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Pilot program aims to boost workforce credentials

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday a pilot program to help 500 Virginians earn credentials in high-demand industries.

The program includes $500,000 in Federal Workforce Investment Act funding that will be used to pay for noncredit programs and courses at seven of Virginia’s community colleges. 

The pilot program is part of McAuliffe’s New Virignia Economic Strategic Plan, which includes the goal of having an additional 50,000 credentialed Virginians by the end of his term.

Participating colleges include Blue Ridge, Germanna, Thomas Nelson, and Virginia Western community colleges, and the three colleges that make up the Southern VA Works collaborative — Danville, Patrick Henry and Southside Virginia community colleges.

The program will support only high-demand credentials, which will be determined by data from workforce investment boards and input from businesses.

Some of the high-demand credentials that will be supported by the plan include:

-Project Management Professional (PMP) certification
-American Welding Society (AWS) certification
-Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) certification

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