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Dr. Jeanne Wesley, Vice President for Workforce Development (left), is shown how to use the virtual welder Lincoln Electric Vrtex 360, by Ben Sherman of Germanna Community College. The Fredericksburg Center for Advanced Technology provided demos on several professions such as 3D printing and welding,. FredCat will offer credential programs, apprenticeship training and support services aimed at high-demand fields. Germanna Community College opened The Fredericksburg Center for Advanced Technology, FredCAT, in Central Park in Fredericksburg, Va. on June 6, 2017.

Germanna Community College has received a nearly $200,000 grant to expand its workforce training programs.

The money will be used for the National Center for Construction Education and Research Core Craft in metalworking and will provide additional program options through the National Institute for Metalworking Skills. These skills prepare students for a wide range of jobs in manufacturing or construction.

The funding will help cover the cost of purchasing new training equipment, updating curriculum, training new faculty, and marketing.

It will also fund the development of curriculum in Spanish and the hiring of part-time bilingual staff to better serve the local Spanish-speaking population.

The training will be accessible in person at the FredCAT Center in Central Park and the Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper, and online.

Specific credentials students can earn include maintenance operator, basic mechanical skills, hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems, electrical systems and electrical control systems, all of which are new offerings for Germanna.

The grant is part of a $2.75 million investment by the Virginia Community College System in its FastForward Virginia workforce training programs.

“These grants reaffirm our commitment to helping Virginians start, or re-start their careers,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, in a press release.

FastForward Virginia is an initiative started by the Virginia Community College System that provides short-term workforce credential training that students can complete in six to 12 weeks.

Germanna also offers workforce credentials in heavy equipment operating; HVAC, electrical and plumbing; industrial maintenance; and metal arc welding, among others.

“More than 16,000 postsecondary credentials have been awarded since FastForward launched three years ago and Virginia’s workforce is stronger because of it,” DuBois said. “Our graduates typically boost their take-home pay by 25 to 50 percent, in a matter of weeks, not years.”

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Adele Uphaus-Conner: 540/735-1973

auphaus@freelancestar.com

@flsadele

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