Training funds available

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    The West Piedmont Workforce Development Board (WPWDB) announced it will participate in the “Pathways to the American Dream” project, which provides career and financial support to individuals to advance into middle skilled jobs in several fields.

    The project is designed to help meet employer needs by increasing the skill sets of adults who are unemployed, underemployed or in need of professional development in the following sectors: healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology.

    The program is open to current employees in Patrick, Henry and Pittsylvania counties and the cities of Martinsville and Danville.

    Funding is available for four years, and was awarded by the Department of Labor to a consortium of workforce development boards led by the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board in Radford.

    The funding provides an opportunity for individuals to complete a wide variety of training programs that can have a significant impact lifetime earnings.  Examples include training that would enable someone to work as a web developer, a network administrator, nursing, respiratory therapist, radiology technician, dental hygienist, automotive technician or mechanic, mechanical engineer or engineering technician. Visit www.westpiedmontworks.com to obtain a full list of occupations included in this project.

    Anyone interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing, healthcare or information technology is encouraged to contact the WPWDB to take advantage of the benefits of the project.

    Participants may receive tuition assistance or supportive services, such as transportation reimbursement, payment for books or education related supplies, and fees associated with additional tests or licenses.

    “We are excited to have this funding available to residents in our region to help advance their careers.  Each of the sectors supported by this project will contribute to building a stronger workforce to support our regional employers. Individuals who receive training under these programs should also be able to compete for higher wage jobs,” said Lisa Fultz, executive director of the West Piedmont Workforce Development Board.

    Tiffany Macklin serves as the Workforce Systems Navigator for the project, and will work with those interested in training on an individual basis, ensuring that all potential sources of funding are used.

    The project is designed to eliminate barriers for individuals seeking middle skilled training through leverage resources.

    “The ‘Pathways to the American Dream’ does exactly what the title of the programs says it will do.  It affords individuals with an opportunity to meet the needs of employers by investing in themselves through training and professional development which provides an opportunity to significantly increase their wages,” Macklin said. “This project allows workforce and community partners to braid (combine) funding to, in most cases, fully fund the needs of individuals.”

    Individuals interested in the project may call Macklin at (276) 340-2646 or email tiffany@westpiedmontworks.com.

    Businesses may call Fultz at (276) 656-6190.

    The West Piedmont Workforce Development Board is dedicated to helping both employers and employees achieve their full potential. The board oversees several locations throughout the counties of Henry, Patrick, and Pittsylvania that deliver workforce solutions, including everything from providing additional training and education for potential employees to connecting individuals with employment opportunities within the region.

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