Poll finds strong support for Virginia workforce training and development programs
A poll released Thursday finds strong support in Virginia for workforce training and development programs.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents say they were willing to pay more taxes to keep programs for workforce training and development at the current state levels, according the poll conducted by the Center for Public Policy at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.
That support, however, was mixed when the political affiliation of respondents was taken into account, with Democrats being more supportive (69 percent) than Republicans (46 percent).
In addition to supporting workforce training and development, respondents said the expansion of workforce training and education should be tied to state economic development funds. Respondents in Northern Virginia (53 percent) and Hampton Roads (52 percent) showed the strongest support for such incentives.
“Economic development and workforce development are important topics nationally as well as statewide, and they will certainly be at the forefront of this year's General Assembly session,” John Accordino, interim dean of the Wilder School, said in a statement. “As policymakers wrestle with these issues, it's critical that citizens' views be taken into account.”
Despite support for workforce training and development, 57 percent of respondents said they were not familiar with job and career opportunities in their community.
Perhaps more alarming is that 80 percent of respondents without high school diplomas are unfamiliar with the education and training opportunities in their area.
Slightly less than half of respondents (47 percent) believe Virginia does a “good” or “excellent” job at attracting new businesses, while 35 percent think the commonwealth is doing a “fair” job.
The 2017 Public Policy Poll: Economic Development and Workforce Training is the result of telephone interviews with 1,000 Virginia adults on Dec. 1-20. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.