Solar scaled

Infrastructure training and certifications lead to open jobs in Virginia

What if we told you that the infrastructure industry in Virginia anticipates having 30,000-50,000 open jobs in the coming years? Thanks to the Virginia Clean Economy Act and evolving technologies, there is a big need to update Virginia’s solar, wind and power infrastructure – not to mention the roads, bridges and tunnels – which means skilled workers are in high-demand.

Looking across Virginia, each and every community has some sort of infrastructure need, and the training offered at your local community college will match the need in your community.

For example, Tidewater Community College has a slew of maritime training, like electrical, pipefitting, HVAC to support maritime infrastructure work. Colleges like Germanna focus on heavy equipment operator to help with road construction projects like the big lane expansion project on I-95 in the region.

Other trainings that are offered through FastForward include welding, soldering, milling, core craft skills, HVAC and electrical. Not only is training close by, but there is an added layer of flexibility through the community college that you may not get from private training providers.

“One way we’re supporting the industry’s rapid need to hire is through our online curriculum,” said Martha O’Keefe, chief workforce officer at Germanna Community College. “The online program may be suited for those who need an accelerated program. And it’s a good option for those individuals seeking flexible access to training and certification.”

In addition to online curriculum, students may also have the option to learn the textbook-based content online, while practicing the hands-on skills at the community college closest to them.

FastForward programs are also rapidly evolving to match the needs of the community, and some of the biggest businesses in Virginia are letting us know what is needed, so students can come through, learn, get certified and get to work.

“Our offshore wind project is a massive project we’re really proud of. It’s in the pilot phase right now, but it is gearing up and moving forward to the larger project which would be over 180 turbines,” said Darius Johnson, vice president of employment engagement and development at Dominion Energy. “We also have significant solar development on the horizon. We’re evaluating and implementing battery storage technology. We have ongoing operational needs to modernize the grid. It’s a very wide-ranging set of skills – engineering, technical, design, construction, ongoing maintenance and operations – behind the scenes, human resources, IT, supply chain management, corporate and cyber security.”

Chances are, if you want to work with your hands and help power Virginia’s infrastructure, there is a training opportunity that leads to a job where you are.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, reach out to your local career coach at your community college by using our Contact Us form.