Tidewater Community College will provide scholarships to eligible Virginians whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to pursue workforce training in a high-demand field.
The Re-Employing Virginians (REV) initiative, announced by Gov. Ralph Northam on Friday, will allocate $27 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars in five essential industries — health care, information technology, skilled trades, public safety and early childhood education.
The initiative will provide one-time REV scholarships of $3,000 to register in a qualifying full-time workforce program and $1,500 to register part-time or in a short-term, noncredit training program.
“Virginians who have been furloughed, had hours reduced, or lost a job because of the pandemic are struggling and wondering what the future holds,” Northam said. “Investing in programs that help people develop skills in high-demand fields is a win for workers, employers and our economy. As we focus on recovering from the impacts of the global pandemic, the new REV initiative will give Virginians the resources they need to get back on their feet and help ensure that our Commonwealth emerges from this public health crisis even stronger than we were before.”
The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads Local Workforce Development Areas will administer the CARES Act funding for the REV initiative, with $27 million allocated to VCCS for statewide programs and $3 million for the two workforce areas. Together Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia have experienced nearly 50% of all the initial and continuing unemployment claims.
“TCC is grateful for the opportunity to provide educational funding to the citizens of Hampton Roads,” said Tamara Williams, interim vice president of TCC’s Center for Workforce Solutions. “Our area is still seeing high numbers of unemployment and underemployment, and the situation is exacerbated for women and people of color. The college will award over $3 million in scholarship funds in high demand career areas, bridging the gap between education and industry.”
“If you have lost your job, or seen a reduction in your hours and paycheck, Virginia’s community colleges want to help you,” said VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois. “The REV initiative offers you another way into the short-term credential and degree programs that prepare you for a high-demand career. These opportunities will be more affordable than ever before thanks to these grants, and we look forward to helping individuals and families who want to move forward, beyond the unexpected challenges posed by the pandemic.”