This week at the Rotary Club of Newport News, we heard from David Gillespie, the founder of the Virginia Technical Academy (VTA). VTA is a hands-on, performance-based school in the business of training tradespeople in the areas of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical, plumbing, building property maintenance, and appliance repair for rewarding careers.

David founded VTA as a trade school organization with a mission to build strong trades through industry-leading education and community engagement. David recognized the need for a skilled and well-educated workforce in the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, facility maintenance, and appliance repair industries. Since they were the experts in these fields, they created it. VTA aspires to build a sustainable trade workforce for these industries, and they are well on their way. An increasing number of people are choosing not to pursue the traditional college path because either the cost is too high or they are not interested, said Gillespie. VTA benefits those who may not be inclined towards or can afford a college education. VTA graduates have an astounding 96% job placement success rate.

In addition to training new technicians, VTA provides accelerated courses for adult learners looking to expand their knowledge base or earn the necessary educational requirements to sit for their journeyman’s license, trade-specific continuing education courses, EPA 608 Exam prep courses/testing, and National/International Codes courses. You can learn more about VTA at Thank you, David, for an excellent presentation!