Northern Virginia Family Service Awarded Prestigious Workforce Training Grant

Oakton, VA, February 21, 2008— Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), in partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), has won a three-year, $300,000 grant from the Aspen Institute for the Training Futures’ Courses to Employment (CTE) program, which assists low-income adults achieve greater success in higher education, and ultimately, the workforce.

Selected from 87 programs nationwide, NVFS is one of six grantees chosen by the Aspen Institute to receive the CTE Grant, which recognizes the collaborative partnerships of non-profits and local community colleges.

“To receive this grant is an achievement and honor,” said Mary Agee, President and CEO of NVFS. “It ensures that members of our families in the Northern Virginia area will receive the training they deserve to make a significant difference in the community for years to come,” she added.

The grant will allow NVFS’ Training Futures program to participate in a three-year demonstration designed to support, strengthen and evaluate its efforts. This is based on the idea that effective workforce training programs reflect employers’ needs and job opportunities in the community, and that the range of academic and nonacademic support services are needed to help disadvantaged adults achieve greater success.

The program, a five-year-old collaborative effort between NVFS and NOVA, provides 25 weeks of credit-earning skills training, including a three-week internship. Nearly 90% of the Training Futures graduates have secured full-time employment in an office environment, far exceeding the success rate of other national programs. Specifically, the CTE funds will help to advance operational integration among the two partners as they prepare low-wage workers for positions in business and medical settings.

“I am very proud that NOVA’s partnership with Northern Virginia Family Service was singled out for this award by the Aspen Institute,” said College President Robert G. Templin, Jr. “Participants in the Courses to Employment initiative demonstrate that NOVA, when teamed with community partners, can unlock talent within our community and create new employee pipelines for participating employers. This three-year demonstration project will allow us to build on our past success and extend the Training Futures model into new, high-demand occupations to address the shortage of skilled workers in Northern Virginia.”

The Aspen Institute, a non-profit international organization founded in 1950, committed itself to this unique program that is truly life changing for those who qualify and participate. The Institute’s research team will conduct an evaluation that looks at models of collaboration, program features, costs and outcomes for students.