The presidents of Thomas Nelson Community College and Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia officially signed the partnership between the two organizations into existence Monday morning.
The “declaration of shared purpose” recognizes the collaboration and commitment of the two to help develop technical and soft skills for Peninsula-area residents. The goal is to recognize and reaffirm the "distinct yet common” missions of the organizations: “to change lives through workforce training and create pathways to opportunities and success.”
“We’re in the business of changing lives,” TNCC President John Dever said. “You do that through the long history that Goodwill has to prepare people with the skills and abilities that they need to be self-sufficient through work. We do it through the instruction that we offer in our academic and workforce programs at Thomas Nelson. We realized that if we do it together in a complimentary way, we can take our respective strengths and resources and put them together and build something that’s much greater than we can achieve individually.”
The announcement was made at the Thomas Nelson Center for Building and Construction Trades, which is housed at the Goodwill building in Hampton.
At the center, which opened in 2015, students can train to work, for example, as apartment complex maintenance workers with real building materials and appliances on which to study.
As part of the partnership, the first students in the WIRED for Success, an electrician training program, began their classes Monday.
A third of the $3,000 tuition is being paid by partner Peninsula Workforce Development Council, while the remaining tuition is covered through a statewide workforce development grant program.
Over the next four months, the nine inaugural students will take electrician training courses, leading to two industry-recognized certifications.
Up to two months of paid on-the-job training with partners such as W.M. Jordan and Hampton City Schools maintenance would follow, along with an OSHA safety certification and a shiny new tool kit, courtesy of Peninsula Worklink.