Work Ready Foundations


Learn more about the program with a 90% job placement rate!
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Today’s manufacturers want and need people with very proven soft skills, especially team work competencies and a lifelong passion for learning.” He continued, “We want and need individuals with stackable credentials such as the National Career Readiness Certificate (CRC). Effective short-term training like the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s Work Ready Foundations© and Virginia Manufacturers Association’s Manufacturing Technician 1 programs provide the skills and credentials we need in employees. --Gary Forget, VP Human Resources, Volvo Truck Group (Dublin, VA)

WelderWork Ready Foundations© (WRF) is a hands-on training program that prepares individuals for success in entry-level advanced manufacturing positions. Through a combination of lab exercises, demonstrations, and small-group instruction, participants will obtain the skills needed for success in almost all manufacturing entry-level positions and a foundation for more advanced skill building. Successful program completers will earn a set of stackable, nationally recognized credentials, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities employers want in new hires.

Work Ready Foundations© was developed in response to local employer needs. Employer involvement is woven throughout the Foundations program and related activities are indicative of their support and buy-in. “Work Ready Foundations was developed after hearing from local employers that many applicants were deficient in some of the basic skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Their comments were validated and supported by the statistics in the Work Readiness Initiative: Retention of Manufacturing of in Southern Virginia,” said Sandra Conner, SVHEC Coordinator for Work Readiness Initiative. “Because it’s a common problem throughout the United States, we have been able to network with a number of organizations across the country to benefit from other successful training models. We feel confident that the results of our efforts, the Work Ready Foundations initiative, is a strong program that will match up with the needs of employers in Halifax County and the Southern Virginia region,” Conner continued.

According to Dr. Nettie Simon-Owens, director of Workforce Services at the SVHEC, “members of the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Executive Roundtable shared their concerns and challenges with employee recruitment efforts and told us what they needed in entry-level new hires as well as incumbent workers. We listened to the voice of our employers and are pleased to introduce a replicable training model that reflects best practices and multiple training providers to address employer identified needs.”

“I want to thank the SVHEC Team for their progress in developing Work Ready Foundations,” said Marvin Morris, a vice-president with Bohler-Uddeholm Specialty Metals, Inc.You have listened to what the local employers have asked for and delivered a quality program that we are excited to see developing. This will benefit everyone,” he continued.

Morris, and other members of the Senior Executive Roundtable, reviewed the Work Ready Foundations program and have endorsed it as meeting their needs for entry-level employees. The Work Ready Foundations program was specifically designed with manufacturing and industrial worker knowledge, skills, and abilities in mind.

"The Work Ready Foundations program is an excellent example of collaboration. For years we have heard employers express the need for job seekers who are prepared to be trained for jobs and who understand the importance of work ethic. Dr. Nettie Simon-Owens and her team at the SVHEC took this seriously and created the WRF program to meet local employers needs. This program demonstrates the direct linkage between education/workforce development and jobs/economic development." Nancy Pool, president of the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce

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Feasibility Study Documents

Feasibility Study Timeline

  • Jan. 2015: SVHEC applies to VRDPT for funding to conduct the feasibility study
  • Sept. 2015: SVHEF agrees to provide the required “locality” matching funds
  • Nov. 2015: VDRPT approves the project and signs MOU with SVHEF
  • Dec. 2015: VDRPT selects the KFH Group to conduct the study
  • Jan. 2016: “Kick Off” meeting is held to launch the project with all partners in attendance
  • Apr.2016: KFH begins the survey of community college partners’ students and staff
  • May 2016: Initial “Stakeholder Group” meeting to be held, initial survey findings presented
  • Oct. 2016: Study to be concluded and report issued

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