Governor Terry McAuliffe, along with his cabinet and workforce leaders, traveled to Danville yesterday to focus on jobs, education, and growing the economy.
Craig Herndon, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development at Virginia’s Community Colleges, was in attendance throughout the day.
“Virginia’s Community Colleges are thrilled to work with Governor McAuliffe in understanding and addressing the wide range of workforce needs facing Virginia’s business community. Yesterday’s event at Danville Community College highlighted the important role that community colleges play in preparing Virginians for in-demand jobs, often through short-term and technical training.”
Herndon was particularly struck by the fact that there was near unanimity among business and community leaders in their perception that a skills gap and an interest gap exists in their community.
“The skills gap might be characterized loosely by the existence of jobs for which skilled people are not available while the interest gap can be seen in instances in which people opt not to pursue jobs based on their perception of the work. Community Colleges are well known for addressing the skills gap and, through initiatives like career coaching in high schools and with adults, offer a practical solution for addressing the interest gap by helping would-be job seekers to understand a wide range of career options.”
Also in attendance was Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade and Adviser for Workforce Development, Elizabeth Creamer, who said it was an honor to participate in the governor’s round table discussion.
“Business leaders were clear that they are seeing a gap between available jobs and qualified applicants in such industry sectors as advanced manufacturing and health care. It was helpful to hear industry leaders assess workforce challenges and also potential solutions. Each of these solutions recognized the vital role of the community colleges in regional economic and workforce development, and I look forward to assisting colleges to strengthen in this role.”
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