Halifax Co., VA - Job seekers on the Southside now have the chance to gain new skills in advanced manufacturing.
The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center has worked with local industries to provide a program to equip job candidates with skills to succeed.
The Work Ready Foundations Program was designed to meet the needs of employers across the Southside. The 6 to 8 week program will provide participants a truly hands-on experience in their field.
Employers in Halifax County approached the Workforce Services team at the Innovation Center with a dilemma.
"They were not getting applicants that were ready to go to work. They lacked in soft skills, like teamwork skills and they lacked in technical skills," said Sandra Conner, project coordinator for the workforce services.
And they responded in a big way. The Work Ready Foundations Program will provide job-seekers and even some that are currently employed with the chance to gain experience in math, quality management and precision measurements just to name a few.
The course includes classroom instruction and work in a manufacturing setting.
"They can go apply that math that they just looked at and they can go directly to a machine with hands-on application to that to see why it's important," said Conner.
There is a demand for advanced manufacturing skills - particularly in Halifax County.
"There are at least 8 to 12 companies in our county that constantly say that they need employees that are ready, that have basic skills to come to work," said Liza Fulton with the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce.
Many of those companies will be interviewing the participants that complete the course.
Space is limited for the program beginning in June. But organizers say if the first group is successful, they hope to continue the program into the future.
"There's been substantial interest not only from the business and industries, but from other entities in our region, and it's exciting to me because I can readily see that we're making a difference for people," said Fulton.
Participants will walk away with seven different certifications that may help them land a job in a variety of fields. There is also tuition assistance provided for those who qualify.
For more information, contact Sandra Conner at 434-572-5506 or Dr. Nettie Simon-Owens at 434-572-5477.