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Nominations open for 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award


For many individuals, the road to lifetime achievement started at Virginia Western Community College.  The Virginia Western Alumni Association established the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 to recognize those alumni who have achieved outstanding success and made a lasting impact on their community. The award highlights the diversity of Virginia Western graduates and their impact on the community. Nominations for the 2020 award are now open.

The 2019 Distinguished Alumni honoree was Deborah L. Petrine (’74), Chair and CEO of Commonwealth Care of Roanoke and Chair of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation’s Advocacy Council forthe Virginia Western Forward Endowment Fund: A Vision of Dr. Charles W. Steger Jr.

Anne Hogan (’76), a previous honoree, serves as chairwoman of the Virginia Western Alumni Association.

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible for nomination, the candidate must:

  • Be a graduate of or have completed a minimum of two semesters at Virginia Western Community College.
  • Have attained extraordinary distinction and success in his or her profession or life.
  • Be a person of such integrity and stature that the College will take pride in his or her recognition.
  • Have attained regional, statewide or national prominence and significant involvement in civic, cultural or charitable affairs.

How to nominate:

Anyone may nominate a Virginia Western Community College alumna/us or former student for this award by completing a nomination form. This form can be submitted at virginiawestern.edu/alumni/distinguished.php

Two letters of reference are also required.

Deadline: Nominations must be received by Feb. 28, 2020.

For more information, contact Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director, Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962.


New grant will help expand registered apprenticeship program

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has awarded Virginia Western Community College a $140,000 grant to support the expansion of registered apprenticeship opportunities to help students gain a quality education in addition to on-the-job training in a rewarding career. 

Virginia Western is one of 66 colleges in the country selected for the Expanding Community College Apprenticeship (ECCA) initiative, led by AACC with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to increase the number of registered apprentice programs and services throughout the country. The ECCA project will be conducted over three years. Participating colleges were competitively selected, and will serve 12,000 of the 16,000 total registered apprenticeships.

Virginia Western will collaborate with local businesses and industries to train more than 150 apprentices in in-demand areas with focuses on advanced manufacturing and healthcare. Efforts will eventually expand to include construction/building trades, hospitality, IT, finance and business, telecommunications and agriculture.

Regional workforce, economic development, and industry leaders collaborated with key personnel at Virginia Western on Tuesday morning at the college’s Apprenticeship Program Kick-Off meeting. The group of attendees all acknowledged the need to bring more local awareness to the value of registered apprenticeships in high-demand occupations and agreed to take an active role in a multi-agency apprenticeship advisory group.

“Creating a sustainable apprenticeship program will increase the pipeline of skilled workers in the Roanoke region,” said Jill Loope, Director of Economic Development for Roanoke County. “Apprenticeship is a time-tested approach to training and developing a skilled workforce, resulting in increased productivity, retention and performance for an employer’s bottom line. With regional sights set on talent development, grant money will fuel an apprenticeship program that solidifies sustainable solutions for employers, creates more opportunity for workers, and promotes the value of skill development in high-demand industries.”

“Virginia Western is committed to developing a quality apprenticeship program that will create gainful and sustainable pipelines of opportunities capable of transforming lives,” added Dr. Milan Hayward, Vice President of Virginia Western’s School of Career and Corporate Training (CCT). “The apprenticeship program, coordinated through our Hall Associates Career Center, will support strong career pathways that lead to employment. As we continue to expand our connections with business and industry partners and take an active role in registered apprenticeship programs, the regional community and economic impacts will be significant.”

In addition to offering two-year degree and one-year certificate programs, CCT, formerly known as Workforce Development Services, offers short-term training programs that lead to industry recognized credentials and certifications. CCT programs that will have an immediate growth in apprenticeship opportunities include Pharmacy Technician, Medical Assisting, Certified Nursing Assistant, Machining and Advanced Manufacturing.

For additional information regarding apprenticeship training or sponsor partnership opportunities, please contact Sadie Remington, Virginia Western’s apprenticeship coordinator, at mremington@virginiawestern.edu.

Register to vote before VA Super Tuesday primary

The 2020 Virginia Democratic Primary takes place March 3 as one of 14 presidential primary contests scheduled on Super Tuesday. The Virginia Primary is an open primary, wherein any registered voter can vote, regardless of party registration.

You can register to vote on campus Tuesday, Feb. 4, and Thursday, Feb. 6. The League of Women Voters of the Roanoke Valley will provide registration materials and answer your questions at a table on the third floor of Webber Hall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The League is a nonpartisan organization that encourages active and informed participation in government.

Learn more about registering at the Virginia Department of Elections website: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/how-to-register/