Midlothian, Virginia


Skilled workers are in high demand in the greater Richmond area, and the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA) serves as a key connector between job seekers and local business and development organizations. CCWA is the workforce development division of Brightpoint and Reynolds Community Colleges, and in partnership with community-based and governmental organizations, focuses significant outreach to neighborhoods impacted by multi-generational poverty and low educational attainment. Specifically, it trains and prepares workers for careers in high growth industry sectors, including health care, skilled trades, manufacturing and logistics, and transportation.

CCWA provides comprehensive services to job seekers, from career coaching and support services to financial coaching, job search assistance, and interview preparation. Its Fast Forward workforce training programs have served an average of more than 2,500 regional residents a year in the past three years. Those students are 53% people of color and are older than the average community college’s student body, with close to half of individuals 25 to 40 years old and about one third over 40 years of age.

Above: CCWA Clinical Medical Assistant students at work in their lab in our Chester, VA campus location.

The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust grant will help CCWA expand the number of health care students enrolled in Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) and Nurse Aide programs, including the addition of a full-time nurse aide training instructor and full-time clinical and work-based learning coordinator. The grant also generated additional support to create a dedicated Health Care Training Hub in downtown Richmond featuring a Nurse Aide lab, Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) lab, general classroom, and three offices for CCWA Health Care faculty and a Health Care program support technician.

The location of the newly renovated labs is a short walk to VCU-Health, the single largest employer to date of CCWA’s CMA program trainees. Nearly 50 individuals have been hired for full-time health care jobs providing benefits, including continued education support, and career pathways to opportunities within VCU-Health. VCU-Health is notable for its access to low-income city residents and its capacity to hire large numbers of entry-level health care workers. With help from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, CCWA aims to double the number of enrollments, completions, and credentials for nurse aid and CMA students.