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Josh Meyer

Join us for information sessions about Community College Access Program (CCAP)

Parents and students interested in learning more about Virginia Western Community College’s Community College Access Program (CCAP) are invited to attend any of the public information sessions planned for October through February 2018. The CCAP application period opens Oct. 2, 2017, and closes Feb. 16, 2018.

Administrators from the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation and Office of Financial Aid will be on hand to answer questions about CCAP, which provides up to three years of tuition for Roanoke Valley high school graduates who meet program requirements.

The following meetings will be held in Whitman Theater on the campus of Virginia Western, 3095 Colonial Ave., in Roanoke. (For a map and parking information, see www.virginiawestern.edu/about.)

  • Oct. 10, 2017:  6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Nov. 14, 2017:  6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Dec. 7, 2017: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Jan. 18, 2017:  6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 6, 2017:  6:30 to 8 p.m.

On October 17, 2017, 6:30 – 8 p.m., CCAP representatives will host a 2018 CCAP Information Meeting at Greenfield Center Auditorium in Botetourt County. Parents and students from Botetourt and Craig Counties are encouraged to attend.

The Virginia Western Educational Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with Virginia Western Community College, raises support for CCAP through a public/private funding partnership. Since 2008, more than 2,000 Roanoke Valley students have participated in the program.

For more information about CCAP, see www.virginiawestern.edu/ccap or contact Carolyn Payne, CCAP Coordinator: (540) 857-7544 or cpayne@virginiawestern.edu.

Short-term welding available this fall

Virginia Western Community College’s Workforce Solutions is offering welding training this fall. Gas Flux-cored Arc Welding (FCAW) and Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) classes are available, where students will learn how to use welding equipment and navigate standard safety methods.

Successful students will receive an American Welding Society stamped welder and welding operator qualification record. Students can increase their career opportunities by obtaining certification in both areas of welding.

Three sessions are available to choose from this fall, with weekend and evening training options, for each type of welding training.  Full tuition is $999 per course.  Students may qualify for the Workforce Credentials Grant and be eligible to enroll for one-third of that cost ($333).  Additional funding support may be available. Contact Amanda Decker to learn about the course and funding options at 540-857-6279 or adecker@virginiawestern.edu. To register online,  https://virginiawestern.augusoft.net/

Welding (FCAW) Classes – Choose one session

  • Sept. 26 – Oct. 12, 5 – 10 p.m. on Tuesdays & Thursdays
  • Oct. 17 – Nov. 2, 5 – 10 p.m. on Tuesdays & Thursdays
  • Oct. 20 – Nov. 3, 5 p.m. -10 p.m. on Friday & 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday

WHERE:  All courses held at Salem/Burton Center for Arts & Technology, Salem, VA

Welding (GMAW) Classes – Choose one session

  • 17 – to Nov. 2, 5 – 10 p.m. on Tuesdays & Thursdays
  • 7 – to Nov. 30, 5 – 10 p.m. on Tuesdays & Thursdays
  • 29 – Oct. 13, 5 -10 p.m. on Friday & 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: All courses held at Roanoke Technical Education Center, Roanoke, VA

RAMP business accelerator awarded 2nd $40,000 state grant

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe today announced the awarding of a second $40,000 state grant to support the development of entrepreneurial classes at the RAMP business accelerator in downtown Roanoke.

The goal of the state’s Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) grant program is to encourage micro/small business development and job creation. Virginia Western Community College, one of the public/private partners behind the accelerator initiative, will use the funds in part to develop educational programming to benefit independent contractors, freelancers and other entrepreneurs with part-time work arrangements – those who are classified as members of the “gig economy.”

“The grants announced today support local entrepreneurship programs that are critical to our efforts to build the new Virginia economy,” Gov. McAuliffe said in a news release. “By supporting small business programs across the Commonwealth, we can bring new life and revitalization to local communities helping spur future public and private sector economic development investment.”

Samantha Steidle, Virginia Western’s RAMP Innovation Officer, said the new BEE grant will help RAMP broaden its reach to a growing constituency of entrepreneurs.

“Nearly all of the net employment growth over the past decade came from alternative work arrangements – gigs – not full-time jobs,” Steidle said. “The ‘gig economy’ impacts nearly all career paths –  from arts, design, communication, media and IT to construction, transportation, healthcare and many services. It will be a major driver of economic development and job creation, which is directly aligned with the mission of the community college system.”

RAMP, which stands for Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program, operates from the historic Gill Memorial Hospital building at 709 S. Jefferson St., along the Roanoke Innovation Corridor.

Other RAMP founding partners include:

  • the City of Roanoke, which won a $600,000 state grant to renovate the Gill building as an accelerator;
  • and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC), which hired Mary Miller as RAMP’s executive director and has developed the accelerator’s mentorship and networking initiatives.

A previous state BEE grant supported educational programming for RAMP’s inaugural cohort of six companies, which moved into the Gill building in June. The six were chosen for their ability to expand and create jobs within the STEM-H field. On Sept. 11, the cohort will present their business plans at “Demo Day” at Virginia Western’s Whitman Theater.

The new BEE grant will fund the development and instruction of entrepreneurial coursework for the second RAMP cohort as well as the general public in spring and summer 2018. Virginia Western’s Workforce Solutions division provides that training and other business classes open to the public in the building’s second-floor classroom.

To learn more about RAMP, go to: www.RAMPrb.tech.