Tidewater Community College is part of a new collaboration among three community colleges in Hampton Roads designed to meet the large-scale job training needs of the region’s businesses and industries. The new Community College Workforce Cooperative (CCWC) will create a single point of contact to access the workforce training resources of TCC, Camp and Thomas Nelson community colleges which together serve 11 cities and four counties through 10 college locations.
“In my first year as college president, I quickly learned how limiting the artificial boundaries of our college service regions can be to the work we do,” said TCC President Marcia Conston. “This is an important step for us to take to ensure that boundaries that were mapped out in the 1960s don’t stop us from addressing Hampton Roads’ many training needs.”
The CCWC will direct and coordinate the job training resources, leveraging facilities, labs and additional training resources of all three community colleges to address the sizeable training needs that exist today in industries like shipbuilding and ship repair. That centralized coordination means those needs will be addressed faster and more cost-effectively. The CCWC will also ensure that the colleges are better prepared to meet emerging trends in the region, like the growing alternative energy industry.
“By working together, we can build an even stronger and more vibrant workforce,” said Tamara Williams, interim vice president of TCC’s Center for Workforce Solutions. “This collaboration positions us to help advance the region’s economic development priorities, filling workforce gaps, and making community college training even more accessible to large employers.”
The CCWC welcomed new Executive Director Todd Estes with the Virginia Community College System. The group held its first meeting this winter and included the presidents of each of the three community colleges, as well as representatives of their workforce development centers.