The Lord Fairfax Community College Career Pathways Consortium received one of 13 inaugural Governor’s Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Education Thursday night at the Executive Mansion. Additionally, LFCC played a role in two other awards presented that evening, including one that recognized Fauquier County Public Schools, an educational foundation and the LFCC Fauquier Campus.
The awards were given among five categories: closing the achievement gap, community partnerships and collaboration, innovation in education, preparing students for the new Virginia economy and supporting school readiness. More than 120 nominations were received.
The LFCC Career Pathways Consortium – which includes the career and technical education directors from the school divisions in Winchester, and Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren counties – was awarded in the community partnerships and collaboration category for the Worlds of Work! career expo, a two-day career exploration fair managed by the consortium in partnership with Barrett Machine Inc., the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, the Frederick County Economic Development Authority, the Winchester Economic Development Authority and Winchester Wealth Management.
The mission of the consortium is to advance career and technical education at both the secondary and post-secondary levels by creating pipelines to programs at the post-secondary level. Consortium initiatives to date include the WoW! event for seventh-graders, the LFCC Trades Academy and an EMT Academy that will launch in 2018-19.
Additionally, consortium partners work together on the Valley Health Partnership to advance allied health programs of study. As a result of that partnership, LFCC is working with each county and the city of Winchester to create programs that are supported by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation. Thus far, LFCC has received $344,000 from the foundation, and has launched projects in Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Rappahannock counties.
LFCC also collaborates with Winchester Public Schools on their Claude Moore initiatives, and a recently-created Medical Laboratory Technician program extends the pipeline from John Handley High School to Lord Fairfax Community College.
“Advancing career and technical education programs at the secondary and post-secondary levels while maintaining high academic standards for all students is fueling the workforce of the United States,” says LFCC Dean of Academic, Student Affairs and Outreach Brenda Byard, who attended the awards ceremony on Thursday. “Today’s employers want employees who can do the job and possess the polish of great communication, critical thinking, and initiative.
“The Worlds of Work! is one example of a great initiative where school divisions, LFCC, and two special people, Sally Michaels with the Frederick County Economic Development Authority, and Stacy Barrett, of Barrett Machining, came together to pool resources from the community to sponsor this event for nearly 3,000 seventh-graders. We are a community of leaders who believe that the future is our young people. We want them to be their absolute best.”
LFCC was also a factor in a second award in the community partnerships and collaboration category. The Fauquier County Public Schools Division was honored for its collaboration with the Fauquier Excellence in Education Foundation and LFCC’s Fauquier Campus in connecting students and parents to the educational opportunities available at LFCC.
Additionally, LFCC partners with Valley Health System, which Gov. McAuliffe recognized for preparing students for the new Virginia economy by partnering with regional school divisions and other agencies in promoting and fostering a health science career pipeline.