The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has awarded its new Workforce Credentials Scholarship to the first two recipients. Marvin E. Jennings of Boones Mill and Harold A. Young of Roanoke recently received financial assistance in pursuing certification in the College’s Industrial Maintenance Technician (IMT) Program.

The Workforce Credentials Scholarship, established in 2014, is designed to support Virginia Western students seeking non-credit, industry-recognized credentials in fields such as welding and maintenance, mechanical systems, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, and electrical control systems. Students engaged in non-credit coursework are not eligible for federal financial aid.

“With this scholarship, we are addressing a growing need for students who want to pursue credentials yet face significant financial obstacles,” said Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti, executive director of the Educational Foundation and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Virginia Western. “We are supporting a statewide effort to increase noncredit opportunities for students.”

The Workforce Credentials Scholarship will support educational assistance such as tuition, books and fees for students facing life circumstances that affect their ability to fund their education. Applicants encouraged to apply are: workers who have been laid off or lost their jobs for reasons other than misconduct; military personnel discharged honorably; those who are unemployed or underemployed; those who are unemployed due to a medical condition or disability; and independent business owners.

“Without the funding provided, I would remain unemployed ‑ at best, underemployed,” said Jennings, an honorably discharged infantryman. “With this funding I will be able to complete IMT training and obtain employment in the field of industrial maintenance. The funds will create life opportunities previously unavailable to me.”

Young was laid off after being employed at ITT Exelis for 15 years. During his search for a new career he discovered he needed new skillsets and credentials.  The scholarship helped help Young pay for class supplies.

“I’m currently exceeding expectations and I feel very confident that, once I complete my Industrial Maintenance Technician certification, I will be able to add significant value to an employer,” Young said.

The Workforce Credentials Scholarships will be available year-round. For more information, contact one of Virginia Western Community College’s Career Transition coaches:  Deb Squire, (540) 857-6296, dsquire@virginiawestern.edu; or Amanda Decker, (540) 857-6279, adecker@virginiawestern.edu.