TechHire

BridgeValley Community and Technical College  received nearly $4 million through the U.S. Department of Labor H-1B TechHire Partnership Grant Program to establish the West Virginia Technology Transformation Initiative (WVTTI). The WVTTI will focus on transforming the south-central regional economy in West Virginia from one that is coal-dependent to one that is technology-based. WVTTI will assist young adults, who grew up believing that they would work in now-closed coal mines, with skills upgrades and supports in order to obtain middle- and high-skill jobs. By leveraging investments made under the Bridging the Gap (BTG) program, the WVTTI will expand innovations in curriculum, employer engagement, work-based learning experiences, and training opportunities to help participants gain credentials needed for the workplace. 

Target Population

PROGRAM AREAS TARGET POPULATION SERVICE AREAS
Advanced Manufacturing  Young Adults (17-29) Boone, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, and Wayne Counties
Information Technology Dislocated and unemployed  West Virginians 

Employer Engagement

WVTTI will hold regular sector meetings with regional employers in IT and AM to ensure programs are aligned to in-demand occupations and embedded with industry-recognized credentials. These relationships will also secure work-based learning and training opportunities as well as employment for future graduates. Due to BridgeValley’s strong employer engagement and implementation of the sector-based workforce initiative, specific employers in these program areas agreed to work with WVTTI prior to the grant award.  

Transitions Strategy

This recruitment and training strategy will focus on recruiting recent high school graduates and young adults without a high school diploma who need math and literacy enhancements to be successful in postsecondary education and training programs. The West Virginia Department of Education - Office of Adult Education, in partnership with BridgeValley, will provide Bridge Programs that prepare low-skilled, underprepared individuals to enter AM and IT programs. Upfront assessments will be conducted to determine the participant’s academic skill level.

Program Academies

BridgeValley developed guided career pathways that provide students the opportunity to earn stackable industry-recognized certifications while working toward their college credentials. Academies, both in IT and AM, will offer innovative delivery options such as accelerated and open-entry programs. Hybrid on-line courses, in conjunction with open labs and IT simulations, will be available through Open Education Resources (OER). Credit Guides will be developed for each of the training options to provide clear identification of the available courses and credentials.

Student Support Services

Student Success Coaches will serve as case managers for each participant. Coaches will provide intrusive advising, counseling services, career planning guidance, and job placement assistance to help each participant overcome barriers and successfully complete their training. Participant Portfolios will detail the academic and support activities for each participant along a timeline with attainable short-term and long-term goals.