NRCC to start medical assistant program and more

A new medical assistant program is being launched at New River Community College thanks to a recently received grant.

The college received a Workforce Credentials Grant (WCG) Capacity Building award from the Virginia Community College System for a total of $81,222. The grant will support development of new non-credit programs and expansion of current programs at NRCC.

The short-term, non-credit programs provide access to training and credentialing for high-demand jobs in the area.

The medical assistant program will provide training for an entry-level position in a health care center or doctor’s office, and prepare students to take the National Healthcare Association national certification exam to become a certified medical assistant. The program will begin at NRCC in the fall.

“We are excited for what the grant means for workforce and credentialing in the New River Valley,” said Mark Rowh, vice president for workforce development and external relations. “The medical assistant program will help fill a gap locally for training in this growing field.”

Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification is also being made possible by the grant. The college, in conjunction with the Manufacturing Technology Center, already provides training for Six Sigma Green Belt. Yellow Belt certified individuals develop foundational knowledge of Six Sigma and is for entry-level employees seeking to improve their role in the company by using the concepts and methodologies of Six Sigma. The program will begin at NRCC in the fall.

“With the addition of the Yellow Belt level, we can expand the number of employees able to receive Six Sigma certification,” said Rowh. “This will help the college serve a larger population of the New River Valley workforce.”

For those interested in learning more about Six Sigma and how the Workforce Credential Grant can offset the cost, an information session is scheduled Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. to noon in room 142 at NRCC’s New River Valley Mall site in Christiansburg.

With the grant, NRCC plans to also expand its four current Workforce Credential Grant programs: Commercial Driver’s License, Pharmacy Technician, Manufacturing Technician 1 and Six Sigma Green Belt.

The New Economy Workforce Credential Grant program was created in 2016 to encourage people to prepare for careers that require specialized training but not a college degree, while making the training accessible and affordable. The program covers two-thirds of the tuition for students who are enrolled in one of the WCG programs. To learn more about WCG, visit