The “New Collar” work trend is changing employment opportunities… and FCPS ACE is a “New Collar” leader

Fairfax, VA – July 18, 2024 – “New Collar” work, with jobs requiring highly skilled and trained employees in the trades, technology, medical and engineering fields, is rapidly changing the face of the US labor market to the benefit of employees, employers, and the economy. With salaries in the top half of the wage scale but not requiring a college degree, demand for training and education is skyrocketing as students learn that high-demand careers are available without the crippling debt and lengthy school commitment required of most 4-year degrees.

Societal, workforce demands, employer needs and technological advancements all have contributed to a rapid change in how people and organizations view and pursue job opportunities and hiring.


Program aims to ‘empower’ graduates without college

From Fairfax County Times

Through FCPS ACE’s Workforce Development programs, Apprenticeship students gain workforce-ready skills plus the licenses and certifications today’s employers require. As the school year draws to a close, not all graduates have a path forward for their higher learning or careers. But the Fairfax County Public School Board recently praised the Adult and Community Education (ACE) program, which aims to offer a solution for students preparing to enter the workforce.

This after-graduation program aims to increase skill-based career opportunities by “enhancing and expanding workforce development, exploratory learning and certification programs,” according to a news release. The board recognized the program, highlighting its impact on career and technical education. Major companies such as IBM, Google, and Bank of America are already changing their hiring strategies to reduce the number of roles requiring a four-year degree.


Does college still pay? Workers without a degree are doing better than they have in years, report finds


Key Points Increasingly, high school students are questioning the value of college.

A new Pew Research Center analysis finds that job opportunities and wages are improving for workers without a bachelor’s degree. Still, earning a four-year degree is almost always worthwhile, other research shows. Between the six-figure price tag and hefty student loan tab, more students are questioning whether a four-year degree is worth it — and deciding the answer is no.

Since the pandemic, a growing number have opted out. Although college enrollment declines leveled off in fall 2023, there were 900,000 fewer undergraduates enrolled in college in the spring 2024 term compared with spring 2020, according to a recent report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. And now only 22% of adults say the cost of college is worth it if it means taking on education debt, a separate Pew Research Center survey found.


FCPS Adult and Community Education Announces Growth in Workforce Development and Alternative Skill-based Learning Programs

As nondegree pathways grow in popularity, among major employers and Gen Z, alternative education programs empower the Fairfax community to advance their skills, careers, and lives.  

Fairfax, VA – May 28, 2024 – Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Adult and Community Education (ACE), the leading provider of flexible and affordable classes to promote learning at any stage in life, announced today its continued focus and expansion of workforce development, exploratory, and certification programs. With over 500 Online Anytime courses, addressing workforce development and skills-based programs across Business and Information Technology, Health and Medical, Adult ESOL, and Apprenticeships disciplines, FCPS ACE empowers students the ability to become workforce ready by acquiring critical job skills, upskill their career or reskill to transition to a new career.


FCPS ACE Recognized by Fairfax County School Board

FCPS Adult and Community Education Recognized by Fairfax County School Board for its Exemplary Career and Technical Education Programs The programs empower the community to advance their skills, career opportunities, and enhance their lives

Fairfax, VA – February 22, 2024 – Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Adult and Community Education (ACE), the leading provider of flexible and affordable classes to promote learning at any stage in life, announced today that it has been recognized by the Fairfax County School Board for its exemplary programs in support of career and technical education, and adult community education. Along with the expansion of exploratory and certificate programs, FCPS ACE now has over 500 Online Anytime courses available to enable the community affordable and convenient opportunities to enhance their skills, their careers, and their lives that they can take online, at anytime from anywhere.


The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Adult and Community Education program (ACE) is the leading provider of flexible, affordable, outcome-oriented classes to promote learning at any stage in life. We offer more than 3,000 courses in a wide range of subjects that empower students of all ages and backgrounds to explore options for after high school graduation, gain valuable technical training, advance their careers with relevant skills, or enhance their lives with a range of personal interest classes. Our students and their success are what drives FCPS ACE. With more than 60 years of history and a deep connection to the local community, FCPS ACE is for you.

©2024 Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Adult and Community Education