FastForward Blog

Crunching the Numbers for a Successful Career

Published: May 17, 2019
Imagine spending your days with your hands deep in soil, pulling weeds and tending crops under the heat of the Virginia sun. For many in rural parts of the Commonwealth, this is a way of life, and as Ryan describes it for those who live on the Eastern Shore: “You either work on the water…
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Welding Program Ignites Life Change

Published: May 10, 2019
You know you’re in an exciting line of work when one day you’re installing a staircase at a college in Lynchburg and the next, you’re planning work on a high-rise construction project in Richmond. Since receiving his 6G Pipe Welding Certification after completing FastForward training, Marcus, a former farm hand, has been enjoying life working…
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Time Management: Juggling Life and Training

Published: May 7, 2019
Our students juggle a lot: family, job(s), life. But that’s where our FastForward Career Coaches can help. Our coaches are here to help students prioritize their to-dos and figure out a solution to some of the common challenges to fitting training into their schedules. “We talk about a student’s schedule at the beginning – time…
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Working 24/7 to Pursue Career Ambitions

Published: April 16, 2019
When people are at their worst, Brittany is there to help see them through. Prior to enrolling in FastForward, Brittany was stationed at one of Sentara’s ER registration desks. She already earned a phlebotomy credential and a medical billing and coding credential through Paul D. Camp Community College, but Brittany wanted to keep going. “Being…
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A New Career is More Than Just a Pay Raise

Published: April 8, 2019
For Michelle, what started as a curiosity has now led to her making double what she made before and she’s earning high praise from her manager. Michelle had been working in home healthcare, making only $8 an hour, before deciding to enroll in pharmacy technician training at Blue Ridge Community College. “When I was working…
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A Solution That Works Around Your Schedule

Published: March 28, 2019
There are a lot of considerations to make when it comes to carving out time to enroll in career training. When can you take classes? How will you figure out childcare? Can you make it all work? Here’s the good news: FastForward Career Coaches, who are located at Virginia’s Community Colleges statewide, can help you…
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Graduating into a New Career

Published: March 18, 2019
Farley graduated high school uncertain of her future career trajectory. She always had an interest in the medical field and made the decision to enlist in the military to serve as a medical specialist in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany. Upon the completion of her service, she struggled to find and maintain work while…
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Overcoming Adversity While Forging Ahead in a New Career

Published: March 8, 2019
Perseverance is a quality that can easily be attributed to FastForward graduate, Natalie. Four weeks before the birth of her first child, she and her husband were in a car accident that would change their lives forever. They both survived the accident, but her husband Joey sustained permanent nerve damage and the inability to walk…
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Phlebotomy Training Opens Doors For Single Mother

Published: March 5, 2019
Keisha is proof of what can be accomplished through hard work and sheer determination. The Culpeper resident overcame homelessness while raising a young child to attain two health care certifications and start a fulfilling career as a certified phlebotomist/nurse assistant. In her position, Smith now has full-time benefits, including health insurance for her and her…
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Flexing Their Skills on the Job: FastForward Graduates Become Heavy Equipment Operators

Published: February 25, 2019
Roughly 69 percent of employers are having problems finding skilled laborers that match job postings, according to a report by Burning Glass. That means there are open jobs in need of skilled, qualified workers. Employers are seeking people with trade skills outside of a typical high school education to fill their workforce. Two students-turned-employees Colin…
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