ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - There’s a new program at Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) and others around the commonwealth that might allow you to go school for free next semester.
Almost $30 million of CARES Act funding has been appropriated to allow people to attend community colleges in Virginia, including PVCC.
“It’s really very simple. You must be a Virginian and you must have been either laid-off, furloughed or be reduced to a part time job where you’re earning less than $15 an hour,” PVCC President Frank Friedman said. “So many of our local folks have been laid off or furloughed, or had a full time job reduced to a part time job due to COVID and let’s face it, many of those jobs are never going to return, unfortunately. So those folks have got to be thinking, ‘What do I do next?’ Well, this is a great opportunity to answer that question.”
Those who are eligible can take classes in high-demand fields including early childhood education, health care, information technology, manufacturing, public safety, and skilled trades.
“It is a great opportunity to launch a new educational opportunity for the people in our community," Friedman said. "Now, one catch: you must register for the courses by December 14, that is a hard and fast deadline. Even if the courses start in January or February or March, that’s okay. But due to the federal regulations, you must be registered by December 14.”
Friedman says this is the perfect opportunity for those eligible.
“This is what a community college is all about, helping our community, helping the people in our community get good jobs, careers, [and] being able to support their families and lead a middle class life, which all of us want for ourselves and our kids,” he said.
It gives people the ability to make themselves more marketable.
“The key to a good job and a good career is having the skills that credentials that employers want you get that through education and training," Friedman said. "This is an opportunity to get that education and training for free.”