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Improving systems that impact how services are
delivered and accessed


Learn how Ridge Schuyler and the Charlottesville Works Initiative partnered with the Community Foundation to help job seekers find and retain living-wage jobs through a Strengthening Systems grant.


PVCC and CATEC Join Forces to Create New Curriculum

For many in the Charlottesville area with a high school diploma or less—nearly 47 percent of Charlottesville’s adult population—finding a well-paying career can be a daunting challenge. This is due, in part, to the lack of sufficient access to educational training that leads to careers in middle-skill industries—jobs like ultrasound technician or nurse aide—that require significant training and certification but not a bachelor’s degree.

If Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) and Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) better aligned their curricula, though, they could make this training available to more people, says Adam Hastings, Dean of Business, Mathematics & Technology at PVCC. There just aren’t many great jobs in the Charlottesville area for someone who has just a high school diploma, says Hastings.

With a $154,100 grant from the Community Foundation, the two schools are working together to create a career pathway in the growing cybersecurity industry to help students with high school diplomas earn the credentials required for better-paying jobs.

Now in its second year, the program has leveraged its CACF support for additional funding from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia and the Workforce Credentials Grant. The pathway model is doing so well that CATEC and PVCC are aligning their curricula for culinary arts, hospitality and health care programs. Students who do well in the CATEC programs and want to continue their education can apply for the competitive associate degree programs at PVCC. The model will soon be adopted into other schools similar to CATEC in Louisa and Greene counties.


Piedmont Virginia Community College PVCC and the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) are aligning curricula, engaging stakeholders and designing a career pathway in the field of cybersecurity so that students can obtain middle skill jobs. The process has served as a model for developing career pathways in other industry sectors.

Louisa County Resource CouncilLCRC is partnering with the University of Virginia Center for Survey Research to design and conduct a household-based survey that will map food insecurity and other needs in the County. The results of the survey and mapping will inform changes to the food distribution system so that food can get to the people who need it most.

Charlottesville Works InitiativeThe program has scaled up to support low-income job seekers on a pathway to obtain and retain a sustainable wage job. CWI has established a system of support that had not previously existed in this form.

Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Public Housing Association of Residents and City of CharlottesvilleThe partners are working together to conduct resident-led engagement that strengthens the relationship between residents, the Housing Authority, and the City. The process will lead to actionable plans that prepare the community for public housing redevelopment.

Piedmont Environmental Council and Thomas Jefferson Planning District CommissionThe partners complete plans and execute a community engagement campaign that leverages financial support to build a regional bike and pedestrian trail network in Charlottesville and Albemarle.