(Charlottesville, Va.)—Officials at Piedmont Virginia Community College announced recently that a new state grant will make it possible for students to receive tuition assistance for select programs.

The New Economy Workforce Credential Grant (WCG) Program, approved by the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year, will provide funding for high-demand industry credentials. Under the new guidelines, one-third of the tuition is paid by the student; one-third is paid by the state upon successful completion of the training; and one-third is paid by the state upon attaining the industry credential.

“As the baby boomer generation retires, the need for technical training beyond high school is critical in Virginia,” said Valerie Palamountain, PVCC dean, workforce services. “This funding, offered by the state, stresses the need for qualified workers who have earned industry credentials in careers such as welding, commercial truck driving and healthcare, particularly certified nurse aides.”

According to the Virginia General Assembly website, the purpose of the new program is to create and sustain a demand-driven supply of credentialed workers for high-demand occupations in the Commonwealth by addressing and closing the gap between the skills needed by workers in the Commonwealth and the skills of the available workforce in the Commonwealth; to expand the affordability of workforce training and credentialing; and to increase the interest of current and future Virginia workers in technician, technologist, and trade-level positions to fill the available and emerging jobs in the Commonwealth that require less than a bachelor’s degree but more than a high school diploma.

A second new program, Financial Assistance for Noncredit Training that leads to Industry Credentials (FANTIC), is also available to low-income Virginia residents who meet certain eligibility requirements. Students receiving FANTIC will have up to 90 percent of their tuition costs covered by the state for select programs.

Programs eligible for the WCG Program and FANTIC include engine repair, project management, certified nurse aide, clinical medical assistant, commercial driver’s license (CDL), hydraulics, electrical systems, HVAC, phlebotomy technician and welding.

To learn more about the new workforce credentials grant and financial assistance opportunities, contact the PVCC Division of Workforce Services at 434.961.5354 or by emailing [email protected].