Press Release - 02/14/19

CVCC Announces Plan for Career Technical Education (CTE) Academy

LYNCHBURG, VA – Officials at Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) announced a recent grant award to the college that will provide an opportunity for students to earn a skill based credential to meet specific employer in-demand job requirements. 

CVCC’s award of the Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back Initiative, or G3 Capacity Building Grant, will be used to support planning efforts for a regional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Academy for dual-enrollment students, recent high school graduates, as well as unemployed or underemployed adults to earn credentials for targeted industry employment sectors. Some of these employment areas include information technology, computer science, healthcare, manufacturing and trades, and public safety. 

“I am thrilled to report we have been officially notified that our G3 grant proposal has been approved by the VCCS (Virginia Community College System) in the amount of $267,181,” said CVCC President Dr. John Capps. “The creation of a CTE academy represents another significant step forward for CVCC and the region, for it will enable us to even better serve the needs of the students, employers, and the community.” 

While CVCC employs adequate administration, faculty, and staff to fulfill its mission and strategic goals, the college also pursues higher education grant-funding opportunities to provide additional resources to enhance its programs and services. 

The source of funding for the G3 grant program comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program (WIOA). The G3 funds are then administered for Virginia’s community colleges by the VCCS office in Richmond, VA.

Locally, G3 grant funded priorities will include salaries for a program director, program coordinator, Workforce Career Coach, qualified CTE faculty for program/pathway development; contractual services for new program development, evaluation, marketing and research consultants; costs associated with hosting regional planning events; professional development; and employee travel for collaborative efforts within the region and the VCCS. 

The program director, program coordinator, and program faculty will engage regional industry stakeholders in the development of the CTE educational pathways. They will identify industry certifications that align to curriculum competencies and disclose them within the programs. Collaboratively, course credit for prior learning will also be aligned to industry credentials. Work-based learning opportunities will be developed and incorporated into programs when possible. 

To further strengthen the pathways and to meet critical employer demands in our region, CVCC will also update existing programs to conform to the G3 three-level framework and create new programs as needed. 

The five (5) regional public school division superintendents had a positive reaction to the announcement by CVCC.

“Daily, Amherst County Public Schools seeks to provide our students with opportunities that will better prepare them for the world they will soon enter. It has become increasingly clear that, in isolation, a school division alone cannot provide the appropriate level of opportunities to meet all of our students' needs. This is why the collaboration between Central Virginia Community College, five area school divisions, and local business and industry to develop a Regional CTE Center is such exciting news,” said Dr. Robert Arnold, superintendent of Amherst County Schools. 

Concurrent with the CTE Academy initiative, CVCC has strong relationships and existing agreements with each of the region’s school divisions. CTE courses are currently offered both on-campus and at local high schools for various programs. For each of the proposed G3 program pathways, every effort will be made to promote and offer Level 1, or FastForward credentials to any interested high school student. Furthermore, agreements specific to participating CVCC CTE Academy dual enrollment options will be secured by the G3 program coordinator with each school division. All regional K12 partners have indicated support for G3 program development at CVCC. 

Campbell County Superintendent Dr. Robert Johnson stated, “Campbell County Schools have enjoyed a long history of partnerships with CVCC and we look forward to working with them and our area colleagues in establishing a regional Career and Technical Education Academy. We recognize that meeting the career readiness needs of all of our students is challenging for a single school system; however, in partnership with the other regional school divisions, CVCC, and the business industry, we can create a model that benefits all students and helps meet the regional workforce needs.” 

Dr. Crystal M. Edwards, superintendent of Lynchburg City Schools added, "Lynchburg City Schools is proud to expand our partnership with CVCC. Our students continue to benefit from participation in the STEM Academy, dual enrollment program, and early college program supported by LCS and CVCC. We look forward to enhancing the educational opportunities and CTE experiences afforded to our children through the G3 CTE initiative.” 

Dr. Douglas Schuch, superintendent Bedford County Public Schools, said, "With the collaboration between industry, CVCC, and the school divisions, there are more opportunities for students to have hands-on, real world experiences that cannot be found in the classroom alone.” 

Appomattox County Public Schools, Division Superintendent Dr. Annette A. Bennett, maintained, "As we are working to prepare our graduates to be college and career ready, CVCC is a valuable partner. Appomattox County Public Schools are excited about the additional opportunities the G3 CTE Initiative can provide our students." 

CVCC will also work closely with the VCCS office to establish a standard, system-wide G3 student onboarding process that begins with a “One Door” advising model and includes eligibility determination, FAFSA completion, domicile establishment, program orientation, community service commitment tracking, and providing needed student support services. These services will be supported by the recent implementation of enterprise technology platforms such as EAB Navigate and Ad Astra, which support student onboarding and retention. 

CVCC also actively participates with peer institutions and the VCCS in the development of credit and non-credit programming. The program development process requires a regular review of labor market data including regional demand and growth, and desired knowledge, skills, and abilities. All grant funded work will occur in partnership with the regional Workforce Development Board and in consultation with regional industry partners, and by convening regional stakeholder meetings in the local public school divisions. 

A CTE Academy Open House event will be held in the summer of 2019 at CVCC to provide information about existing and forthcoming programs and services to the public.