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TCC part of new Community College Workforce Cooperative

Tidewater Community College is part of a new collaboration among three community colleges in Hampton Roads designed to meet the large-scale job training needs of the region’s businesses and industries. The new Community College Workforce Cooperative (CCWC) will create a single point of contact to access the workforce training resources of TCC, Camp and Thomas Nelson community colleges which together serve 11 cities and four counties through 10 college locations.

“In my first year as college president, I quickly learned how limiting the artificial boundaries of our college service regions can be to the work we do,” said TCC President Marcia Conston. “This is an important step for us to take to ensure that boundaries that were mapped out in the 1960s don’t stop us from addressing Hampton Roads’ many training needs.”

The CCWC will direct and coordinate the job training resources, leveraging facilities, labs and additional training resources of all three community colleges to address the sizeable training needs that exist today in industries like shipbuilding and ship repair. That centralized coordination means those needs will be addressed faster and more cost-effectively. The CCWC will also ensure that the colleges are better prepared to meet emerging trends in the region, like the growing alternative energy industry.

“By working together, we can build an even stronger and more vibrant workforce,” said Tamara Williams, interim vice president of TCC’s Center for Workforce Solutions. “This collaboration positions us to help advance the region’s economic development priorities, filling workforce gaps, and making community college training even more accessible to large employers.”

The CCWC welcomed new Executive Director Todd Estes with the Virginia Community College System. The group held its first meeting this winter and included the presidents of each of the three community colleges, as well as representatives of their workforce development centers.

TCC, Norfolk Naval Shipyard continue successful apprenticeship partnership

Tidewater Community College will continue providing the academic component of Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s apprenticeship program after being awarded a new three-year contract in February.

Apprentices accepted into the four-year program learn an in-demand maritime trade, earn college credit and receive a competitive salary, all while building a career with the federal government.

“Norfolk Naval Shipyard wants an educated workforce, which is why the TCC component is so critical,” said Michelle Woodhouse, provost of the Portsmouth Campus. “Apprentices in this program have earned the privilege of having this remarkable opportunity, which allows them to take advantage of the academic resources the college offers to further their career.”

“We are proud to continue our partnership with TCC,” said Colby Tynes, apprentice program director at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY).

Apprentices take classes during regular working hours on weekdays at TCC’s Portsmouth Campus in two nine-week sessions, and upon completion, receive a Career Studies Certificate: Trades Technician. In the last three years of the program, apprentices undergo trade theory training and on-the-job learning at NNSY in Portsmouth, where they earn a wage ranging from $14.03 to $15.46 per hour. Apprentices are eligible for promotions after successful completion of program requirements.

Other NNSY benefits include sick leave, annual leave, federal holidays, health insurance, life insurance and a retirement plan.

Upon graduation, apprentices are eligible to be converted to the journeyman level of their trade.

Apprentices who want to further their education may apply their credits toward TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Maritime Technologies. Graduates may transfer to Old Dominion University’s Occupational & Technical Studies program.

TCC and NNSY have been partners for the current apprenticeship program since 1996.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, have graduated with a high school diploma or GED equivalent, meet minimum requirements on the TCC placements tests, be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance and pass medical requirements.

Applications for the 2019 apprentice class will be accepted beginning in November 2018.

For information about the program, email Professor David Steinhauer at or call 757-822-2424.