As a preliminary to the November 12 meeting of the Rappahannock Community College Board, RCC president Dr. Elizabeth “Sissy” Crowther and vice president of workforce development Jason Perry, with several board members, travelled to Potomac Supply in Westmoreland County. The company’s chief operating officer, Rich Gouldin, and its president, Jeff Bramblet, led a guided tour of the facility.
RCC’s ongoing relationship with Potomac Supply (as well as the technical and leadership training it has provided for Canon’s recycling plant in Gloucester) exemplify the ability of the college’s Workforce Development Office to create training that meets the specific needs of a variety of organizations.
In Potomac Supply’s case, the company had to choose between retraining their workers to meet increasingly complex industry standards, or replacing them with operators that already possessed those skills. They decided to call on RCC-Workforce for help, and Perry, with Mike Jenkins of the Bay Consortium Investment Board, was able to create an Incumbent Worker training program that brought current staff up to the required skill level.
Perry stresses that although some minimal eligibility requirements exist, many training programs are available to area businesses. “We have access to multiple grants that can offset training costs,” he says — Potomac Supply, for instance, paid only half the cost of the training they requested, due to a grant Perry coordinated. He adds, “We can map out the best route for companies to pursue via an eligibility checklist, and develop a vision for them to enhance their employee’s skills. We have great connections with Bay Consortium Workforce Investment Board, the Virginia Employment Commission, the Virginia departments of rehabilitative and social services, and other state agencies.”
“We work with companies to remove training barriers and guide them down the pathway of success,” he concludes.
Photo: On November 12, RCC’s College Board toured the Potomac Supply facility in Westmoreland County. Left to right: Potomac Supply’s chief operating officer, Rich Gouldin; Mike Gallier, who represents King George County on the College Board; and Dr. Elizabeth Crowther, RCC’s president.