Reporter: Jeremy Mills | Videographer: Jemon Haskins
Lynchburg, VA - Officials at Central Virginia Community College say it felt like President Barack Obama was speaking directly to them in his State of the Union address Wednesday night.
The president called on community colleges to focus on job-ready training to make sure students can seamlessly enter the workforce.
School workers say the president is exactly right and their response to his call to action is simple. They say they've been doing job-ready training on campus for 30 years, and they've built some of the best employer-preparedness programs around.
Kenny Warner is in his first year of the machinery production program.
"We're just learning how to do everything that we're going to be doing in the real workplace, and it's a really great program," he said.
In three more semesters, he expects to get job offers at Areva or B&W.
"It's pretty exciting, seeing all of this and knowing that it's a big possibility that we can get on there you know."
Areva and B&W have sponsored much of this training knowing it will provide their future workers.
Amherst resident Justin Fulcher just graduated from Liberty University but decided to get more training.
"You get the information in the textbook, but it's different when you actually feel the stuff, look into this and get real-world interaction with it," said Fulcher.
With a degree in Quality Control, Fulcher should have his pick of jobs with great starting salaries.
"Some of the quality in this area pays between $60,000 and $80,000 a year," said Lynn Dillard, a machine technology professor.
"It's that simple, pass that weld test and you've got the job," said Jewel Newman, professor of welding.
The welding program just had 12 graduates, and 11 of them already found local jobs.
"You think Automated Conveyers, Sterling, Delta Star, Lynchburg Steel, Banker Steel, all these companies need welders," said Newman.
CVCC officials say they only instruct in programs where they know local jobs are available.