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NOVA programs under new workforce grant will benefit families and local economy

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) announced Wednesday that there is now grant funding available to help those interested in achieving higher-paying, middle-skill positions that will benefit their families and also the region. Northern Virginia Community College offers certifications supported by this grant program in healthcare, IT, welding, and even to achieve a commercial driver’s license. These are positions that do not require a degree, but they do require specialized skills that are critical to the region’s economy.

The “New Economy Workforce Industry Credentials Grant,” funded by the Virginia General Assembly, will cut by two-thirds the student’s cost to achieve these credentials. For example, if a course costs $4,500, the student would be responsible for $1,500 and the grant would cover the remaining $3,000. Additional need-based financial aid is also available to help offset the student’s portion. These funds are available for training in fields deemed critical to the various regions represented by Virginia’s 23 community colleges.

What makes this grant unusual is that it is based on a “pay-for-performance” formula. This means, the student must complete the course and pass an external industry certification exam in order for the college to receive the grant monies. While the career fields covered under the grant were hand-picked based on the needs of the region, state funding will be withdrawn once there is no longer a demand for them.

“NOVA is extremely pleased to be able to offer these certificate programs to help families in our area make a better living and to help local employers find the workers they need to make our economy grow,” said Steve Partridge, vice president of Workforce Development at the college. “These funds offer a great opportunity to help Virginia take the lead in growing health and IT fields as well as in critical construction and infrastructure fields.”

The programs covered under the grant at NOVA are:

  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)
  • Certified CISCO Entry Network Technician
  • Certified CISCO Network Associate
  • Certified Nurse Aid
  • Certified Welder
  • Clinical Medical Assistant
  • Commercial Driver’s License
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Pharmacy Technician

These are all jobs that provide a livable wage, benefits and potential for advancement. Also, these are the careers that will be increasing in demand throughout the region. In healthcare alone, it is anticipated that the region will have nearly 20,000 vacancies by 2020. Also, between government and industry, IT skills will continue to be in demand in this region; as well as skills in construction and transit.

NOVA’s Workforce Development programs offer a wide array of non-credit certificate programs that allow attendees to gain entry-level skills to get into the workforce, to switch careers or to advance their careers. NOVA offers certificates in high-demand healthcare fields, information technology and cybersecurity, and many other areas that will be critical to the regional economy.

Media Contact: Kathy Thompson | 703.764.0896 | kthompson@nvcc.edu


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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.