LYNCHBURG, VA – Officials at Central Virginia Community College have announced a grant award for $400,000 from the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board (GO Virginia) to assist in creating a Regional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Academy to serve the college’s service region which includes the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell and the City of Lynchburg.
The regional CTE academy will meet a need in the community that has been documented in the November 2016 Region 2000 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which calls for the establishment of a Regional Workforce Center to deliver necessary workforce training. A recent Employer Needs Assessment has also validated this critical need in the region.
The GO Virginia award will work in conjunction with additional state funding from February 2019, when CVCC was awarded a $267,000 planning grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Get a Skill, Get a Job, Give Back (G3) Program to lay the groundwork for implementing a regional CTE academy.
CVCC President Dr. John Capps said, “The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board has approved our application for a $400,000 GO Virginia grant to support our regional career and technical education CTE academy. The board's approval represents the culmination of a process that began two years ago with the planning grant. That effort documented the need for a regional academy and developed the blueprint for our successful GO Virginia grant proposal. This project has been a true college and community-wide effort and is destined to change the face of CTE education and workforce development at CVCC.”
CVCC requested the Go Virginia funds to support two positions critical to the startup of the regional CTE academy for the two-year period of January, 2021 through December, 2022. The request for $266,000 from GO Virginia will be cash matched by $134,000 from the Central Virginia Planning District Commission for a total of $400,000.
The positions to be created include a coordinator of academy operations and a coordinator of business engagement. The former position will work to expand and enhance the college’s CTE and FastForward program offerings; the latter will work with CVCC partners in business, industry and secondary education to recruit students and to promote CTE learning in the community. Together, these positions will place the regional CTE academy front and center in the college’s efforts to ensure its programs are meeting the workforce needs of the region. The grant funds will be managed by the CVCC Educational Foundation, which will serve as the fiscal agent for the grant.
The regional CTE academy will also work with the regional public-school systems to develop new and expanded dual enrollment opportunities. The academy is envisioned to accept high school students, high school graduates, adult learners and under-employed/under-skilled workers to earn the credentials necessary for employment in the region.
Programming will include a heavy concentration on the four targeted priority industry sectors of manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, and the automation segment of the food and beverage sector.
The skills-based training provided by the regional CTE academy will enable students to pursue well-defined career pathways to not simply get a job, but to also obtain higher paying jobs that are achievable with the appropriate stackable credentials and certifications. Each of the pathways includes a dual enrollment option based on existing programs offered to each of the five regional public high school divisions which includes 10 high schools.
Furthermore, CVCC will work with these public-school partners to develop a streamlined approach to bridging the gap between K-12 students and the local workforce. Outreach from the academy will work with the entire spectrum of students, K-12, to provide awareness early on of career opportunities.
The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Foundation, or GO Virginia, is a private, 501(c)(3) organization that provides support to the state’s Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board and the nine Regional Councils by helping to collect and disseminate best practices relating to regional economic and workforce development.