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RSVP for REV now: Only 2 weeks remain to claim up to $3,000 in tuition funding

The deadline for unemployed and underemployed Virginians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to claim up to $3,000 in tuition funding through Governor Ralph Northam’s Re-Employing Virginians (REV) is Dec. 14, 2020. Virginia Western Community College is encouraging individuals to immediately RSVP for REV to find out if they are eligible for training in a high-demand career field. To see if you are eligible and schedule to meet an enrollment specialist, visit: https://virginiawestern.edu/vwforms/rev/.

Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia is allocating $30 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars to help Virginians whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis pursue workforce training in a high-demand field. The REV initiative will provide scholarships to eligible individuals to enroll in a workforce or community college program in five essential industries, including health care, information technology, skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education. Virginia Western is allocating REV funds to eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis.

“This is truly a golden opportunity for people in our community who have lost work due to the coronavirus to get the training they need to start a new career,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “We want to help as many of our neighbors as we can so that our region can come out of this crisis poised to succeed.”

Virginia Western offers a wide variety of programs that are eligible for REV scholarships across subject areas such as Building & Trades, Health Professions, Information Technology, Mechatronics & Manufacturing, Public Service and Science. The initiative will provide one-time REV scholarships of $3,000 to register in a qualifying full-time degree program and $1,500 to register part-time or in quicker, career training courses.

“Virginians who have been furloughed, had hours reduced, or lost a job because of the pandemic are struggling and wondering what the future holds,” said Governor Northam. “Investing in programs that help people develop skills in high-demand fields is a win for workers, employers, and our economy. As we focus on recovering from the impacts of the global pandemic, the new REV initiative will give Virginians the resources they need to get back on their feet and help ensure that our Commonwealth emerges from this public health crisis even stronger than we were before.”

“If you have lost your job, or seen a reduction in your hours and paycheck, Virginia’s community colleges want to help you,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. “The REV initiative offers you another way into the short-term credential and degree programs that prepare you for a high-demand career. These opportunities will be more affordable than ever before thanks to these grants, and we look forward to helping individuals and families who want to move forward, beyond the unexpected challenges posed by the pandemic.” Interested individuals should contact Virginia Western as soon as possible to apply before the Dec. 14, 2020 enrollment deadline. To find out more information and apply, visit: https://virginiawestern.edu/vwforms/rev/.

VWCC part of new $30 million initiative to support workforce training for unemployed Virginians

Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that the new Re-Employing Virginians initiative for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will provide up to $3,000 in tuition funding to train individuals in a high-demand field at Virginia Western Community College. For more information on REV and to find out if you may be eligible, visit: https://virginiawestern.edu/vwforms/rev/.

Governor Northam announced that Virginia is allocating $30 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars to help Virginians whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis pursue workforce training in a high-demand field. The REV initiative will provide scholarships to eligible individuals to enroll in a workforce or community college program in five essential industries, including health care, information technology, skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education.

“Virginians who have been furloughed, had hours reduced, or lost a job because of the pandemic are struggling and wondering what the future holds,” said Governor Northam. “Investing in programs that help people develop skills in high-demand fields is a win for workers, employers, and our economy. As we focus on recovering from the impacts of the global pandemic, the new REV initiative will give Virginians the resources they need to get back on their feet and help ensure that our Commonwealth emerges from this public health crisis even stronger than we were before.”

The initiative will provide one-time REV scholarships of $3,000 to register in a qualifying full-time workforce program and $1,500 to register part-time or in a short-term, noncredit training program.

“Even with high unemployment rates, many employers are still struggling to find the talent they need in critical sectors,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “The REV scholarships will help close the skills gap between the jobs open and the Virginians in search of a new career path.”

“More than 70 percent of Virginians who have filed for unemployment have some college or less,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “Increasing educational opportunity for those who have recently lost jobs will build resiliency in the Commonwealth’s workforce, equip Virginians with the credentials they need to get back to work, and move Virginia closer to our goal of being the best-educated state by 2030.”

“If you have lost your job, or seen a reduction in your hours and paycheck, Virginia’s community colleges want to help you,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. “The REV initiative offers you another way into the short-term credential and degree programs that prepare you for a high-demand career. These opportunities will be more affordable than ever before thanks to these grants, and we look forward to helping individuals and families who want to move forward, beyond the unexpected challenges posed by the pandemic.”

Interested individuals should contact Virginia Western as soon as possible to apply before the December 14, 2020 enrollment deadline. To find out more information and apply, visit: https://virginiawestern.edu/vwforms/rev/.

Campus update 9/1/20

An individual who attended class on Virginia Western’s campus during the week of Aug. 24-28 has self-reported to college officials that they tested positive for COVID-19. The college worked with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to contact any individuals who were in close proximity to the positive individual and two individuals were asked to voluntarily quarantine.  The college’s classroom contact tracing protocol assisted in quickly identifying affected individuals and remediating the concern.

The college performed deep cleaning and sanitizing of the impacted area in accordance to guidance from the VDH. The VDH has directed the college that there is not a need to close the classroom or facility at this time. Employees and students should use appropriate face masks/face coverings as well as practice social distancing and hand washing in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and VDH best practices.

For details on Virginia Western’s Fall Re-Opening Plan and safety precautions, please visit: https://www.virginiawestern.edu/academics/docs/VWCCReopeningPlanFall2020.pdf.

Donor’s gift doubles amount of emergency funds available to students

An anonymous donor’s gift of $10,000 has doubled the amount of funding available in the Virginia Western Rapids Response Student Emergency Fund. The donor is a retired businessman and an alumnus of Virginia Western College who wants to help students struggling to balance school and financial emergencies during the COVID-19 crisis.

The donor recalled meeting his wife 45 years ago in a Virginia Western geology class. “We were so poor, we couldn’t afford to buy a Texas Instrument hand-held calculator for each of us, so I used my slide ruler and gave her the calculator,” he said.

After graduating from a Virginia four-year university with an engineering degree, the donor went on to found a successful business. He supported that university as an alumnus, “but I realize it is Virginia Western that needs my help now, and they were the first to help me. They prepared me for what was to come.”

His gift benefits a longstanding Virginia Western Educational Foundation fund that was newly renamed in spring 2020 to recognize the college’s athletics nickname – the Rapids – and to reflect the urgency behind its commitment to assisting students. Applicants may receive up to $500 per academic year to address a financial hardship that threatens to interfere with them completing their coursework.

“Right now, we are seeing students who lack a computer at home, so they cannot complete online classes,” said Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation. “We’ve been able to buy them a laptop so they can finish the semester and hopefully graduate on time.”

In the past, the fund has been tapped quickly – within 48 hours of application – pay for unforeseen expenses such as medical or car repair bills. The Educational Foundation also can award Kroger grocery or gas cards, and arrange for emergency Uber rides to or from class.

“We know that most of our students work at least one job in addition to going to class. Their finances are tight, and with one missed bill things can quickly snowball,” Mansfield said. “The student can feel overwhelmed and lose focus on class. This fund helps take the pressure off.”

An applicant is also connected with a campus advisory council, whose members assess the student’s overall needs and help them connect with other community resources, such as the Bradley Free Clinic or the Council of Community Services.

“This isn’t just about providing that $500. We want our rapid response to also help connect the student to ongoing support and more long-term solutions,” Mansfield said.

To apply, students must be currently enrolled in at least 6 credits, have a minimum 2.0 GPA and meet other eligibility requirements. There is no deadline to apply; applications are accepted year-round.

Or contact:
Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director
Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation
amansfield@virginiawestern.edu
(540) 857-6962

Campus update 7/17/20

Today, college officials learned that an individual who attended a class on Thursday, July 16, has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is unrelated to Virginia Western’s first identified case earlier this week, with the class taking place at a different location in the Fralin Center for Science and Health Professions, where most of the limited in-person classes are currently being held.

The college is working with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to contact any individuals who attended the class on Thursday and advising them to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they experience symptoms of COVID-19, at which time, they should seek medical advice and potentially testing/treatment.

The college is performing deep cleaning and sanitizing of the impacted area in accordance to guidance from the VDH. The VDH has directed the college that there is not a need to close the classroom or facility at this time. Employees and students are advised to use appropriate face masks/face coverings as well as practice social distancing and hand washing in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and VDH best practices.

We want to ensure that messages related to COVID-19 campus impacts are easily accessible and contained in a single location. In the future, if a positive COVID-19 case necessitates the closure of a facility or portion of a facility, notifications will be posted at https://www.virginiawestern.edu/covid19/. Health and safety guidance from the CDC and VDH as well as college protocols are also located on that site and within the college’s re-opening plan.

Campus update 7/16/20

An individual who attended a class at Virginia Western in the Fralin Center for Science and Health Professions on Saturday, July 11, has tested positive for COVID-19. The college has identified all instructors and students who were present in the class and is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to contact each one. The VDH is advising those individuals to self-quarantine for 14 days (through July 25, 2020) unless they experience symptoms of COVID-19, at which time, they should seek medical advice and potentially testing/treatment.

The VDH has counseled the college that its regular proactive cleaning this week has sufficiently sanitized the facility and other employees and students do not need to take action beyond their regular safety precautions. Out of an abundance of caution, the college has had additional strict cleaning and sanitation performed on the specific classroom.

Thanks to the affected individual’s self-identification of a positive test to college leaders, we have been able to act swiftly to help safeguard as best we can the health and safety of campus, employees and students. For more information on how Virginia Western is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: https://www.virginiawestern.edu/covid19/.

In-person advising, financial aid and tuition payment appointments available

Virginia Western is pleased to announce the availability of in-person appointments for advising, financial aid & tuition payment services.  Advising & financial aid in-person appointments are available now.  In-person appointments to make cash or check tuition payments will be available beginning July 27 as the college prepares for the fall tuition payment deadline (August 5). 

In addition to these in-person appointments, online and phone support will continue to be available.  In-person, online, and phone appointments can be scheduled using Navigate, which is accessible through each student’s MyVWCC account.

To learn more, visit: https://www.virginiawestern.edu/advising/index.php

A message from President Sandel for Independence Day

I am writing to wish you a happy and safe Independence Day and remind you that Virginia Western Community College will be closed on Friday, July 3 to honor the national holiday. Many of us look forward to this time of year to enjoy a well-deserved summer vacation. This year, however, travel will look very different and we should all make health and safety a priority.

Governor Northam has transitioned Virginia to Phase 3 in the Forward Virginia Plan. This has eased restrictions on non-essential retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, fitness and exercise businesses and more. While the key health indicators in Virginia have improved, please continue to use caution. For the specific guidelines of Phase 3, visit: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/governor-of-virginia/pdf/Forward-Virginia-Phase-Three-Guidelines.pdf.

If you are going to travel, please carefully consider your plans and take precautions to lessen your potential exposure and the spread of COVID-19. Myrtle Beach, Horry County, S.C.; has become a hotspot of the virus and travelers returning to our region from those areas must self-quarantine for 14 days before coming to campus. The Virginia Department of Health also advises self-quarantine after international travel, or travel on a cruise ship or riverboat. For more travel information, visit: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus/travel-to-areas-with-widespread-ongoing-community-spread/.

I hope you all have an enjoyable Fourth of July weekend.  

Sincerely,

Dr. Robert H. Sandel

President

Virginia Western Community College