Senator Tim Kaine Discusses Education and Workforce Training in Visit to Averett University

Posted on November 16th, 2023 by Bill Dyer

Averett University hosted a working visit from Senator Tim Kaine on Monday morning in the welcome center of Main Hall. The senator discussed a wide variety of ideas with University leaders, faculty, staff and students concerning higher education and work-force training in the region and the University’s goal of making education accessible and affordable for all.

Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, discussed the many ways in which Averett is breaking ground in the education, and much-needed training, of the next generation of workers. He promised to keep working to expand access to programs like those at Averett by passing the bipartisan JOBS Act to help more Virginians afford job training.

“I had a great visit with Averett leadership and faculty on Monday to talk about one of my top priorities as a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee: preparing students for good-paying jobs,” Kaine said. “Earlier this year, I worked to secure resources in the Senate’s draft Fiscal Year 2024 government funding bills to enhance the University’s online programs to train students for good jobs. I will keep working to ensure that those funds remain in the final budget when it makes it across the finish line.”

Kaine heard from a number of Averett leaders that represented the University’s growing presence in workforce training, both online and in-person. Averett offers programs in many high-demand areas, including healthcare, hospitality and business.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, president of Averett, said the University is committed to growing the workforce in the Dan River region. Averett increases social mobility for many in the Dan River region by partnering with local governments, community organizations and businesses to develop industry-needed certifications and badges. This provides a stronger and larger pipeline of talent to support the area’s workforce needs and aspirations.

“Averett is committed to the creation of market-responsive programs and cultivating partnerships to establish jobs, train our workforce and grow and retain diverse talent to help enhance the Dan River region,” Franks said.

Kaine has fought to include $670,000 in the Senate draft of the 2024 government funding bill to strengthen job training and enhance Averett’s online programs. This funding will help establish a first of its kind in the region Continuing Education Center, targeting a large local population base of 1.7M people over a75-mile radius.

Averett was the first stop in his day-long visit to Danville. Following this meeting, he stopped at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.