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Community college "dream team" forms to region's economic benefit

Three prominent local community colleges are joining forces to fill open employment in high-skilled industries.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Hampton Roads is in need of skilled employment. The demand is high in local industries despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Three prominent local community colleges are joining forces to help solve this problem. Tidewater, Thomas Nelson, and Paul D Camp community colleges are collaborating to form the Community College Workforce Cooperative.

"There's strength in numbers, and because we don't all have the exact same programs, we're able to collaborate better and make sure the industry needs are met," said TCC Vice President for Workforce Solutions Tamara Williams. 

Those industries are the ones throughout Hampton Roads that have large-scale job training needs. The cooperative will help the colleges fill these needs by combining resources and creating more singular communication with businesses in need.

Todd Estes will be a liaison between the schools and industries.

"We are collectively engaging with the business community through this new partnership, shipbuilding, and ship repair being one of our initial priorities and expanding into other sectors. CCWC is at its heart an employer organization," he said.

Williams said it's not just employers who will benefit, citing community college as the perfect place for skills training: "There’s funding for students, lot of funding to allow students short-term training to get right to work, along with stellar instruction." 

The dream: a well-rounded talent pool for Hampton Roads. The team: your local community colleges. You know what they say: teamwork makes the dream work.