For Immediate Release: September 10, 2015
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Bev Donati, Bev.Donati@doli.virginia.gov | Virginia Community College System, Amanda Christopher, achristopher@vccs.edu

Virginia Awarded $6.9 Million in American Apprenticeship Grants

~Funds to be used to expand apprenticeships in high-growth~

 

RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe today announced that Virginia has been awarded $6.9 million in American Apprenticeship Grants from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to expand apprenticeships in high-growth industries.  U.S. DOL awarded $175 million in grants to 46 awardees, and Virginia is being awarded funding for apprenticeship initiatives at the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, Inc. and the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA). CCWA is the workforce development partnership between John Tyler Community College and Reynolds Community College.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am thrilled that Virginia is receiving these funds to help support apprenticeship programs in the Commonwealth. Preparing our workforce to perform the jobs needed by employers is essential for creating a new Virginia economy, and apprenticeships combine both work experience and education.”

“Strategies like apprenticeship programs are both great for talent development and for sourcing talent for employers,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “We want to increase these programs in Virginia to help prepare our workforce, and we congratulate the award recipients.”

The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, Inc. was awarded $4 million to fund the Valley to Virginia Apprenticeship Initiative (V2V). The project will target skilled trades in the advanced manufacturing industry and in-demand occupations in H-1B career pathways including; Mechatronics, Industrial Maintenance Technician, CNC Machine Operator, Welder and Production Technician.

V2V is expected to build support for the Registered Apprenticeship Journeyman credential adding 600 new registered apprenticeships in Virginia.  Key business partners include:  A.G.Stacker, Andros Foods North America, Ball Advanced Aluminum Technologies Corporation, The Hershey Company, Kraft Foods, ThermoFisher Scientific, R.R.Donnelley, Tenneco, and the Virginia Manufacturers Association. Key educational and service partners include:  Lord Fairfax Community College, Blue Ridge Community College, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, Massanutten Technical Center, Valley Career and Technical Center, and Goodwill Industries of the Valleys.

CCWA was awarded a $2.9 million grant to lead the Apprentice Virginia: Collaborative Workforce Solutions in Information Technology & Advanced Manufacturing project. Other partner colleges include Southside Virginia Community College and Danville Community College.  Partnerships with key employers including Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Maxx Potential, International Paper, DuPont Spruance and Rolls-Royce, as well as the South Central, Resource, Crater Regional and West Piedmont Workforce Development Boards will ensure program sustainability. The project will create and expand pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities for over 330 workers in targeted H-1B industries of information technology (IT) and advanced manufacturing in Virginia.

“These awards will assist Virginia employers with continuing to develop the highly skilled credentialed workers that are in demand in today’s competitive global economy,” said Ray Davenport, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI).  “Registered Apprenticeship combines flexible, carefully defined and employer-specific training under the guidance of a highly skilled mentor at the worksite and occupation specific Apprenticeship Related Classroom Instruction.  DOLI looks forward to continue working with our partners to ensure that Virginia citizens have the skills demanded for today’s jobs and the jobs of the future.”

“The credentials and jobs at the heart of this announcement represent the pathway to Virginia's new middle class," said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia's Community Colleges. “These grant resources will help us connect more people to what can be life-changing apprenticeship opportunities -- something that we are striving to do more of everyday across Virginia.”

The American Apprenticeship Grants will help Virginia, and other recipients nationwide, to collectively train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in high-growth and high-tech industries as diverse as health care, IT, and advanced manufacturing while scaling up proven programs in construction, transportation, and energy over the next five years.

 

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