VA Ready Expands Credential Program to Include Underemployed Virginians

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Virginia Ready’s $1,000 award and the chance to reskill for in-demand jobs is now available to even more Virginians whose employment has been disrupted by Covid-19

"Our program offers these motivated Virginians an opportunity to gain the necessary skills to qualify for resilient, sustainable jobs, so they can support their families and have a much brighter future.” -Caren Merrick, CEO of Virginia Ready

The Virginia Ready Initiative (VA Ready), launched this summer to reskill unemployed Virginians hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, is now also open to Virginians who are underemployed, furloughed, working reduced hours, or working part-time to support themselves and their families.

More than 400 people are already taking part in the program, with the first cohort of 18 moving into post-training, full-time employment with Newport News Shipbuilding. This expansion will allow more Virginians to take part in this opportunity.

“Many people who lost their jobs due to Covid-19 are now without steady, full-time work; some have been forced to work two minimum-wage, part-time jobs just to make ends meet,” said Caren Merrick, CEO of Virginia Ready. “Our program offers these motivated Virginians an opportunity to gain the necessary skills to qualify for resilient, sustainable jobs, so they can support their families and have a much brighter future.”

VA Ready co-founder and chairman, Glenn Youngkin, added, “The economic fall-out from COVID-19 continues to disrupt so many hard working people, and our goal is to offer as many Virginians as we are able the chance to gain new skills and new jobs that promise stability in the face of so much change.”

Any Virginian who has experienced employment disruption as a result of the pandemic is eligible to participate by enrolling in one of VA Ready’s 30 approved FastForward credential courses offered through the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). Designed to prepare Virginians for careers in technology, healthcare, manufacturing and other skilled trades, most programs can be completed within 6-12 weeks and are offered by the 23 community colleges in the VCCS.

The VA Ready Scholar program provides added incentives for participants, offering a $1,000 award upon completion of their credential training and the opportunity to interview with VA Ready business partners.

For more information about the VA Ready Initiative or to apply for the program, visit https://vaready.org/

About the Virginia Ready Initiative (VA Ready)

VA Ready is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization launched in June 2020 to retrain Virginians impacted by the economic hardships created by COVID-19. VA Ready's mission is to help thousands of Virginians whose employment has been disrupted by the pandemic to access the short-term training needed to get back to work or begin a new career in today's most in-demand jobs. With its Public-Private-Partnership design, VA Ready brings together the FastForward career training program offered by the Virginia Community College System's (VCCS) 23 colleges and more than 20 business partners who employ millions of Virginians. VA Ready Scholars have access to 30 healthcare, technology and other skilled training programs; learn the skills needed to secure one of today's most in-demand positions; receive $1,000 upon credential completion; and are connected to VA Ready's business partners for interview opportunities. Learn more at: http://www.vaready.org

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Nicole Tidei
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