Training Futures Program Sends 44 New Graduates Into the Workforce

Oakton, VA—July 31, 2008—The latest class of graduates from the Training Futures program, a joint effort between Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) and Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), includes 44 skilled and qualified individuals who are eager to apply themselves in new work environments. Many of the graduates have already received job offers within three weeks of completing the program, and an average of 90 percent of graduates will receive training-related employment within a year of graduation.

During the graduation ceremony, held at Gannett/USA Today headquarters in McLean, two graduates were given job offers by a local employer. Senafekesh Gedamu of Arlington and Engang Suryaningsih of Springfield were offered permanent employment at Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, P.C., an Alexandria-based law firm that leads in the field of intellectual property. Both graduates had 3-week internships at the firm, and had been hoping for job offers to follow. Gedamu had been an executive secretary in Ethiopia, but worked as a waitress and as an associate at a beauty supply store in the U.S.

Suryaningsih has a degree in law and had been as assistant professor of history and administrator at a university in Indonesia. She came to the U.S. with poor English skills and has spent the last 8 years as a room server at a hotel. She came to Training Futures to build upon her office skills and improve her fluency with office-related English.

Training Futures students come from local and international backgrounds. They have widely varied journeys of success and hardship in their lives, but all came to a point where the Training Futures program offered the best chance for career development. Training Futures is a 25-week curriculum that teaches students how to integrate into modern office settings. They develop skills on industry-standard hardware and software, and are given language, social, public speaking and presentation training. Other personal needs are catered to, and each student is given special attention in order to experience personal growth throughout the program.

Graduates of the program, which NVFS offers at a very low cost to low-income individuals, are given up to 17 credit hours at NVCC. Many apply those credit hours toward a degree and continue as part-time students. All, however, leave ready to gain stable full-time employment. Trainees come into the program averaging about $8 per hour in wages, and report salary increases of 46 percent in their next jobs after graduation.

“Oblon, Spivak has been partnering with Training Futures for years,” said recruiter Cindy Jackson, “and we have enjoyed much success with the graduates we have brought on board. We look forward to working with them each year.”