Our programs are ready to get you trained quickly and aligned with the credential that is right for you! The programs below will allow you to accelerate forward down the path to enhance and help with a new career. Programs marked with a are eligible for the FastForward program.
How to Enroll
To enroll in one of our Manufacturing & Trades programs:
- Get added to our list for notifications and to be screened for available funding by completing our Program Interest and Funding Assistance form.
- Complete the onboarding and financial assistance process to be officially enrolled in the program. Your Career Navigator will guide you through this. Please be aware that this can take up to a month.
Machining Fundamentals I & II
Machining Fundamentals I and II are foundational for the study of metals formation methods, processes, related equipment, and tools of industry. It requires the student to understand shop safety practices, job planning, math and measurement for precision machining, interpreting drawings, machining feeds and speeds, precision measuring instruments, layout tools and procedures, hand tools and bench work, metal cutting saws and drilling machines. Students must be registered for both Machining Fundamentals I and II.
Machining: Milling Operator
The Machining – Milling Operator course is a hands-on course where you will learn the fundamentals of using a milling machine in a manufacturing environment. You will learn part set up, drilling, taping, boring, cutting keyways and other operations as well as basic CNC program editing. Instruction will also include shop safety, math and measurement for precision machining, and how to interpret drawings, including views, notations, symbols, dimensioning and tolerances. Credentials: Students completing the course will sit for the NIMS (National Institute of Metalworking Skills) CNC Milling: Operator, Level 1 exam.
Machining: Turning Operator
The Machining – Turning Operator course offers instruction on both manual and CNC operated lathes. You will learn facing, turning, drilling, turning angles and other operations as well as basic CNC program editing. Also included in instruction is machining math, Blueprint reading, and dimensioning and toleranceing. Credentials: Students completing the course will sit for the NIMS (National Institute of Metalworking Skills) Level 1 Turning Operator exam. Successful completion of the course and credential, along with completion of the Machining-Milling course and credential will qualify students for entry-level machinist jobs with a beginning salary of $15-$20 per hour.
The Machining – Advanced course is a culmination of the VWCC Workforce Machining Program series. Emphasis is placed on CNC G-Code and Conversational Programming. Includes Setup and Operations to produce parts using ProtoTrak Mills and Lathes, Haas Mini Mill with Automatic Tool Changer, and Fanuc and Haas Simulators. Credentials: Students completing the course will sit for the NIMS (National Institute of Metalworking Skills) credentials CNC Milling: Programming Setup & Operations and CNC Turning: Programming Setup & Operations.
Lean 1: Creating a Culture of Innovation
Problem solving skills are critical in today’s workplace! Lean 1: Creating a Culture of Innovation, is a must-take course for all formal and informal leaders concerned with problem solving and establishing a culture of innovation. After a quick overview of Lean foundations and history, workshop participants will dive into Lean leadership and how to make cultural changes by integrating Lean practices into any industry. Engage in hands-on activities, learn Lean thinking concepts, Lean principals, and learn techniques for improving processes. Learn to recognize waste, analyze a process, create solutions, and implement improvements. Begin your transformation into a Lean thinker and leader!
The term “mechatronics” is used in advanced manufacturing with regard to the electronic control of mechanical/hydraulic/pneumatic systems. We are excited to offer this new program to allow students to gain entry into this exciting and well-paying field. This new FastForward Mechatronics Fundamentals Program will serve as an integrated on-ramp for the VWCC Mechatronics AAS degree, a highly successful advanced manufacturing program in our region.
This program offers a series of courses to prepare workers for an advanced manufacturing environment in entry level jobs such as Electromechanical Technician, Production Technician or Industrial Maintenance Technician. Level I courses include: Electricity AC/DC and Multimeters, Precision Measuring, Mechanical Systems, Fluid Power (Pneumatics and Hydraulics) Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Sensors, and Robotics.
This skill set is highly sought after in our region, with 1,570 unique job postings and a median advertised salary of $47.7K, ranging from $20K to $120K (Source: EMSI, Jan 2019 – May 2020, including all experience levels).
Discover the essentials of what powers the world! Electricity! Learn about alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) and how to read multimeters to determine the flow of electricity and if the flow is right for the intended use. Understanding electricity and how to work with it safely is foundational to manufacturing and many other careers. You will build, test and troubleshoot AC/DC circuits and examine the operating voltages and currents related to proper circuit operation. Invest in yourself and in 13 weeks earn 3 Festo / NC3 credentials!
Come to this class to learn how to do the real heavy lifting – using the principles of hydraulics and pneumatics! Power up a system that will take a human design and multiply the force to perform incredible feats. Fluid Power (Hydraulics and Pneumatics) are widely used methods of energy transmission used extensively on industrial, construction and agricultural machinery. Learn the building blocks of advanced systems: air compressors, power units, filters, pressure control valves, directional control valves, speed control valves, linear and rotary actuators, and more. Gain stackable credentials and add to your skill set – in just 13 weeks – earn two Festo / NC3 credentials.
Did you take things apart as a kid – wondering how things work? You may very well have a natural mechanical ability – a talent that manufacturers want as one of the most desirable skills. The driving forces in any machine are mechanical systems: gears, drives, bearings, pulleys, and more – all found in everything that moves! The Mechanical Systems course covers the installation, use, maintenance, and troubleshooting of mechanical drive components and systems used every day in industry. Open the door to a new career in manufacturing, or a related field such as engineering, aerospace, power generation, to name a few!
Do you have an eye for detail? How about a job testing and measuring for quality! Quality of products determines if those parts will work as intended. Precision measuring is the cornerstone of quality in products and services we all rely on each day. Starrett, Snap-on and NC3 combined their industrial experience and expertise to create certifications that include hands-on training with instruments that are vital to engineering, manufacturing, aerospace, power generation, and natural resources, to name a few. Start your career in manufacturing with a valuable skill set – call us today to enroll!
Programmable Logic Controllers & Sensors
If programming is your thing, join us to learn ladder logic for Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). PLCs are sturdy computers used in rugged environments such as manufacturing to allow for automation of advanced manufacturing systems. Sensors are the eyes, ears, touch, and feel for those systems, relaying signals to the PLCs to direct the workings of all of the mechanical assemblies. You will work with high-end products from Rockwell Automation / Allen Bradley controls to discover the inner workings of industrial systems. In just 8 weeks, earn 2 Festo / NC3 credentials and build your resume to a higher paying job!
Step into the world of robotics! Robots complete repetitive tasks but also have very complex human interactions. As the world of manufacturing continues to build highly automated systems, robotics will become increasingly used to improve efficiencies, accuracy, and the ability to build more and more complicated systems. Add robotics to your manufacturing skill set and become a key team member, contributing significantly to solving the complex issues in industry. In just 5 weeks, you will learn the first level of robotics, building your resume for advancement in an in-demand manufacturing career!
Heavy Equipment Operator
Heavy Equipment Operator
Want to work outside? Get in the driver’s seat and build your future as an in-demand heavy equipment operator! Experience what it’s like to operate a bulldozer and excavator in our high-tech Caterpillar Simulators! Earn the Heavy Equipment Operator Level 1 credential in just 16 weeks of online classes and 44 hours in the seat of a CAT simulator. Invest in yourself and improve your earning potential! Guaranteed interviews with participating local employers. Call us today to enroll!
Welding - FCAW
Students will learn Flux-Core Arc Welding (FCAW) methods. FCAW processes allow for high quality, versatility, out-of-position welding capability. FCAW processes are used by manufacturers, industry and in construction. Credentials: If successful, students will earn an American Welding Society Qualification and D1.1 Structural Bridge Code for FCAW welding methods. Upon course completion, welding coupons will be inspected by a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI).
Welding - GMAW
Students will learn Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) methods. GMAW processes are used by industry, maintenance repair and hobbyists. GMAW is fast and economical and is used for welding thin-gauge metal as well as heavy plate. Credentials: If successful, students will earn an American Welding Society Qualification for GMAW welding methods. Upon course completion, welding coupons will be inspected by a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI).
Interested in a career in automotive service? This class can help you get started! Learn the skills needed to get your first job as a General Service (tire/lube) technician, including multi-point inspection, oil and filter changes, shop practices, tire mounting and balancing, shop safety, identification and use of hand tools, and the use of power equipment. The class will include some self-study, classroom time, and plenty of time in the automotive shop to practice. Train in a real automotive shop under the supervision and guidance of a qualified automotive instructor! You don’t need any experience in automotive service to take this course, just the desire to learn. In just five short weeks you will prepare for employment as a GS technician. Do-it-yourselfers are welcome to enroll and can also participate in this course; just know the focus is to prepare participants for entry-level employment in the automotive service field.
Are you an automotive technician, electrician, engineering technician, or HVAC mechanic? Do you need to use a digital multimeter or digital Volt/Ohm meter at work? Productivity and safety are key to your success and this hands-on course will increase your skills with the Snap-On 525 Multimeter, which is similar to other quality meters in use today. Using the Snap-On meters and test boards provided in class, this short workshop-style course will cover the basics of multimeter use, including advanced functions, and give you the opportunity to practice troubleshooting basic circuits. Successful participants will not only increase their skills and knowledge with multimeters, but leave the class with (NC3) Snap-On Multimeter certification! Just two short Saturday mornings will increase your knowledge and ability with the use of digital multimeters and related troubleshooting. You don’t need to bring anything to class but a willingness to build your skills. Let’s get to it. For beginners, intermediate, and experienced technicians alike, register today!
Virginia State Safety Inspectors are in high demand across Virginia and the Roanoke Valley. A compliant and productive inspector is a key business asset to the host inspection station and a benefit to the motoring public at large. Unfortunately, the old method of having prospective inspectors study the state inspection manual on their own is often frustrating and can take even motivated technicians several tries to pass the exam. There is a better way. Just send your technicians to Virginia Western Community College’s Virginia State Safety Inspection course to prepare for the state inspector written and hands on exam! The class takes four Saturday mornings–just 16 hours total–and will focus on what your techs need to know to pass the exam and be ready to start inspecting vehicles. Successful participants will become familiar with the inspection manual, understand the inspection process, prepare for the written exam, and be ready for the walk-through with a State Trooper. An excellent local automotive educator–a current Virginia state safety inspector–will teach this short course and take good care of your techs.
Basic Contractor's Pre-Licensing Class
This is a pre-licensing class for a Class A, B, or C Contractor’s license in Virginia. This 8-hour course is designed to provide a basic look at the statutes and regulations that govern contractor licensing in Virginia, including a review of the different types of licenses available and the qualifications for each, including Standards of Practice, Prohibited Acts and How to Avoid Violations of the Regulations. After successfully passing this course, students are qualified to take the PSI test for licensure. Students must schedule the PSI test directly with PSI Examination Services. This course has been approved by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR), Board for Contractors.
Tradesman License Renewal: Electrical, Gas, HVAC, & Plumbing
The VA Board of Contractors requires journeymen, master plumbers, electricians, HVAC mechanics and gas fitters to take continuing education hours specific to their trade as part of the licensing process. Those renewing a license must take continuing education in their respective profession:
- Plumbers, HVAC technicians and electricians must take 3 hours of CE in their field.
- Gas fitters must take 1 hour: the 1-hour class for gas-fitters is intended for journeymen and master gas fitters, liquified petroleum and natural gas fitters.
Each course covers new definitions, code changes, general requirements, impact on the job, general use of and special equipment included in the respective codes.
Location: Thomas Center –
3074 Colonial Ave., SW
Roanoke, VA 24015