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Virginia Ready: Helping Virginians go back to school to earn credentials for high-demand careers.

Are you READY? Created during the height of the pandemic, the Virginia Ready Initiative (VA Ready) works with many Virginia businesses and all of Virginia’s 23 community colleges to train students for careers in a variety of industries, many of which fall under the FastForward umbrella.

VA Ready’s mission is to reward Virginians who train for in-demand jobs. 

You might be asking yourself, “What is a ‘high demand’ industry?”. VA Ready found the Commonwealth’s most needed jobs fell into three buckets: technology, healthcare and skilled trades. To uncover the magic of VA Ready, which comes with plenty of incentives (think money and job opportunities), we’re taking a deep dive into the ins and outs of this talent-producing machine.  

Incentives + higher paying jobs

In addition to helping individuals learn a new skill and find a fulfilling career, VA Ready comes with a bonus. Students who successfully complete a credential in one of the three in-demand industries, which are broken down in more detail here, are awarded a $1,000 Credential Achievement Award.

While a sum of money can pave the way for short-term success, VA Ready also understands the importance of having a job after earning a credential. Nothing is worse than learning a new skill and having nowhere to apply it. With that in mind, VA Ready also puts students in touch with local employers upon program completion.

You might be thinking, “This all sounds great, but what are the actual students saying?”. Our next section breaks down student reactions from their time in the program.

What students are saying

If you read our blog from last week, you know how important it is to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals. With those attributes in mind, earning a credential through VA Ready checks a lot of the boxes. Take for example, Genesis Boros, a welding scholar from Staunton.

“I have a big ambition about this career, and that’s my goal. I want to continue gaining experience traveling the country and welding throughout the United States. I just hope more people can find out about the program and take advantage of it,” Boros said.

In addition to reaching new career goals, VA Ready helps students achieve financial success, such as Cierra Jordan, Marine Trade Training Coating Level 1 scholar from Virginia Beach.

“Participating in VA Ready is one of the many steps I’ve taken to improve myself, avoid poverty, and provide for my daughter,” Jordan said.

Are you READY to move up in your career, become more financially secure and be equipped with some of the most in-demand skills? Head over to the VA Ready website and get started today.