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Strengthening soft skills through FastForward training

Job training and career certificates aren’t the only benefits students gain from FastForward programs. During workforce training, students inherently gain “soft” skills that can be used in both the workplace and day-to-day life.

Some of the most common soft skills students develop during FastForward training include teamwork, time-management, critical thinking, communication, leadership, professionalism, confidence and more. Faculty, instructors and staff at each community college across Virginia also are available to support students who might need some extra practice with things like interview skills ahead of a job search or goal setting, even after completing a certificate.

We talked with a few FastForward Career Coaches who shared with us the importance of soft skills. Here are five reasons why soft skills matter.

1. Soft Skills are in demand.

“Soft skills are in demand in the workplace and can assist students to get hired.”

 – Sarah Clarkston, Mountain Empire Community College

2. Soft skills will help you land a job.

“While certifications are important to finding employment, they are only one piece of the puzzle. Employers care about soft skills and often base their hiring decisions on which soft skills a potential employee possesses. You can have every IT certification available, but does that matter if you don’t come to work reliably?”

– Meghan Copenhaver, Virginia Highlands Community College

3. Soft skills help you keep a job.

“Development of soft skills really allow students to succeed in the classroom and practice their skills for employment, helping them to not only ‘land’ the job, but keep it!”

 – Brooke Shehan, Dabney S. Lancaster Community College

4. Learn to leverage a positive attitude.

“Having people skills is important because this is how we interact with others. Having a great attitude, being a team player and being able to take constructive criticism is how we grow and learn. No one wants to work with someone who is a complainer, has a bad attitude and who sends negative vibes. It makes for a bad working environment, no matter how many skills or qualifications they have.”

– Vicki Marrs, Wytheville Community College

5. Create a positive work environment and get promoted.

“Once in a job, soft skills can help resolve workplace conflict which can make the environment more positive, and it can display skills that are recognized – and later rewarded with an award or promotion.”

– Alyssa Hawley, Patrick Henry Community College

For more information about FastForward programs and developing soft skills reach out and connect with your local coach.