West Virginia Department of Commerce Teaming with CTCs

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Teaming with CTCs



Teaming with CTCs 


Companies such as Macy’s also are taking advantage of West Virginia’s training opportunities for their workforces. Macy’s, which just opened a new fulfillment center in Martinsburg, is teaming with Blue Ridge Community and Technical College to offer training to employees of the center. Toyota and Bridgemont Community and Technical College have partnered in a new program called “Advanced Manufacturing Technician,” or AMT. This education-to-work program will give students hands-on experience in manufacturing while they earn a two-year degree. Kureha PGA also is participating. Students will attend classes two days a week and work at Toyota’s plant in Buffalo three days a week. They will receive a starting salary of $17.78 an hour.

Laura McCullough, Kanawha Valley CTC graduate
Other community and technical colleges are developing programs for students to train for jobs that are in demand and also to help connect companies with students to do those jobs. Those programs are also extending into West Virginia’s high schools. Two pilot projects were introduced this school year. One steers students toward careers in manufacturing, the other toward the oil and gas industry. The curriculum was developed by meeting with industry leaders and determining their needs. It includes skill sets all companies look for, such as problem solving and leadership, as well as more specific skills such as welding and land surveying.

“Our emerging workforce is high school students,” said Assistant State Superintendent of Schools Kathy D’Antoni. “We need to prepare them with a foundation skill set for industries we are trying to lure or grow. It’s imperative that we have that curriculum in schools. The education system must pool our resources and work together to develop the workforce to grow our economy. There is just no other way.”

Students in the CTC program

Students in the chemical operator program at Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College train on the same type of equipment that’s used in chemical plants here and around the country.
The Community and Technical College System launched a new campaign this summer to showcase that a CTC education can pay off both now and in the future. “Learn More, Earn More” highlights “middle skill” jobs, which are those that require more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree. Middle skill jobs are expected to dominate West Virginia’s job growth in the years to come. Those include chemical plant operators, computer-assisted drafters and designers, as well as people with degrees in mechatronics and machine tool technology.

“Delivering an affordable college education that prepares graduates for real careers with real earnings: that’s the core of everything we do. Community and technical college education in West Virginia is a crucial component in workforce and economic development. We produce the graduates who move our economy forward!” said Greg Morris, vice-chancellor of the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education. “The community and technical colleges offer a college education that’s affordable, close to home, and leads to high-paying jobs. It’s just that simple. High-paying jobs in manufacturing are available right here in West Virginia. The CTC’s goal is to train the next generation to fill these positions.”

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