Tag Archives: workforce development

What Governor Kaine said about community colleges in his budget cutting speech

The following excerpts come from the Governor’s prepared remarks, which you can see by clicking here:

In higher education, our October actions reduced schools’ 2009 base budgets by 5 to 7%. For 2010, I have increased the reductions to 15% for all schools, except the community colleges and Richard Bland, which will have the reduction level increased to 10%.

My introduced budget includes nearly $26 million in additional money for need-based financial aid. This money will bring every institution up to at least 65 percent of the target financial aid level that has been recommended by SCHEV. My introduced budget also includes increases in the Community College Transfer Grant program, helping more students begin their higher educations at a two-year college and then transfer to a four-year institution to get their degree at a lower cost to their families…

While there are many challenges ahead of us, we can look forward with hope. Even in this atmosphere, our excellent schools, colleges and universities produce the ideas and graduates that will keep driving our economy. The advances we have made in career and technical education and our restructuring of workforce efforts under the community college system enable us to better prepare our dedicated workforce. Our international connections through the Port of Virginia and Dulles Airport give us a unique ability to be a leader in global commerce. These strengths and many others of our beloved Commonwealth continue to be our ticket to a prosperous future.


Truckers Needed! Southside Virginia Community College Helps Meet National Demand

Did you know there was a trucker shortage and that this could easily affect our economy if American can’t find people to drive commercial trucks?

According to the American Trucking Association, the truck industry has a national shortage of 20,000 drivers.  It predicts the shortage will increase to 111,000 by 2014 given the current deomgraphic trends.  Without enough drivers to haul the nation’s products, expect delays on those items you both want and need.  If we are unable to find more drivers, shipping costs will continue to rise which means consumers will potentially see higher prices. 

We are proud to announce that one of our own, Southside Virginia Community College, saw the urgent need for trained truck drivers and has officially opened its third site in the Greenville/Emporia area offering Truck Driver Training.  Since opening the first Truck Driver Training site in 1996, the college has served over 1,200 students.  The college has sites at Pickett Park in Blackstone and one in South Boston.

“We are glad to be over here, we have been talking about coming to Greensville/Emporia for a long time,” said Duncan Quicke, coordinator of SVCC’s Truck Driving Training program.

Peggy Wiley, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Greensville County, said “This facility is an important part of the continuing efforts by the City of Emporia, Greensville County and SVCC to enhance adult education opportunities in our community.”

With the opening of this new site, SVCC can train 216 drivers a year.

Dr. John Cavan, SVCC President, noted that Quicke knows how to “get things going and keep them going.”  He also noted the persistence of Robert C. ‘Bobby’ Wrenn for continuing to push for a site to be located in Emporia/Greensville.

For more information on upcoming classes at the new site, call 434-336-1000.  Financial aid is available for eligible students in the program.

Posted by Heather Millar.

Virginia has been ranked # 1 in Tech Job Creation – but the IT Pipeline is Shrinking

What can the government, education stakeholders and industry leaders do to help?

Maybe follow in the footsteps of New River Community College (NRCC).  NRCC has developed Virginia’s first game technology degree specializations.   The game industry revenue exceeds $30 billion per year worldwide and has surpassed movie box office revenues in the U.S., making games the fastest growing segment of the entertainment market and an excellent field for career advancement.

(Side Note:  The video game Halo 3 had sales of $300 million its opening week – enough to jack up the value of Microsoft stock.)

During the past five years, IT program enrollments in the nation’s colleges and universities have dropped 50%. Women enrolled in undergraduate IT programs have dropped 36% to a current low of 17%. Leaders in government, education, and industry all share the burden of developing solutions to address this shrinking IT pipeline. Colleagues from around Virginia are meeting at the “Virginia IT Workforce Summit” at Germanna Community College to explore this problem in more depth.   

Posted by Heather Millar

Governor Wants VCCS to Lead Virginia Workforce Development (Part II)

The Virginian Pilot has additional details in their story today about Governor Tim Kaine‘s declaration that Virginia’s Community Colleges should be the leading state agency on workforce development efforts in the commonwealth.

With their deep roots in cities and towns and their tight connections to students and businesses, community colleges “can put programs in place in a nimble and quick way to meet private-sector needs,” Kaine said.

Initially, Kaine said, the work-force plan will mostly involve transferring funding and personnel from other agencies to the Virginia Community College System.

During his speech, Kaine noted that the proposal posed an “internal challenge” and might not be popular in Richmond. “Everybody wanted to be in charge,” he said.

Tidewater Community College President Debbie DiCroce is quoted in the story as saying that the realignment is a complement to what Virginia’s Community Colleges do, but it won’t be easy.

“On the one hand, this is an ‘atta boy, an affirmation of the role community colleges have played in work-force development. On the other hand, it’s almost a challenge to say: Let’s look at how we all might better be able to connect the dots.”

She said the question of funding was inescapable.

“Certainly, we can speak to realignment of existing resources,” DiCroce said. “More broadly, it strikes me that we need to look at whether there is sufficient investment on the part of the commonwealth relative to work-force development to get the job done, however it’s structured.”

Posted by Jeff Kraus

It’s not just about “Annie” anymore …

Do you remember “CPR Annie?”  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any real-life experience with CPR Annie, but I clearly remember my older sisters coming home from school and talking about how they had to yell, “Breathe, Annie, breathe!” during their CPR training in health class.   

These days, people are talking about “SimBaby.”  SimBaby provides realistic situations for nursing students.

 “The infant is lying on a hospital bed; breathing is shallow and its tiny heart is racing. The nurse steps in to assess the situation and take the appropriate action. A possible real-life scenario, for sure. But in this instance, the “baby” is an electronic mannequin and the “nurse” is a nursing student at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. The instructor is standing by a monitor to see if the nurse decides on the right intervention.” 

Sim Baby is an electronic baby mannequin that simulates real-life medical situations for nursing students.  It’s an invaluable training tool for today’s nursing programs, which already have adult patient simulators. Dabney S. Lancaster Community College was, in fact, the first program in Virginia to have the adult version of Sim Baby. Read more about SimBaby in the September issue of @ WDS, the monthly, VCCS Workforce Development e-newsletter.