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American Graduate: Getting to Work

Ready to Work?

There are many paths to career success in high-demand, skilled jobs that do not require a traditional four-year degree. This is the place to learn how to get started on a path to a job and life you love, where to go to get support and hear from those who have succeeded.

"Why should I consider a skilled career?"

It can save you lots of money!
Many young people these days have been told that the only way to earn a livable wage and build a good life for themselves is to go to college and get a bachelor's degree.

The national average for in-state college four-year degree is almost $40,000, and that is just tuition and does not include living expenses. For a private college, the number goes up to around $140,000. And that is only if a student finishes in four years. According to the National Student Clearing House Center, the national average to complete a bachelor's degree is 5.1 years.

Meanwhile, a student entering the trades immediately out of high school can enter the workforce with little or no student loan debt and can begin earning right away. So after four years, they have earnings and savings as opposed to student loan debt.

There is a high demand for workers!
As many youth have been directed to four-year degrees, at the same time Baby Boomers are retiring from these jobd. Combine the large number of retirements with minimal growth in the working-age population, there is a serious shortage of workers in the pipeline. For this year, some have estimated there will be 31 million vacancies due to Boomers retiring.

We welcome you to explore this website to learn how you can get a great skilled career.

COVID-19 Assistance

WHRO's initiative, American Graduate: Getting to Work looks to support the workforce needs of the community. During emergencies, such as COVID-19, individuals and businesses can be severely impacted by lack of work and/or businesses closing or reducing hours. In these times we must work together to support our community. The Hampton Roads Workforce Council and the Greater Peninsula Workforce Board are here to help.

While the Virginia Career Works Centers are closed, many resources can still be accessed over the phone, via email or online. As phone lines may have an extended wait time, online may be quicker to access for many. Click here for more information.

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council and Greater Peninsula Workforce Board have received Rapid Response funding from the Governor, through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, to assist employers eligible to remain open during this emergency. Click here for more information.