Another industrial revolution is underway…are workers ready for the future?

Automation, artificial intelligence and advanced materials are transforming the American workplace, and people who want to succeed in the new economy will need to keep their skills and professional credentials up to date.

A report from McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2030, a third of U.S. jobs could be automated, affecting up to 73 million positions now held by people. The technical revolution will not be purely destructive; it also will create millions of new jobs that need to be filled.

Workforce training programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges are constantly evolving, and the creation of the FastForward program was an important step toward making sure that training opportunities match up with the needs of hiring managers at Virginia Businesses.

As the pace of technological innovation continues to accelerate, American employers will scramble to find workers with the right skills.

Virginia Community College researcher Yvonne Thayer told a recent workforce training conference that — to some people — the future will seem “unknown and scary.” But she added that with preparation and the right skills, people can thrive in the new environment.

FastForward offers training in weeks and months, rather than semesters or years. Without getting buried under a mountain of debt, people in FastForward programs can train to earn valuable industry-recognized credentials for jobs that Virginia employers are eager to fill.

Students and employers can find out more at