Scott Celebrates $11 Million in New Funding for Hampton Roads Job Training, Reaffirms Commitment to Delivering Sustained Workforce Funding

NEWPORT NEWS – Today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, announced $11 million in new federal funding for the Hampton Roads Workforce Council along with Kevin Gallagher, Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, during a tour of the Virginia Career Works Hampton Center. During the tour, Congressman Scott and Mr. Gallagher met with career coaches, job seekers, and employers to discuss how this funding—made possible by the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant—will help workers access higher-paying jobs and ensure employers have access to qualified candidates.

“For years, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council has been a leader in helping workers gain the basic skills they need for new jobs. Now, through this $11 million investment, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council will be able to move beyond the currently available entry-level programs and provide students with the advanced skills they need to gain higher-paying, long-term careers,” said Congressman Scott“Today’s announcement demonstrates the shared commitment, from the Biden-Harris Administration and Congressional Democrats, to supporting workforce development programs.”

Notably, the grant will allow the Hampton Road Workforce Council to expand training labs, develop advanced curriculum, and recruit participants from historically underserved communities.

“The Good Jobs Challenge grant is going to be transformational for the workforce system in Hampton Roads. The investment will provide resources to meet the talent needs of our maritime industry by increasing the training capacity and recruitment and retention of individuals into these positions,” said Shawn Avery, President and CEO of Hampton Roads Workforce Council.

“Without investments like these, I would be as lost as an easter egg. My transition from military to civilian life was not easy. The Employment Center is the one stop shop I needed to find my way. If I didn’t go through that Employment Center, I would not be where I am today,” said Thanh Nguyen, a veteran who utilized the Hampton Roads Workforce Council to start a career at Huntington Ingalls.

“That grant is going to do amazing work in getting the word out to the community that there are resources available,” said Champagne Hill, a career services coordinator at the Virginia Career Works Center“The community needs hope and this [grant] gives them a little bit of hope.”

Congressman Scott also highlighted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022(WIOA). In May, Congressman Scott led the House passage of this legislation, which would invest an additional $1.5 billion in Virginia’s workforce training programs—like the programs Congressman Scott toured—to deliver sustained support for Virginia’s workers and businesses.

“In May, I led the House in passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022, which would deliver $1.5 billion to Virginia’s workforce development programs—like those we toured this morning—over the next six years,” said Congressman Scott. “At a time when millions of workers are looking for higher-paying careers, and businesses are looking for highly skilled workers, this investment in Virginia’s workforce system will ensure businesses and workers get the support they need.” 

“Congressman Scott is a true champion for the workforce development system and the many businesses and individuals served by the Hampton Roads Workforce Council. The impact of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act has strengthened the system that is needed to secure and sustain high-quality careers, including those in maritime, manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology,”said Shawn Avery, President and CEO of Hampton Roads Workforce Council.

“Funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is crucial to developing a skilled workforce In Hampton Roads to support employers and grow the regional economy. It also allows us to provide access to training programs for our citizens who have experienced barriers to meaningful employment opportunities,” said the Honorable James Gray, Vice Mayor of the City of Hampton.

“Funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act allows Virginia Peninsula Community College to offer integrated and comprehensive services that directly benefit our local job seekers – including displaced adults, fledging youth, incumbent workers, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and local employers. The individuals we serve have a diverse array of job readiness skills and personal life needs, and WIOA funds provide the college with an increased capacity to personalize our support and better prepare individuals for work in high-demand fields,”said Dr. Porter Brannon, President of Virginia Peninsula Community College.

To read Congressman Scott’s remarks, click here.

To view images from the event, click here.

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