Addressing the issue
Programs aim to develop a qualified labor force
Many programs have been created to address the shortage of qualified workers in Virginia. Listed below are just a few of those initiatives.
- The Virginia Business Higher Education Council has advocated more state support for students, including money for noncredit instruction and workforce training. The organization’s “Grow By Degrees” program promotes more students earning degrees. The program may be expanded to include credentialing, certificates and diplomas for skill trades. “We want to increase the percentage of working-age population who have a degree of some type,” says council president Donald Finley.
- The Virginia Workforce Council is a business-led board that acts as an adviser to the governor and provides strategic leadership to the state regarding the workforce development system and its efforts to create a strong labor force aligned with employer needs.
- Dream It. Do It. Virginia has career information on 568 industry credentials for manufacturing as well as information on technology training, the Military2Manufacturing program and how to become a network partner.
- Virginia Education Wizard provides career and college information for students.
- Through a partnership between the Virginia DMV, the military and transportation-related businesses, participants in the Troops to Trucks program fast-track the process for getting a commercial driver’s license. In July, more than 200 military men and women had started the program.
- The commonwealth has eight Governor’s Health Sciences Academies. Each academy, which is approved by the State Board of Education, represents a partnership between public school divisions, health-care institutions, the private sector and institutions of higher education to create rigorous programs to prepare students for careers in the health sciences. The state also has 22 approved Governor’s STEM Academies. The academies are designed to expand options for students to acquire literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while earning industry credentials.