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Combating Underemployment with FastForward Job Training

The official unemployment rate paints a pretty rosy picture these days. But the jobless stats don’t count the number of people who WANT full-time work, but who must cobble together several part-time jobs to make ends meet.

Those folks are called “underemployed,” and in spring of 2018, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership estimated the state’s underemployment rate was 10.3 percent. That’s almost 455,000 of our fellow Virginians!

If you’re underemployed, getting trained for a job that employers are eager to fill could be your path to a new career that uses your talents to their fullest advantage.

We talked to our FastForward Career Coaches about underemployment in their areas and how they work with students to get trained and into a position that checks everything off on their wish list.

Meet the career demands where you live
“Successful attainment of workforce credentials through FastForward has helped individuals enter high-demand industries,” says Renee Michelle Chalmers of Central Virginia Community College. “These fields typically feature an increased wage that helps students improve their socioeconomic status. Enrollment helps the underemployed gain skills that will help to find a job that can also produce a higher salary.”

Turn three jobs into one
“We often have students who work multiple part time jobs or through temp agencies to support their families,” says Shannon Whitlow of Patrick Henry Community College. “Job training through FastForward can help our students with a career. Sometimes for the first time in their lives, they are working one job which provides them a good salary with benefits.

Demonstrate your knowledge in the field
“Gaining an industry recognized credential allows my students the opportunity to move up the professional ladder,” says Alejandra Diaz-Rangel of Tidewater Community College.

If you’re thinking about learning a new skill, getting further qualified for a career or learning more in your existing career, consider enrolling in a FastForward program. Use our contact form and get connected with your local FastForward Career Coach today.