State grant allows PVCC to expand workforce training in heavy construction sector

Piedmont Virginia Community College is one of a select group of Virginia community colleges developing programs in the rapidly growing field of heavy construction. The statewide two-year, $4 million economic investment will support curriculum development and FastForward workforce training.

FastForward is a short-term workforce credential program to train Virginians for top, in-demand jobs across the Commonwealth. Developed by the Virginia Community College System, programs are built so students can get their education while they work.

Valerie Palamountain, Dean of Workforce Services at PVCC said, “The new program to train heavy equipment operators is in high demand in our service region. Over the next few months, we will be meeting with employers to identify the type of simulation equipment we need to purchase, and plan to start classes in either late spring or early summer of 2019.”

The new grants increase access to FastForward training for workers in the heavy construction industry as well as the solar energy sector. PVCC, Lord Fairfax Community College and Germanna Community College will team up to develop a curriculum and statewide training capabilities for courses that support Virginia’s development sector.

In partnership with the Heavy Construction Contractors Association and the Virginia Asphalt Association, the colleges will establish online access to training programs in the principles and practices of road building and other major infrastructure projects.

Since July of 2016, Virginians who trained in FastForward programs at community colleges have earned more than 11,000 valuable industry recognized workforce credentials. FastForward training programs are specifically geared toward the needs of local businesses and offer students affordable access to new careers in weeks or months instead of semesters and years.