Cycle23Grad2-500There are three great barriers to the American Dream: affordable housing, affordable childcare and skills for a livable wage. Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) is dedicated to finding answers in all three areas, and I encourage you to learn more about our programs. In March, our agency celebrated the graduation of the 23rd cohort from Training Futures, NVFS’ comprehensive job training program that has helped prepare 1,800 graduates for new careers.  The program has been lifting people above the poverty line since 1996.

Training Futures is a half-year commitment that includes classroom instruction on basic office skills and soft skills like networking and ethics; academic credit thanks to Northern Virginia Community College; and internships offering real-world experience. This core curriculum is supplemented by mentors and volunteers who are invested in helping our students prepare to enter the workforce and succeed.

Our Trainees are a mix of unemployed and underemployed individuals, determined to get professional, living wage jobs. Many are professionals in their home country but, for a variety of reasons, take minimum wage jobs here. Typically, the average salary of a Training Futures graduate increases 50%. This unlocks even more opportunities for self-sufficiency:  permanent housing, health care, and a decreased dependence on public benefits.

Training Futures does not charge tuition, and therefore looks to government and foundation grants, United Way support, and individual donations to cover program fees. In addition to this operational support, there are many ways to support Training Futures:
  • Host a Training Futures intern for a 4-week engagement
  • Mentor a Training Futures student
  • Speak to a class on a topic such as “Time Management” or “Respect in the Workplace”
While emergency assistance programs will always have a role in our society, workforce development programs like Training Futures truly are the key to strengthening our community by creating one self-sufficient family at a time.

To volunteer or host a Training Futures intern, please contact Julie Mullen, NVFS director of Strategic Business and Partnership Development, at 571.748.2628.

NVFS is grateful to the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia for its support of our programs in Northern Virginia.