ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – Unemployed Virginians and those earning less due to the COVID-19 pandemic could attend the Virginia Highlands Community College without paying tuition and fees — thanks to CARES Act dollars aimed to re-employ Virginians.
“This is an incredible opportunity for students who want a career in a high demand job,” said VHCC President Dr. Adam Hutchison. “But, here’s the kicker — you have to move fast. To qualify, students must sign up for classes by December 14, 2020.”
VHCC will be using monies available from the $30 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act dollars authorized by Governor Ralph Northam to Re-Employ Virginians (REV) who are unemployed or underemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding would cover tuition and fees in educational programs and workforce training at VHCC in specified high-demand careers for the Spring 2021 semester, a press release from the college detailed.
Qualifying training opportunities range from information technology, electrical, HVAC, machining and welding to nursing, radiography, phlebotomy, and emergency medical services.
For a complete listing of eligible programs at Virginia Highlands Community College, click HERE.
To receive a voucher, a Virginia student must:
- have lost their job due to COVID-19 and received state unemployment benefits on or after August 1, 2020, or
- have lost a full-time job because COVID-19 caused their place of employment to close or reduce staffing, and who is now working in a part-time job that pays less than $15 per hour.
Funding is not available to dual enrolled high school students.
“We’re doing everything we can to reach as many Virginians as possible to help those who qualify,” Hutchison said. “This opportunity can put someone back on the path to success in a high-demand field.”
Those choosing a short-term workforce training program would receive up to $1,500 applied to their student account. Those choosing to pursue a career studies certificate or an associate degree would have up to $1,500 (as a part-time student) or up to $3,000 (as a full-time student) applied to their student account.
Eligible students must be enrolled by December 14, 2020 to qualify. To apply, click HERE.
“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 are interested in receiving a REV Training Voucher or are unsure if you are eligible, contact Meghan Copenhaver by calling 276-739-2518 or by email.