A crowd of 236 educators and business leaders gathered at NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus on March 2 to celebrate the official grand opening of the Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training (RCWET). RCWET is the first facility of its kind to offer a local solution for highly-specialized continuing professional education.
President Scott Ralls said the Regional Center will play a strategic role in creating a workforce to meet the technological demands of Northern Virginia’s businesses, government and military communities.
“This is an exciting day for NOVA and our partners who have made this center a reality,” Ralls said. “This state-of-the-art facility will allow workers in critical fields to strengthen their professional value in a continually-changing environment; ultimately increasing their job security and the viability of their organization. NOVA has a commitment to this community to provide the education and training to make this happen.”
“The Regional Center is not just a great regional asset, but also serves as a national security asset,” said Dr. Michael Wooten, NOVA’s College Board chairman. “This center is strategically located between Quantico and Fort Belvoir to serve the needs of federal and local government. The facility is a grand architectural triumph that will help us reflect and prepare students for an illustrious future.”
The 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building will serve as the epicenter of high-quality training and education delivery in the region. Training programs provided will include cybersecurity, health care, IT and program management. The Regional Center also houses a Professional Testing Center and a 7,500-square-foot conference center designed to host a range of events from industrial-type training, exhibits, trade shows, formal gatherings and special events. There is also a leading-edge “Cyber Range” that will allow NOVA to provide real-time simulations of network attacks to train students to recognize and defend assets, as well as assess and certify hard skills competencies.
To secure funding from the Virginia General Assembly to build the $29 million center, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors contributed $1 million toward the facility. Woodbridge Provost Sam Hill said the initial investment by Prince William County enabled Senator Charles Colgan and the Prince William delegation to leverage $28 million from the Virginia General Assembly.
“The main purpose of developing the RCWET was to serve the business community,” said Hill. “To successfully complete this project, it needed to be business driven. In addition to conducting the feasibility study, a Workforce Development Center (WDC) Business Leaders Steering Council, was formed in 2012, consisting of business representatives from Prince William County and individuals involved in economic development. Each member played an active role in the overall building design and the specific programs RCWET would offer.”
For more on the Regional Center for Workforce Development and Training or on NOVA’s Workforce Development programs, visit http://www.nvcc.edu.