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After dead-end jobs, a meaningful career

“I’ve worked my share of dead-end jobs, and I know what it’s like to need a new start. That’s why I’m excited to be a FastForward Career Coach.” – Mike Frasnelli, Northern Virginia Community College

Mike Frasnelli found his dream job in education and career counseling after being expelled from college and working a host of jobs in retail, restaurants, substitute teaching and commercial moving.

“I think a lot of people I’ll be working with as a FastForward Career Coach have had experiences like mine,” says Frasnelli. “This is an amazing opportunity for me.”

Frasnelli helps people who are looking to start, or re-start their careers. FastForward programs are designed to train Virginians who don’t have the time or resources to spend years pursuing a traditional college degree. The average age of FastForward participants so far is 36.

One of the strengths of the FastForward program is its local focus. Community colleges across the state offer different programs based on the needs of local employers. That means people are being trained for locally available jobs.

In Northern Virginia, with a large immigrant population, FastForward is a lifeline to new Virginians. Says Frasnelli, “I’ve worked with people who earned masters or doctorates back home, but their degrees are not recognized here. They need help getting into the U.S. workforce, and our programs can be bridge to new careers.”

“People can feel disenfranchised. We try to offer some hope. Every journey starts with a step, and whatever direction someone’s going in, we might have programs to help them along the way. We can help people find a path toward a new career.”