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RELEASE: PVCC receives grant to expand workforce services offerings in craft brewing, solar, commercial vehicle driver’s license and unmanned aerial systems

(Charlottesville, Va.) – Piedmont Virginia Community College’s Workforce Services Division will be expanding its workforce training programs thanks to a recently received grant.

PVCC has been awarded a $306,748 Workforce Credential Grant (WCG) Capacity Building Grant to create solar and craft brewing programs and expand existing commercial vehicle driver’s license (CDL) and small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) training programs. Funds will be used for curriculum development and instruction, credential tracking, professional development, recruitment and equipment and supplies. An estimated 259 students will be trained through this grant-funded initiative.

“Alternative energy, particularly solar energy, is a rapidly growing industry in our service region,” said Valerie Palamountain, dean of PVCC’s Workforce Services Division. “This grant will give us the ability to create a much-needed program to train workers for the solar industry. Likewise, the craft brewing industry is exploding, not only in Charlottesville, but throughout Virginia. We plan to develop a standard online curriculum that prepares students for the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s certificate in general brewing.”

PVCC first received WCG funding in 2016 following the Virginia General Assembly’s approval of the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program. Commonly known as the Workforce Credentials Grant, or WCG, this program provides funding for high-demand credentials for select programs. Under the new guidelines, students in these select programs only pay for one-third of their tuition; the state pays for one-third up front and then for the remaining portion once the student successfully completes the program. Examples of WCG-approved programs include certified nurse aide (CNA), commercial driver’s license, certified welder, and several others.

The WCG initiative marks the first time that Virginia has provided financial support for non-credit training. Since the WCG program was implemented at PVCC in 2016, 310 students have completed the program and an additional 425 are already in the pipeline. Learn more about the WCG program by visiting www.pvcc.edu/workforce or calling 434.293.8901.

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