via Virginia’s Community Colleges [link]

Fifteen young people in Petersburg are training for a high-demand career in emergency service response, thanks to a new a partnership supported by the Virginia Community College System’s Young Adult Initiative, Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), John Tyler Community College, and Southside Adult Education Programs.

When asked about their motivation to pursue a certification, student responses ranged from a longing to help people in their community to seeking advancement opportunities within health sciences or military career fields.

The students, 18 to 24 years old, are enrolled in VCCS FastForward Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training, and upon successful competition and certification, will boost the emergency response scene in Virginia’s Tri-Cities region (Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell) in June.

The EMT course is unique because it follows the PluggedIn Virginia model which integrates adult education and career coaching within occupational and credential training. Classes are held three nights a week at Southside Virginia Emergency Crew (SVEC) in Petersburg. CCWA course work is taught two nights a week and on the remaining class night, students work with an adult education instructor on key math, vocabulary, and study strategies. Fast Forward career coaches also teach employability skills and prepare students for job interviews.

“When they attend class at SVEC, students see EMTs, who are already employed, in a real workplace setting. We feel that getting young people into work environments will prove inspiring,” said Elizabeth Creamer, Vice President of Workforce Development and Credential Attainment at CCWA.

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