CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Eight students in Charlottesville graduated from a brand-new program Wednesday.

The PluggedIn program is offered through Charlottesville's Adult Learning Center. It gives adults the chance at a college education and gives them valuable workplace skills. The program began in January thanks to a state grant and funding from the city of Charlottesville.

PluggedIn directors say it was an unprecedented success, with five students continuing their education and three students heading off to promising careers.

After five months of hard work, Christopher Washington received his certificate of completion Wednesday for the PluggedIn program. He says he's in a better place now than he could have hoped.

"This definitely made me a more attractive prospective employee to prospective employers. This also got me a job, so I'm happy about that as well,” said Washington.

Washington will be working at the Hilton Homewood Suites hotel.

PluggedIn Coordinator Lisa Climer says the program provides an avenue for people realize their potential.

"There are a lot of people who go right into a job, but they need more training in order to kind of get on a career path, and that's the gap that PluggedIn fills. It helps folks improve their communication, teamwork and digital literacy skills,” said Climer.

Students get nine credits from PVCC and certifications in customer service and digital literacy.

"Three of them have gotten jobs already. Good paying jobs with a future, and to see them going back to school it's, that's why we're in these, that's why I'm in my career. It makes you feel great,” said Valerie Palamountain, PVCC workforce services dean.

Washington says he's honored to be part of Charlottesville’s first class, and hopes more follow in his footsteps.

"Anybody looking to get back into the swing of school, because it can be kind of overwhelming for some folks. It's just kind of a good bridge to get into the program to do college credits and also some work on your soft skills,” said Washington.

The PluggedIn program is free to all applicants who meet its financial requirements. This year, all eight students who applied and were accepted and passed the course.

For more information on the program, click here.