Tag Archives: Career Pathways

Career Pathways Initiative awards 8 certificates to August 2015 program graduates

In August 2015, NOVA, in partnership with the Fairfax County Department of Family Services (DFS) Employment & Training Program Career Pathways Initiative, awarded 8 certificates for Career Pathways’ Administrative Professional and Medical Administrative Professional Training Certification programs.

This graduation ceremony marks the 5th time that NOVA has provided this targeted training for DFS clients in a group setting at a DFS office site. To highlight the program’s success, Job Developer Warren Smith read an email from a program graduate who is now employed by Fairfax County.

Career Pathways Initiative

Fairfax County DFS:
a history of helping careers

The Virginia’s Initiative for Employment, not Welfare (VIEW) Program is one of several employment programs operated by Fairfax County DFS. In October 2013, VIEW partnered with NOVA to run the inaugural Administrative Assistant Training Certification Program at the VIEW Job Center, located in the Pennino Building in Fairfax. The class was filled to capacity, and all 10 students graduated.

Due to the success of the first cohort, a second class began the next month, in November 2013. This time 8 students received certificates. The third cohort, held in February 2014, issued 7 new certificates.

The fourth cohort was held in February 2015. This was the first offering of the Administrative Professional and Medical Administrative Professional Training Certification. 12 students participated and graduated.

DFS Career Pathways

During the latter part of 2014, DFS Employment and Training staff researched in-demand occupations in the Northern Virginia area with the goal of establishing targeted certification training to assist our job-seeking participants.  The VIEW Program had partnered with NOVA in the past, but offerings were limited to VIEW program participants only.

We wanted to make sure opportunities were available to all program participants, so representatives from the following organizations gathered to discuss how to make this happen:

  • VIEW
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult
  • WIOA Youth
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAPET)

We worked out the details and determined which occupations we wanted to target, and decided to add a medical administrative professional component to the training. By adding the medical administrative piece, students would be able to sit for an exam that would award them an industry-recognized credential.

DFS once again reached out to NOVA to develop a curriculum, which was taught in February 2015. This class had participants from several of our employment programs, not just the VIEW Program.


Rick Garrett is Manager for the Fairfax County Department of Family Services Employment and Training. Amy Miller is a WIOA Supervisor for Employment & Training. Read more about Employment and Training services at fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/ss/employtraining.htm.

Ilene Danforth (idanforth@nvcc.edu) is a Business Program Developer for NOVA’s Workforce Development Division. She develops customized training programs for NOVA’s corporate training clients and community partners.