Scott Announces Jobs Training Grant at Virginia Career Works Center in Hampton | Virginia Peninsula Community College

Scott Announces Jobs Training Grant at Virginia Career Works Center in Hampton

August 3, 2022
Image for Scott Announces Jobs Training Grant at Virginia Career Works Center in Hampton

Virginia Peninsula Community College was the site of a big announcement by Congressman Bobby Scott on Aug. 3 when he toured the Virginia Career Works Hampton Center, which is housed on campus at the Peninsula Workforce Development Center.

Scott (VA-03), House Education and Labor Committee chair, announced $11 million in new federal funding for the Hampton Roads Workforce Council along with Kevin Gallagher, senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

The tour allowed Scott and Gallagher to meet career coaches, job seekers, and employers to discuss how the funding— facilitated by the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant—will help workers access higher paying jobs and ensure employers have access to qualified candidates.

Scott praised the council for its leadership in helping citizens obtain much-needed job training and said the new funding will bolster its services. The grant will afford expanded training labs, development of advanced curriculum, and recruitment of participants from historically underserved communities.

“Now, through this $11 million investment, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council will be able to move beyond the currently available entry-level programs and provide students with the advanced skills they need to gain higher-paying, long-term careers,” said Congressman Scott. “Today’s announcement demonstrates the shared commitment, from the Biden-Harris Administration and Congressional Democrats, to supporting workforce development programs.”

Scott’s visit also included a round table discussion with panelists representing government, education, business/industry, and other sectors. Hampton Roads Workforce Council President and CEO Shawn Avery was among those.   

“The Good Jobs Challenge grant is going to be transformational for the workforce system in Hampton Roads. The investment will provide resources to meet the talent needs of our maritime industry by increasing the training capacity and recruitment and retention of individuals into these positions,” said Avery.

Scott also highlighted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022 (WIOA) having led its passage in the House in May. Under the new legislation an additional $1.5 billion would be invested in Virginia’s workforce training programs to deliver sustained support for the Commonwealth’s workers and businesses.

Panelists, including Virginia Peninsula Community College President Towuanna Porter Brannon, discussed the new legislation’s impact.  

“Funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act allows Virginia Peninsula Community College to offer integrated and comprehensive services that directly benefit our local job seekers – including displaced adults, fledging youth, incumbent workers, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and local employers. The individuals we serve have a diverse array of job readiness skills and personal life needs, and WIOA funds provide the college with an increased capacity to personalize our support and better prepare individuals for work in high-demand fields,” said Dr. Brannon.

“Congressman Scott is a true champion for the workforce development system and the many businesses and individuals served by the Hampton Roads Workforce Council. The impact of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act has strengthened the system that is needed to secure and sustain high-quality careers, including those in maritime, manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology,” noted Avery.

“Funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is crucial to developing a skilled workforce In Hampton Roads to support employers and grow the regional economy. It also allows us to provide access to training programs for our citizens who have experienced barriers to meaningful employment opportunities,” said the Honorable James Gray, vice mayor of the City of Hampton.

Other participants and guests included Newport News City Councilwoman Tina Vick, Hampton Roads Workforce Council Chair Dr. John Olson, Hampton Roads Workforce Council Vice Chair Mark John and Tim Richardt, a training and development manager with Fairlead. Former jobseeker Champagne Hill and Thanh Nguyen, a military spouse, were also panelists.