Out of an office in Tysons Corner, an innovative job training program is not only attracting national attention, it’s actually placing adults in quality professional jobs.
The program is called Training Futures, and it’s a partnership between the nonprofit Northern Virginia Family Service and Northern Virginia Community College. Founded in 1996, more than 1,000 NoVa residents have completed the 25-week program, according to this fine story by Elizabeth Vandenburg in the Oakton Patch, and they also receive 17 credit hours from the community college, which is a solid start toward an associate’s degree.
Over 15 years, about 84 percent of participants have secured new jobs following the program, many coming in with only menial or fast-food skills, and Training Futures reports that participants reported average wage gains of $3 per hour over their previous job, a $6,000 annual earnings increase.
The partnership between NVFS and the community college has been touted as a good way to combine local resources to retrain workers, and Training Futures was cited as an example in a story in The New York Times. The Aspen Institute also released a three-year study of the program in October, and found that 94 percent of the participants graduated.
“It wasn’t just training you on your skills, but also training you to be a better person altogether and to look at life differently,” Jae Om, 27, of Herndon, told The Times. A single mother who had her son while in high school, she had been in and out of work in recent years, and got a job at the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce after interning there through Training Futures.