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Need a Job? Initiative Emphasizes Training to Help Virginians Find Work

Coalition of Virginia businesses and community colleges aim to combat pandemic-related job loss

The VA Ready Initiative will prepare people to find work in high-demand fields. (Pixabay photo by Gerd Altmann)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Many people have lost their jobs during the pandemic. In Virginia, a new nonprofit has a mission of helping out-of-work residents find employment. The Virginia Ready Initiative (VA Ready) has teamed with businesses and community colleges throughout the state, which will prepare residents for jobs in in-demand fields.

“Too many Virginians have lost their jobs, and they want to, and deserve help to, retool for in-demand jobs,” said Glenn A. Youngkin, co-founder and chairman of VA Ready. “The time is now to focus training efforts on equipping our workforce for Virginia’s dynamic sectors like technology, healthcare and the skilled trades.”

Recruits to VA Ready, called scholars, will be able to sign up for one of 29 programs at community colleges. After completion of a short-term training, they will receive a Credential Achievement Award. With that award in hand, job seekers are offered interviews with top companies in the Commonwealth.

VA Ready’s business partners represent the state’s leading companies with projected hiring needs in the technology, healthcare, manufacturing, and skilled trades sectors. They include: Dominion Energy, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young, and SAIC.

In addition to working with businesses, VA Ready plans to consult with colleges to make sure that FastForward training programs provide the best learning experience possible and that skills acquired will be applicable to real-world situations.

“With an average out-of-pocket cost of just over $1,000, our FastForward training programs are the most affordable option in higher education today and the fastest way for someone to skill-up for a career that offers family-sustaining wages,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “But we know that price tag is still out of reach for too many people, especially the newly unemployed. We are pleased to work alongside VA Ready and its business partners to make those training opportunities more affordable and accessible — and get people back to work.”

People interested in a brand new start can apply for the program after August 1. To learn more, including how to apply, click HERE.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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