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.