Governor Terry McAuliffe told more than 400 people who had gathered for the Chancellor’s Retreat that he needed their help in selling Virginia’s high-quality product workforce.
“I want to crush the other 49 states on job creation,” he said.
Moments later, the state’s chief executive signed executive order 23 and the “New Virginia Economy” Workforce Initiative was put into effect.
The goal of the initiative is to overhaul Virginia’s economy in four ways: increasing postsecondary education and workforce credentials, securing employment for veterans, aligning education with the needs of businesses, and diversifying the economy.
By aligning workforce supply to employer demands, McAuliffe said common-sense solutions that will help ensure Virginia’s workers get the skills they need for the jobs they want can be implemented.
“In order to remain globally competitive, it is critical that Virginia’s workers have the tools they need to succeed in a 21st century economy.”
The executive order includes several ambitious goals, such as the “Pathway to 50K” initiative which sets a target of 50,000 credentials, licensures, apprenticeships, and sub-baccalaureate degrees earned that meet the immediate needs of Virginia’s workforce.
The governor also unveiled “The Patriot Pledge,” which will ask 10,000 businesses to sign a pledge of commitment to hiring more veterans.
On Tuesday, the opening day of the Retreat, Chancellor Glenn DuBois took the wraps off his new six-year strategic plan for Virginia’s Community Colleges. The plan calls for tripling the number of credentials awarded annually by 2021.
Based on current estimates, about 500,000 new jobs will be created in Virginia by 2022. Over 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.
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