TNCC Awarded Nearly $2 million by U.S. Labor Dept. for Advanced Manufacturing


Published: January 21, 2009

Thomas Nelson Community College has been awarded a $1.99 million Community Based Job Training Grant Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand its successful manufacturing pipeline. This is the College’s second major national grant in five years.

The College received a $1.95 million High Skills High Growth Jobs Initiative grant four years ago to create an employment pipeline in advanced manufacturing and has since placed over 4,100 individuals in advanced manufacturing jobs, in partnership with the region’s community colleges, workforce boards,  one-stop centers and more than 60 regional manufacturers.

The new grant will enable TNCC to prepare 335 workers certified to advanced manufacturing industry standards through credit and non-credit education and training over three years, and help meet the regional need for increased numbers of technicians in welding, computer numerical control (CNC) machining, and precision production technology.  In addition, an outreach program targets youth in K-12 and older youth (18-21 years) in partnership with New Horizons Regional Education Center.

“Another key part of this grant is the development of an aerospace and nuclear welding certification,” said John Calver, director of the Advanced Manufacturing Pipeline based at TNCC.

The new initiative will offer instruction through “a highly-charged, learning environment that combines classroom, lab and work-based educational experiences,” according to Calver. Program content and sequence will be guided by an expert panel comprised of leading manufacturers including ADVEX Corporation, ALCOA-Howmet, Canon Virginia Inc. (CVI), Lowes Precision Machine (LPM), Northrop Grumman Ship Building (NGSB), and Precision Weld Technology (PWT). According to Calver, “these partners are contributing financial and in-kind resources as well as job opportunities to the initiative.”

The Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Fabricators and Manufacturing Association International (FMA) are collaborating partners in the grant, providing industry expertise and expanded employment opportunities for program completers.

“This grant will keep the Peninsula on leading edge of highly automated precision production, advancing our career pipelines and pathways to the next level,” said Dr. Deborah George Wright, the College’s Vice President for Workforce Development . “With this latest initiative, TNCC will further expand its partnerships and enhance opportunities for students of all ages in career pathways, and expand dual enrollment programs with New Horizons.”

“With the support from this federal grant and the collaboration of governments, the public schools and the workforce board, the Peninsula business community can depend on their community college to deliver a world-class workforce that excels technically now and in the future,” Wright added.



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