Based on current estimates, by 2022, about 500,000 new jobs will be created in Virginia. In addition, more than 930,000 workers will be needed to replace Virginia’s retiring workforce. Many of these jobs will be in scientific, technical, or healthcare careers, and will require postsecondary education or workforce credentials. Careers in these fields are readily accessible for those who are trained, credentialed, and ready to work.
My vision for the New Virginia Economy won’t be realized unless the state’s workforce system rises to the challenge. My administration is reimagining a workforce system that’s more agile, responsive, and aligned to the needs of companies operating in a dynamic, global business environment. To be effective, employers must not only be engaged in that process, they must program the controls. We also recognize that achieving this vision will depend on efforts to ensure all Virginians are afforded access to the country’s best set of education, training, and job placement serves that provides them market-relevant job skills and access to those jobs in demand by Virginia employers.
In order to affect the type of change needed to move us boldly into the future, I have taken a number of actions to ensure that Virginia’s workforce system is the best in the country. These include: setting short and long term benchmarks for attainment by Virginians of all ages and life circumstances of workforce credentials that count in the marketplace, redirecting federal workforce funds to ensure more money for training, and streamlining and aligning the Commonwealth’s 24 publicly funded workforce programs to business and economic goals.
Accomplishments to date include:
- Executive Order 23 which calls for 50,000 STEM-H workforce credentials in my administration
- Establishing a benchmark of nearly half a million more workforce credentials by 2030 to make Virginia #1 in the U.S. for workforce credential attainment
- Winning nearly $60 million, in the past year, in federal and private grants to improve the Workforce System
- Driving successful legislation to redirect nearly $4.5 million in available federal funds to education and training for skills development and credential attainment
- Establishing the state’s first pay for performance to incentivize local workforce development boards to drive credential attainment
- Launching the state’s first student financial aid program for non-credit training for industry certifications
- Initiating the Governor’s Competition for Talent Solutions to establish and support business led solutions to close the skills gap in key industries in the Commonwealth.
Watch this space in coming months. Because we’ve only just begun.