pexels quintin gellar 2199293

Three things you should know about FastForward this year

If you’re looking to understand what all the buzz around the skilled trades, infrastructure, transportation or healthcare industries is about, you’ve come to the right place.

FastForward at Virginia’s Community Colleges is a short-term credential program in Virginia and has helped students earn credentials for careers such as welding, trucking, phlebotomy, machinery and more, all of which are helping fill a hole in the 2.6 million middle-skill jobs projected to be open by 2026 across the state.  

Credential earners aren’t just helping to fill the workforce talent pipeline,  but they’re also helping improve life at home. FastForward graduates earn higher salaries, are receiving paid benefits and have greater job satisfaction following a program completion.

You could be next. Keep reading to see what makes FastForward special.

1. Credential Search Tool makes it easy to browse programs nearest you

Step one is to discover what credential programs are offered at your local community college. The Credential Search Tool streamlines the process and sorts credentials by college, field, credential and class format.


If you already have a credential, the search tool helps you figure out what stackable credential options exist, allowing you to scale up your training and finally land that promotion you’ve been eying.

Stay up to date with all of our latest blog posts by heading to, and get started today by scheduling a call with a career coach! Happy credentialing.

2. Support in and out of the classroom

Before you ever step foot in a classroom, welding lab or emergency room simulation, many colleges have a career coach at your local community college that will connect with you to learn more about your goals and track down the right financial assistance for your situation.

Instructors also play a key role in student success by providing hands-on instruction and support, especially when unexpected situations arise. Blue Ridge Community College student Tiffany shared her experience earning a nursing credential in an interview last year.

“Melissa [nursing instructor] was there to encourage me to keep going. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Even after our class, she’s kept checking on me every couple of months, asking how I’m doing. She encouraged me to go back to school to finish my nursing degree,” Tiffany said.

3. Average cost

You shouldn’t have to fall into debt when you decide to further your education. FastForward ensures students leave with little to no debt, thanks to the pay-for-success model, which breaks down the cost of FastForward into three buckets:  


After grants and incentives (like G3 and VA Ready), the average cost of a credential comes down to $801. Pair that with an average wage increase ranging from $10,000 to more than $22,000 and you have a return on your investment.

For some FastForward students, like Morgan Palme, earning a credential was free. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Mountain Gateway Community College student Princess says, “Go through the FastForward program, I appreciate it so much – being accepted, it takes no time. If you pass the class, you don’t have to worry about tuition. It’s completely covered for you.”

Stay up to date with all of our latest blog posts by heading to, and get started today by scheduling a call with a career coach! Happy credentialing.