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TCC, Opportunity Inc. partner for grant program to train incumbent employees

Tidewater Community College and Opportunity Inc. will partner to offer the state’s first Incumbent Worker Grant to a Suffolk general contractor seeking to improve the skills of its employees.

The Hampton Roads Incumbent Worker Innovation Program aligns employees with skillsets desired by their employers in order to increase productivity and promote company growth.

It targets employers with 250 employees or fewer in the advanced manufacturing; information technology; transportation, warehousing and logistics; and health care sectors.

Allfirst LLC, an industrial general contractor in Suffolk, will receive the first grant to improve the welding skills of eight of its employees.

Founded in 2000, Allfirst employs riggers, machinists, millwrights, pipefitters, carpenters and welders. The company serves manufacturers, power plants, the oil and gas industry, warehouses, health care and other industrial customers in Hampton Roads and throughout Virginia.

“The Incumbent Worker Grant is yet another way TCC is supporting the goal of a well-qualified workforce in Hampton Roads,” said Corey McCray, vice president for Workforce Solutions. “It allows small businesses to gain their footing and develop a competitive edge through relevant and in-demand professional development for their incumbent workers.”

TCC and Opportunity Inc. will enter into contracts with employers for up to 50 percent reimbursement of the training costs for each employee, up to $1,800.

“Opportunity Inc. is committed to collaborating with education and business partners to ensure a highly skilled workforce equipped to meet the advanced demands of growing industry clusters,” said Shawn Avery, president and chief executive officer of Opportunity Inc.

“We look forward to extending resources to small businesses, such as Allfirst, to assist with training and credentialing efforts that ultimately support the development of meaningful career pathways for incumbent workers.”  

For information on how to apply for the grant, contact TCC’s Jennifer Palestrant at or 757-822-7669.