Taking Your Skills To The Next Level

Portsmouth@Work offers accessible pathways for meaningful employment, job readiness, training, skill-building, college or vocational certification, career counseling, placement, job retention, and entrepreneurship opportunities for Portsmouth residents, especially those that need to upskill or reskill toward livable wage careers.

The centrally located Portsmouth@Center and career training offered both virtually and in-person puts you in control of your skill development.

Sign Up Now And Get Started


DigitalLearn is a self-paced computer training program with 27-module course designed to help people who want to increase their digital literacy to learn beginner and intermediate computer and internet skills. DigitalLearn has tutorials in English and Spanish on:

  • Computer Basics
  • Using various operating systems
  • Using email
  • Internet and privacy concerns
  • Resumes and online job searching
  • Cloud storage
  • Skype and social media
  • Buying a plane ticket


The NORTHSTAR Digital Literacy Assessment is aimed at helping you acquire the skills you need in today’s workplace. This program consists of 14-self-paced assessments that show your ability to perform basic computer tasks. You can earn badges in the areas of essential computer, software and technology skills. Let us help you improve your computer skills and show employers what you know.

Test takers can receive certificates and/or digital badges when they pass skills assessments in a proctored environment at a NORTHSTAR testing location. Student result pages link to learning resources in NSOL for skill areas needing work. Once students pass NORTHSTAR, which certifies basic skills, they are qualified to pursue more advanced training, certifications, or career pathways elsewhere during their job search efforts.

Call Center Agent Course

Professional phone skills do not come naturally to everyone. Understanding how to listen to a caller's needs, then finding the most appropriate solution to their issue requires an understanding of customer service etiquette.

The Call Center Agent Course is a training program designed to teach participants the core competencies required to deal with customers over the phone. Once the training is complete, students will take the call center agent certification exam to prove their understanding.

This Call Center training program will focus on:

  • Prepares participants for call center jobs
  • Provides key tasks, general knowledge, and soft skills needed for call center agent etiquette
  • Training includes:
    • How to serve people, what callers want, common situations, rate of speech and more
    • Participants receive a certificate and transcript endorsed by the Management & Strategy Institute upon completion

* Recommended for all Office positions, specifically for Call Center & Work From Home jobs.

Commercial Driver License (CDL) Class A

Get everything you need to launch your truck driving career. Portsmouth@Work offers a CDL training program to help you earn your Class A CDL through ATI’s Fast Track Training Program. Requirements to participate:

  • Portsmouth resident at least 21 years of age
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • 3-hour preassessment preparation course
  • Pass Virginia Department of Transportation Drug Screening and Health Exam
  • Driving Record History and Criminal background checks (No barrier crimes)

Beat the Wonderlic logo

Hampton Roads Transit DriveNOW Course

Hampton Roads Transit DriveNOW is a unique career readiness initiative designed to boost qualified applicants in the transit business who may otherwise face barriers to full employment.

DriveNOW training will prepare participants to become a bus operator through training. In preparation to become an HRT Bus Driver, participants will obtain a Commercial Driver’s License learner’s permit, be provided a uniform allowance and provided career readiness training. Once hired, participants will receive additional on-the-job training to earn a Class B Commercial Driver’s License. After successful completion of the program, participants will be offered full-time employment with HRT as a bus operator.

Participants receive a SmartStart Credential which includes:

Personal Care Aide (PCA)

Personal Care Aides (PCA) play a critical role in helping the elderly and other ailing individuals to be able to stay in their own homes instead of having to move into a facility. This is such an important and rewarding job, and the families appreciate the care and assistance PCAs provide them.

If you have your sights set on becoming a PCA, training is now available online. You can access course materials online any time of the day or night so that you can learn at your own pace. When you complete our online course, you will be able to get a job with your PCA certification, recognized by the State of Virginia. Portsmouth@Work can assist with a list of employers hiring after you pass the course. 

Interested adults 18 and older are invited to begin the Personal Care Aide training if they desire to work in this incredible and important field of health care. The home healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing job markets in America, with a high demand for compassionate, skilled people who are passionate about providing excellent care for others.

SmartStart Credential Course

The SmartStart Credential is designed to help adult learners gain the skills they need to be successful in today’s economy. The job training program prepares participants for middle-skill level employment by helping them learn and practice good work habits and the effective communications skills you need to secure meaningful employment.

SmartStart participants are prepared to take the WorkKeys test, which includes: Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents, which qualifies students for the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). Employers seek candidates with an NCRC regardless of the candidate’s educational background. The professional certificate signals to employers that applicants have the skills necessary to be effective in a job.

Participants receive a SmartStart Credential which includes:

Recommended for jobs in Office & Hospitality, including Rivers Casino.

START Hospitality Course

START Hospitality offers flexible and concise instructions on how to perform key tasks, along with the general hospitality knowledge and soft skills needed to succeed in a front-line position in the hospitality industry. This hospitality job training culminates in a career certification exam leading to a professional designation. ​

Certification in hospitality education gives job seekers a competitive edge over non-certified candidates. It may also increase job retention and lead to opportunities to earn higher wages. ​

Programs for individual positions include the following sections: ​

  • All Employee Knowledge ​
  • Position-Specific Knowledge ​
  • Job Breakdowns ​

Successful candidates who complete the START Hospitality Program and pass the certification exam for that position will receive a certificate and lapel pin. ​

Participants receive a SmartStart Credential which includes:

  • TABE Assessment
  • ACT National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC)
  • New World of Work 21st Century Skills Certificate (Digital Badges)

Prepares participants for hospitality and retail-specific jobs. Recommended for Hotel, Office & Retail.

Work From Home Online Course

This self-paced, online course will help participants find a work from home position quickly. Participants will learn how to work from home, be introduced to a variety of work from home positions and careers, and then be connected with work from home job openings.

  • Approximately 9 hours of training included.
  • Log-on at any time and complete the modules at a pace that works for you.
  • Once registered, you’ll have access for as long as necessary to complete the course. Some restrictions apply.
  • A Certificate of Completion is issued via download when the course is complete.
  • Grants participants access to industry-specific job boards & the inside tools, tricks, and resources connected to over 350,000 work from home job openings.

Bonus Link




YouthBuild is a community-based pre-apprenticeship program that provides job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-24 who have previously dropped out of high school.

YouthBuild participants earn money while they get valuable hands-on experience building quality houses. They will gain work-based education including vocational and basic academic skills training that leads to industry-recognized credentials, employment placement, or apprenticeships, and prepare them for post-secondary education programs. The program lasts six months with follow-up supportive services for the period of one year.

Google Education

Together, Portsmouth@Work and Grow with Google are empowering participants with the digital skills they need to advance their careers and transform their lives.

Technology is constantly changing, and having strong digital skills can lead to a successful job search and a fulfilling career. From strengthening basic computer skills to gaining in-depth knowledge of Google software, this digital skills program is designed to fit all levels of experience and interests.

  • Free lessons for learning anytime; video-based lessons allow you to work at your pace.
  • Gain job-ready skills; learn digital skills to help you get a new job or promotion, improve your communication at work and more.
  • Project-based lessons
    • Finish each lesson with a useful project like a budget, resume or business plan
  • No technology experience required
  • Build confidence as videos guide you through each skill

Check Out Our Upcoming Events

Every month Portsmouth@Work has events for the community. Come see what's happening in the next few months or register to host your own event.