Adult Education at Regency Mall: Shopping for Your Future

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Henrico County, Va., VA

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About the Program

Category: Community and Economic Development (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

Henrico County Public Schools students in the school division’s trades-related programs are helping design and build a 48,000-square-foot educational facility inside an existing mall with a reimagined approach to providing continuing education for the adults. Most construction companies choose not to allow individuals under 18 to work on commercial projects due to regulations and insurance costs. By creating a hands-on commercial construction classroom, the “Adult Education Program Center at Regency Mall” project enabled younger HCPS students to gain valuable instruction in commercial construction. The school division will incorporate career-focused opportunities in licensed practical nursing, apprenticeship training, earning certifications and licenses, and financial literacy along with traditional programming for adults. By creating a one-stop shop adult students will be able to discover and embark on the next steps in their careers. The unique mall design will maintain the concept of “career storefronts” to advertise career opportunities. Because of the mall location, students will have opportunities to eat meals or shop before and after class. The hallway in the portion of the mall housing the new education center will become a common area where students can mingle and work in groups. The environment will resemble a college, but in a mall setting.