Virginia Western Community College announces a new initiative that provides financial assistance for students enrolling in career and technical education (CTE) programs leading to industry credentials or licenses. Financial Assistance for Noncredit Training leading to Industry Credentials (FANTIC) is a pilot program through Virginia Western’s Workforce Solutions that is now accepting applications from students who wish to pursue high-demand occupations.

FANTIC will cover the cost of tuition and industry testing for students who would not otherwise be able to receive financial aid. In the past, non-credit CTE or workforce programs have not been eligible for financial aid or funding. This new initiative, led by the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), seeks to address that issue and help drive the Commonwealth’s economy through an educated workforce. Virginia Western hopes to serve 144 students in achieving more than 200 credentials with the $200,000 one-year pilot program.

“Virginia Western is a key driver of the economy in the Roanoke Region and we focus on filling the workforce needs that are specific to our industries,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “This new funding will have a tremendous impact on our ability to train students who otherwise would be left behind. They will earn industry-recognized credentials that will lead to solid, high-paying careers.”

Among the programs of study being considered for FANTIC funding at Virginia Western are: Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), Industrial Maintenance, Pharmacy Technician, Medication Aide, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Basic Manufacturing, Welding, Certified Nursing Assistant and Certified Billing and Coding Specialist. Spring semester begins Jan. 11 and students can register for classes at www.virginiawestern.edu.

FANTIC funding for students is a competitive process. Students must meet income and program eligibility deadlines and submit an application through Virginia Western’s Workforce Solutions. Support is based on eligibility and available funds. For more information on criteria for FANTIC funding, contact Amanda Decker at adecker@virginiawestern.edu or 540-857-6279.

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