Virginia Peninsula Community College Workforce Development representatives were on hand when a job training program called “What’s Next?” presented an open house in Newport News.
The initiative was developed by Newport News School Board member John Eley and Dr. Ashby Kilgore, State Board for Community Colleges member and retired Newport News Schools superintendent.
The July 25 open house at Brooks Crossing drew nearly 400 people. The huge crowd was a record for the program established last August.
Aimed at transforming the community by helping citizens improve their lives, “What’s Next” connects people with the FastForward program through the College. FastForward offers tuition-free job training for citizens who qualify for in-state tuition and whose income is below 400% of the federal poverty level.
The open house allowed people to sign up for free courses in various trades such as HVAC, phlebotomy, welding and plumbing among others. Completing a four- to six-week course also gives participants a chance to receive $1,000 plus resume help and job placement.
During the event, Workforce Development provided program and enrollment information. On-site hiring was also available through Newport News Shipyard and Hampton Roads Transit representatives.
“What’s Next?” has five objectives — recruitment, enrollment, job training completion, job placement and future building. It has an open house every other Monday at 5 p.m. at Brooks Crossing, located at 550 30th St.