Southwest Virginia Community College Receives part of $30 million for Re-Employing Virginians

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Cedar Bluff, VA – Governor Northam has announced that $30 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars will be used to Re-Employ Virginians (REV) who are unemployed or underemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a limited time, unemployed and underemployed Virginians are eligible for a training voucher to pay for the cost of enrolling in a high-demand workforce education program at Southwest Virginia Community College. To receive a voucher, the student must (1) attest that he/she is unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-19, and (2) enroll in an eligible program before December 14, 2020.

Those choosing a short-term workforce training would receive up to $1500 applied to their student account. Those choosing to pursue a career studies certificate or an associate degree would receive up to $1,500 as a part-time student or up to $3,000 as a full-time student. For reference, the cost of tuition at Southwest for a full-time student taking 15 credit hours is $2,351.25, which would be paid in full by the REV Voucher. 

“Southwest is prepared to serve our community and provide paths to re-employment for those who have lost jobs or were forced to take lower-paying jobs during the pandemic. We offer dozens of programs and certificates in high-demand fields like nursing, IT, manufacturing, HVAC, and a variety of trades – some can even be completed in a matter of weeks.”

Dr. Tommy Wright, president of Southwest Virginia Community College

To qualify for a REV Training Voucher to enroll in a high-demand workforce education program at a Virginia Community College, an individual must certify that they meet one of the following criteria:

  • A Virginian who lost his/her job due to COVID-19 and received state unemployment benefits on or after August 1, 2020, or
  • A Virginian who lost a full-time job because COVID-19 caused his/her place of employment to close or reduce staffing, and who is now working in a part-time job that pays less than $15 per hour. (Individuals who resigned from full-time employment to care for sick relatives or stay home with school-age children are not eligible for these training vouchers but may be eligible for other financial assistance.)
  • DACA students and dual enrolled students are not eligible for REV Training Vouchers.

Virginians who have been furloughed, had hours reduced, or lost a job because of the pandemic are struggling and wondering what the future holds,” said Governor Northam. “Investing in programs that help people develop skills in high-demand fields is a win for workers, employers, and our economy. As we focus on recovering from the impacts of the global pandemic, the new REV initiative will give Virginians the resources they need to get back on their feet and help ensure that our Commonwealth emerges from this public health crisis even stronger than we were before.

Governor Ralph Northam

If you have lost your job, or seen a reduction in your hours and paycheck, Virginia’s community colleges want to help you,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. “The REV initiative offers you another way into the short-term credential and degree programs that prepare you for a high-demand career. These opportunities will be more affordable than ever before thanks to these grants, and we look forward to helping individuals and families who want to move forward, beyond the unexpected challenges posed by the pandemic.

Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System

If you are interested in receiving a REV Training Voucher or are unsure if you are eligible, contact an advisor at Southwest Virginia Community College by emailing onlineadvisor@sw.edu or by calling 276-964-7300. You can also find details online at https://sw.edu/re-employ.

Interview requests: Dr. Wright is available for interview. Please contact John Dezember at john.dezember@sw.edu or 276-964-7332 to schedule.

About Southwest Virginia Community College: Established in 1967, Southwest Virginia Community College is a two-year institution of higher education serving primarily the residents of the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson (partial), Russell and Tazewell. Offering more than 80 programs of study, Southwest has served more than 109,000 students since opening. In addition to credit-based programs, Southwest offers fast-track training and industry recognized credentials. For more information, please visit http://www.sw.edu.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve approximately 241,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.