Nearly Three Dozen Organizations Come Together to Connect Veterans with High-Demand Jobs and Careers
– Virginia Community College Grants Spur Partnerships Across the Commonwealth –
RICHMOND - Nearly three dozen organizations are working together in eight regional partnerships to connect veterans who have recently finished their military service, and their eligible spouses, with jobs and careers in high-growth, high-demand fields.
Virginia's Community Colleges are funding the partnerships with $1.8 million in grants. Individual grant awards range from $142,500 - $250,000. Taken together, the innovative partnerships are expected to serve more than 700 people annually.
"We have worked to make Virginia the best state for military families to live and find work after they finish their service." said Governor Bob McDonnell. "Today, I am pleased to announce another cost-effective strategy to serve those veterans and their families. By knocking down walls between programs and agencies and leveraging the great work these terrific organizations serving veterans already do, we can better help our heroes find good-paying jobs and promising careers."
The projects selected for funding include regional and statewide strategies and tools to train and employ veterans in healthcare, advanced manufacturing and information technology, among other fast-growing industry sectors. These career pathways for veterans include additional tools to reward veterans with college credits for prior learning and for skills obtained in the armed forces.
"Community colleges are at their best when they can bring together various groups and organizations to answer a community challenge, and that's what we're doing here," said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia's Community Colleges. "We were impressed by both the quantity and the quality of the proposals we received. The selected proposals contained smart and creative ways to serve our veterans better. We're excited to put those ideas to work."
"Each of the selected grant proposals represents the sort of regional collaboration between education, economic and workforce development, and business and industry that Governor McDonnell's workforce agenda has prioritized, " said Secretary of Education Laura Fornash. "Not only do the proposals include both higher education and employment services, they also include veterans' services such as the V3 initiative which works directly with businesses to recruit and retain our returning heroes."
Each of the selected projects includes collaboration between local workforce investment boards, community colleges, the Virginia Employment Commission, state government agencies and local businesses. A request for proposals for funding was announced in November 2012. Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Rapid Response Assistance funds will support these grants.
Award recipients include:
- Alexandria Workforce Investment Board
- Greater Peninsula Workforce Development Consortium
- Opportunity Inc. of Hampton Roads
- Patrick Henry Community College
- South Central Workforce Investment Board
- The Skills Source Group
- Virginia Industry Foundation
- Western Virginia Workforce Development Board
About Virginia's Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia's Community Colleges serve more than 400,000 students a year. For more information please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.
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