Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations



Danville, VA, Sept. 14, 2015 - In an announcement from the White House, President Obama recently named a consortium of four Virginia community colleges – including Danville Community College - to receive $2.9 million in grant funds to develop and implement an apprenticeship-based jobs training program.

The award, made under the U.S. Department of Labor’s American Apprenticeship Initiative, will teach advanced manufacturing and information technology career skills to both incumbent workers as well as those new to the workforce. Apprenticeship training combines classroom study with on-the-job training.

Partnering with DCC on this project are fellow consortium members Reynolds Community College and John Tyler Community College, both from the Richmond area, and Southside Virginia Community College in Keysville. Based on Department of Labor data, as well as regional industry surveys, these colleges share with DCC a common need to train workers in career pathways such as mechanical engineering technology, computer programming, welding, chemical operations, and database technology, to name but a few of the occupations that will be targeted by the American Apprenticeship grant.

DCC anticipates that nearly $600,000 of the $2.9 million award will be directed to Southern Virginia to support workers in DCC’s service region (Danville, Pittsylvania County and Halifax County), with the majority of funding going to cover tuition and training costs for participants. Throughout the five-year life of the grant, DCC anticipates training 80 to 85 apprentices for local jobs, with the first group of workers starting in the spring semester 2016.

“This program provides tremendous opportunities not only for the workers in our region, but also for our local employers,�? DCC President Bruce Scism says. “Being able to help our industry partners manage the costs of training employees will enable these businesses to add highly skilled experts to their workforce for a fraction of the costs that their competitors elsewhere are paying.�?

Apprenticeships typically consist of approximately 2,000 on-the-job hours per year, combined with 144 hours of classroom training per year. Depending on the career pathway, apprenticeships range from one to four years, after which the worker moves on to become a bona fide specialist in his or her field. Colleges work with employers to ensure that tasks that apprentices perform on the job correlate to classroom learning objectives.

In addition to the traditional industry certifications that apprentices earn through their work study efforts, the programs DCC will offer through this American Apprenticeship funding will enable participants to earn credentials ranging from career studies certificates to diplomas to college degrees.

DCC Vice President of Workforce Services Jeff Arnold notes that apprenticeship training is on the upswing in America.

“The benefit for the worker is that he or she can earn a good salary while also learning a lifelong trade,�? Arnold explains. “The benefit for the employer is that participants not only learn the job skills, but through time spent on the job, they are also absorbing the company’s culture, learning the company’s procedures, and generally acquiring the skills that will be essential to advancement within that company.�?

Employers who would like to participate, as well as current employees and first-time job seekers who would like to develop lifelong career skills can call DCC at 434-797-8430, or email for more information.


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