In addition to providing short-term workforce training, the initiative will develop consistent and expedited methods to award college credit for the training students complete, so that they will be able return to the college and more quickly complete certificates or degrees in the same field as their training.

The two-year project will cover student costs associated with tuition, fees and examinations for credentials approved under the FastForward program.

Those who are interested in participating in the Richmond area, on the Virginia peninsula, and in Southern Virginia should visit here and select the “contact us” link to be connected with a FastForward coach.

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