The regional Department of Labor - NOVA Credentials to Careers initiative is a partnership between Northern Virginia Community College, nonprofit workforce development organizations, and local IT employers to provide high performing education and training programs leading to credentials and a career in IT for TAA impacted workers and other adult workers (unemployed or underemployed, low-wage, dislocated, military or veteran).
Northern Virginia’s employers have a massive need for skilled IT professionals that exceeds the current IT talent workforce. A recent regional study projects demand for 300,000 new IT and other STEM professionals through 2020, citing the skills shortage as “the principal threat to Northern Virginia’s economic vitality and sustainability going forward”.
Combined, the region’s two largest higher education providers, NOVA and George Mason University, generate only 1,200 IT graduates per year. Population growth and employer migration has accelerated in outer suburbs like Manassas, near the business corridor that surrounds Dulles Airport, where there are no nonprofit job training programs and no WIA one-stop job centers. Meanwhile, Northern Virginia is home to 500,000 low-wage or unemployed adults who lack post-secondary credentials -- many of whom could achieve their career aspirations through employer-driven workforce development training programs.
The regional consortium expects to enroll more than 600 training participants in the three-year DOL grant time frame. NOVA and its partners will increase training, support services, internships and job placement activities to enable laid-off and low-income workers to advance into high-demand IT career pathways.