Richmond employees gain new benefits

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 9/21/2023, 6 p.m.
In a bid to ramp up retention of current workers and recruiting of new workers to fill hundreds of vacancies, …
Reynolds Community College president paula p. pando speaks during a press conference announcing a workforce partnership between Richmond and Reynolds Community College in Reynolds’ Downtown campus. Photo by George Copeland Jr./Richmond Free Press

In a bid to ramp up retention of current workers and recruiting of new workers to fill hundreds of vacancies, City Hall plans to improve benefits offered to employees in the area of workforce training and home purchase assistance.

Topping the list is a new partnership between the city govern- ment and Reynolds Community College’s Community College Workforce Alliance.

As announced recently, the new program will allow Richmond employees to improve, broaden or gain new skills through specialized, short-term courses for which the city would pick up the cost. The promise is that training could be completed within a few months and result in recognized credentials to en- able employees to improve their earnings.

The program includes courses in a variety of areas. Some examples are plumbing, welding and other skilled trades, commercial driving, customer service, information technology and project management, according to Reynolds and the city.

“We are creating pathways and opportunities for success for our city workforce,” Mayor Levar M. Stoney said. “I know our employees are eager to walk through the doors of Reynolds Community College to get their credentials and help Richmond grow.”

The program had already begun enrolling city employees prior to the announcement, according to Sabrina Joy-Hogg, deputy chief administrative officer for finance and administration. Interested employees can enroll without needing any special skills and will find variable schedules for courses to fit with their work schedules, Reynolds officials said. Further information available from Rachel Berry, (804) 646-5660 or HRTtraining-Division@RVA.gov or at Reynolds.edu.

On the housing assistance front, the Stoney administration is proposing to revamp a program that has provided $25,000 to assist public safety employees and teachers with home purchases. The plan that just awaits anticipated City Council approval at the Sept. 25 meeting would open the program to all city employees.