Workforce professionals from around the state gathered for a three-day conference Wednesday at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton where they hope to learn, share, collaborate, innovate and discuss the latest information and trends in workforce development.
Governor Terry McAuliffe, who recently proclaimed September as Workforce Development Month, helped kick off the event in a speech that celebrated the success of the Workforce Credentials Grant program and underscored his strong support of the work being done by Virginia’s Community Colleges.
“Our problem today is that we have too many open jobs that are not filled. That’s where you all come in and that’s why you are so important to what we need to do in the next phase for Virginia.”
The state’s chief executive told the crowd that Virginia’s Community Colleges were uniquely positioned to help the state adjust to the demands of an ever-changing workforce.
“If you look at every study over the next decade, in Virginia and nationally, 60 percent of the jobs will require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. That’s the sweet spot that our community colleges can offer.”
Debra Crowder, executive director at South Central Workforce Investment Board, was decidedly impressed by the governor’s remarks.
“It’s nice to have a Governor that understands the complexities of the workforce system and who has worked to overcome the barriers to make the systems work together to achieve workforce credentials.”
TNCC Great Expectations Coach Monica Pinier says it made her feel good to hear the governor mention the importance of giving those who’ve made mistakes in their past a second chance.
“Hearing the success stories about employment proves that we can believe in people and help them become something much greater through Virginia’s workforce programs.”
McAuliffe closed out his remarks by serving up a healthy dose of inspiration to those in attendance.
“When you go to bed at night and think about your day, you really make an impact on people’s lives and I just want to say as the Governor, I want to thank you on behalf of all of our citizens for your contributions.”
Featured image: Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development Craig Herndon (l) gestures to Governor Terry McAuliffe (r) as the state’s chief executive prepares to deliver a speech to conferees.