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FastForward and the “gig economy”

In a rapidly evolving economy that increasingly relies on freelance workers, having up-to-date and certified skill sets can mean the difference between thriving and just getting by.

So said a Richmond business consultant at a recent educational conference devoted to workforce training.

“Make no mistake, the gig economy is here to stay,” noted Glen Jones, president of Main Street Management Group.

“Business has changed,” said Jones. “Slow and steady no longer wins the day. Companies need to be fast and agile to compete, and that means they hire short-term workers on a contract basis for concentrated projects and initiatives, rather than full-time workers.”

Intuit, the “Turbo Tax” company, with insights into the taxpaying and work experience of millions of Americans, estimates a third of the nation’s workforce is now engaged in gig work and predicts that by 2020, 43 percent of American workers will be independent contractors.

Jones argued that, with locations statewide and a strong legacy in workforce training, Virginia’s Community Colleges are uniquely situated to help Virginians succeed in the gig economy by offering customized programs to meet the needs of workers and employers.

FastForward programs can prepare you for dozens of in-demand careers in weeks or months and without burdening you with a mountain of debt.

“This is an opportunity for success that people shouldn’t pass up,” said Jones.