ESCC in STEP with Governor’s Vision of Workforce Development

Category: College


Eastern Shore Community College is actively engaged in the statewide effort that echoes the Governor’s recent commitment to growing the state’s economy through strengthening budgetary support of higher education in the area of workforce development and credentialing.  With the trend for employers to typically seek applicants now holding associate’s degrees and/or industry-recognized certifications, it is becoming clear that workforce development IS economic development.
Steve Mallette, Chairman of the Board of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, recently attended the Hire Education Conference, along with Dr. Linda Thomas-Glover, President of ESCC. The conference, held by the Virginia Community College System, brought together workforce investment areas and partner agencies, legislators, economic developers, and business leaders to explore, share and discuss trends, best practices and strategies for improving Virginia’s workforce system.

Following this opportunity, Mallette commented that “a primary problem is the availability of a well trained workforce with appropriate skills to meet existing and future needs.  Many of our children and their parents believe that after high school graduation, going to college is the only pathway to success. There are many well-paying careers that don’t require an advanced college degree, but do require specialized training.  Opportunities are available for commercial truck drivers, automobile and diesel mechanics, machinists, plumbers, heating and air conditioning technicians, and countless jobs in health care where potential incomes are greater than many jobs requiring an advanced college degree.”

“Unfortunately, many residents of the Shore cannot afford specialized training.  Existing financial aid programs currently provide support only to those seeking college degrees.  This situation is made worse in that many small businesses wanting to expand may not have the financial resources to support continuing education without first meeting their customers’ needs.”

Mallette says the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce has worked with local businesses to determine their needs for expansion and to create better paying jobs for residents of the Eastern Shore, and now the Chamber is partnering with the Eastern Shore Community College to identify the skills and technical requirements required by the local businesses community. The College will develop those training programs that best meet those needs. As a result of this partnership a commercial truck driving course was developed and produced a credentialed class on March 4, 2016.   Completing the CDL certification were Taquan Davis, Zach Brooks, Ronta Brown, Harry Harmon, Anthony Stephano, Travis Knight, Stephen Sawyer, Elfoily Polynice, and Bernard Williams.  These graduates are ecstatic about the jobs they had already secured, or were on the verge of accepting, upon receiving their certificates.  Their enthusiasm is shared by the local and regional employers, who now have access to these trained candidates. Mallette concluded, “We are hopeful that with the additional funding, more of our citizens, businesses and community at large will have greater future prosperity.”

Dr. Glover is pleased that the Chamber, in its efforts to serve the needs of local businesses, has partnered with the college by engaging the industry sectors to identify workforce needs of the Shore. She states that “having clarity of the training needs and industry recognized credentials will allow ESCC to position itself to better serve the community. Partnerships can make for a stronger Eastern Shore.”

The Workforce Development Services Division at Eastern Shore Community College offers a broad range of high quality, cost effective education and training services to individuals, as well as business, industry, government, and professional organizations in support of economic development and community enrichment.

ESCC is also committed to helping local Eastern Shore business and industry compete and win in today’s global marketplace. In addition to open enrollment continuing education classes, our Workforce Development staff can customize a program to meet your specific needs, and, in most cases, deliver right in your own workplace to save you down time and travel cost.

For more information on Workforce Development Services at Eastern Shore Community College, please contact Kimberlee Ormsby at 757-789-7979.

Steve Mallette (ESVA Chamber), Micki Spangler, Dr. Linda Thomas Glover, & Kimberlee Ormsby of ESCC, at the HIRE Conference.
Ronta Brown, Taquan Davis, Harry Harmon, Zach Brooks, & Anthony Stephano, five of the recent CDL graduates at ESCC.
CDS Group

Tags: Workforce Development