Automotive technology instructor David Waynright, left, helps student Chuck Shifflett to clean engine parts during an adult education class at the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center. Classes in automotive technology, among certain other programs, would be free to qualifying adults as part of a new state program, if offered through Piedmont Virginia Community College.
Virginia’s new tuition-free program to help qualifying adults pursue jobs in high-demand fields such as health care and manufacturing doesn’t currently apply to programs at the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center.
However, a partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College could change that. If PVCC became the operator of CATEC’s adult programs that fall under the state’s G3 initiative, then students enrolled could have their tuition, fees and books paid for.
“I think we can do something great for the community,” PVCC President Frank Friedman told CATEC board members at a meeting this past week. “… This is a chance to really do something for people who want to get into those programs but can’t afford it.”
The CATEC board started discussing the possibility of partnering with Piedmont at the meeting, and officials from both schools will look into whether it’s feasible. The boards of both schools would have to sign off on any agreement. The classes would still be held at the CATEC facility.
“Nothing’s going to happen unless we’re all happy with the partnership and the arrangement,” Friedman said.
G3 stands for Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back. The program was created during the most recent session of the General Assembly to cover the cost of select programs connected to in-demand industries: health care, information technology, manufacturing and skilled trades, early childhood education and public safety. Students enrolled in a Virginia community college and who have a household income less than or equal to 400% of the federal poverty level qualify.
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