Employment academy receives grant

Published 9:20 pm Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tidewater Community College’s proposed Virtual Employment Academy, designed to better prepare military-related students to enter and maintain their growth in the workforce despite the demands of the military lifestyle, is a recipient of a 2013 Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Grant.

The $75,000 grant, awarded by Glenn Dubois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, is the largest project among the 20 Innovation Fund grantees.

The Virtual Employment Academy, a pilot program offered through TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE), is an extension of the college’s goal of easing the transition from military life to employability by eliminating many of the barriers that result in low-paying, low-skill jobs.

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The program will broaden career pathways by linking TCC credit and non-credit programs, allowing students to pursue subject matter competence in an academic program and job skill credentials developed to prepare them for virtual or remote employment.

Virtual-friendly programs lead to careers in environments that include health information management, information technology, accounting, graphic design and project management. Working in the virtual environment will enable the employee to maintain employment and career growth regardless of physical location — an asset for families routinely relocated due to military assignments. Whether the spouses are prospective, current, recent or long-time college graduates, they can take coursework through the program that will prepare them for career-path employment, allowing them to work from a home office environment.

“The VEA will fast track its graduates to employment by linking them to progressive employers seeking highly qualified candidates to fill higher wage, higher skilled virtual positions,” said Cal Scheidt, director of military contract programs at TCC. “The VEA will equip military-related students, specifically spouses, with the tools they need for sustaining employment, resulting in better economic security for both themselves and their families.”

The CMVE will assist VEA graduates in job placement that is specifically suited to the military lifestyle. For information, contact Scheidt at 822-7702 or cscheidt@tcc.edu.