New partnership aims to help Northern Virginians get back to work

Having trouble finding work? A new partnership is hoping to change that with free classes for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is partnering with the City of Manassas, Prince William County, Virginia Career Works and the SkillSource Group to offer free resources for displaced workers.

The group is using a combined $1.9 million in funding from the CARES Act to launch the ELEVATE program.

Help ranges from free education and certifications, to services such as transportation and stipends.

“By removing cost as a barrier and adding supportive services, the city can best help residents get jobs,” Economic Development Director Patrick Small said. “By helping people get jobs we help businesses meet their workforce needs.”

Among the list of offerings: Classes in computer skills, help learning a new language and certifications in various healthcare fields including nurse aide and certified pharmacy technician.

They are also providing job placement services, and in some programs, a guaranteed interview with a local employer.

Chairman of the Virginia Career Works Northern Region Board of Directors Christopher Rieley, who is also a senior vice president at The Bank of Clarke County, said that the new county and city funding, “will be critically important as we align local jobseekers with new skills development opportunities at NOVA.”

“Our Virginia Career Works Center staff will also work closely with County and City business owners to help them fill available jobs and to strengthen their existing workforce through targeted training programs,” Rieley said.

The grant cycle runs from September until the end of December. The earlier that people can go through the application process, the more resources will be available.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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