What are FastForward Credentials?
The FastForward Credentials are an initiative for Virginia residents to:
- Create and sustain demand-driven supply of credentialed workers in high-demand occupations
- Expand the affordability of workforce training and credentialing; and
- Increase the interest of current and future Virginians in technically-skilled occupations.
What is a Credential? How will that help me get a job?
Employers want to know that an applicant has the skills to perform the job. A Credential is documentation that you possess skills and abilities as verified by an industry accreditation body. A credential assures an employer you have the required knowledge and ability to perform a specific job(s) rather than having to guess if a job candidate can really do what he/she says they can. Although there are multiple factors employers consider when making job selection decisions, credentials give them the confidence you have the knowledge and skills to perform the job.
Possessing in-demand credentials prepares our workforce for job entry and/or advancement in their profession. Another benefit of possessing a credential is portability. As long as you keep your credential current, the credential belongs to you and moves with you if you change employers, even if you move to another state.
What are High-Demand Occupations?
Virginia has identified current high-demand occupations around the state based on employer feedback, as well as future workforce needs due to employee attrition and new technologies. While some occupations are in need statewide, other occupations may be unique to specific areas of the state. These occupations either currently have openings or will soon be looking for job candidates.
How do I obtain the training and ultimately the Credential?
Virginia’s Community Colleges have responded by developing credential preparation programs to provide the required training to achieve the industry credential required to enter these high-demand occupations. While learning the skills is critical, without the credential, an employer (current or future) cannot be assured you have the required knowledge and ability. Training, without the credential, does not quantify your ability.
Are there any eligibility requirements?
Yes. The applicant must be a continuous resident of Virginia for a minimum period of one year and meet the Virginia Domicile requirements. They must also meet any minimum age requirements of the qualifying training program and if the applicant is under 18 years of age, the parent or guardian must sign the promissory note and will be responsible for the repayment of the second 1/3 if the student fails to complete the class. There is an appeal process for the domicile requirement for specific exceptions, but the applicant must submit a formal appeal.
What programs are covered by FastForward at Laurel Ridge Community College?
Current FastForward (WCG) Classes may include:
- Amazon Web Services Cloud Foundations Prep and Certification
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL-A)* Full-Time and Weekend Options
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL-B) Full-Time and Weekend Options
- CompTIA A+ Prep & Certification
- CompTIA IT Fundamentals Prep & Certification
- CompTIA Linux+ Prep & Certification
- CompTIA Network+ Prep & Certification
- CompTIA Security+ Prep & Certification
- Construction Project Management
- Electrical Level 1 Apprenticeship
- Electrical Level 2 Apprenticeship
- Electrical Level 3 Apprenticeship
- Electrical Level 4 Apprenticeship
- Heavy Equipment Operator Level 1
- Heavy Equipment Operator Level 2
- Heavy Equipment Operator Level 1 – ONLINE Hybrid
- HVAC Level 1 Apprenticeship
- HVAC Level 2 Apprenticeship
- HVAC Level 3 Apprenticeship
- HVAC Level 4 Apprenticeship
- ITIL V.4 Foundation Prep & Certification
- Manufacturing Technician Level 1 Certification (MT1)
- Medical Assistant (CCMA) Program
- Medical Assistant Certification Prep (CCMA)
- Medical Scribe
- Medication Aide
- Nurse Aide Program (CNA)
- Patient Service Representative Program (PSR) (CMAA)
- Phlebotomy Technician Program
- Plumbing Level 1 Apprenticeship
- Plumbing Level 2 Apprenticeship
- Plumbing Level 3 Apprenticeship
- Plumbing Level 4 Apprenticeship
* CDL FastForward is sometimes subject to funding pauses. Contact our office for funding status.
What if I can’t afford to pay my portion of the cost?
If a student has a demonstrated financial need and meets the requirements, additional financial assistance (referred to as FANTIC**) will cover 100% of the student’s portion of any eligible WCG program. (For example, if the student portion of a program is $1,500, a FANTIC qualified student pays $0.)
** Not to be confused with College Financial Aid. FAFSA not applicable. Administered completely by Workforce Solutions.
I’m interested. Where do I begin?
If you are ready to enroll…
You may register online at any time. To get started, create a profile (if you haven’t already), select your program and enroll.
If you have more questions…
Contact the Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions office at either our Middletown or Fauquier campus by phone or by coming in. We can set up a time to meet with you, review the process, complete the paperwork and register you for a class if you are ready. We also have a FastForward Career Coach who can assist you if you are unsure of your career path or interest but know you want to enhance your current career or make a change. Let us help you!
- Middletown Campus Workforce Solutions Office
- Corron Community Development Center / Room 103
- Telephone (540) 868-7021
- Fauquier Campus Workforce Solutions Office
- Room 209
- Telephone (540) 351-1524
Funding for FastForward (WCG) and FANTIC is limited and subject to availability. Approvals are first qualified, first registered, first served. Funding for FANTIC is also limited and will be disbursed on first qualified (submission of all required documentation and approval) and first registered. Funds are not locked in until the student portion of the registration is paid.