Training Futures, a program of Northern Virginia Family Service trains low-income, underemployed or unemployed individuals in office and health care job skills and provides job development services. Training Futures was launched in 1996 and has since trained more than 2,200 people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Within six months of graduation, 72% of trainees secure full-time employment in an office environment. The employment rate of graduates far exceeds those of other national programs, placing Training Futures in the top-performing echelon.
Training Futures delivers a 25-week program that includes 17 weeks of curriculum in critical office skills and software, including Microsoft Office Suite software, keyboarding, business communication, customer service, business math, and filing. The Training Futures program is operated as a business site; trainees attend classes Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Trainees are expected to dress professionally – the program provides each student with three professional outfits – and students must be on time and attend classes regularly.
A key part of the Training Futures experience is the 3-week internship. Training Futures staff arranges internships with local employers by carefully matching trainees’ strengths to “job orders” placed by an employer. Trainees report to that employer during the same hours that they attend the training session. To support participants’ job search, Training Futures provides skills training in resume development and interviewing; hosts job fairs where employers interview participants on-site; provides office equipment for participants and graduates, such as computers, Internet access, fax, and telephones; facilitates job clubs where participants offer support to one another; and provides ongoing coaching from the trainers and volunteers during the job search process.
In 2008, the program was selected as one of six sites nationwide to be a participant with the Aspen Institute’s Courses to Employment three-year Demonstration Project. A study released by the Aspen Institute about Training Futures shows 94% of trainees complete the program. 84% of Training Futures graduates go on to find employment after program completion with an average of $6,000 annual wage gain. 84% of completers gain college credit for their work at TF.
- Job Development and Placement
- Education and Training
- Career Pathways