Virginia Sets Credential Goal
On August 13, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe unveiled a new workforce initiative that requires better measurement of credential attainment and a new consortium to provide workforce data.
The New Virginia Economy Workforce Initiative, established by Executive Order, seeks to add 50,000 credentials in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health (STEM-H) to Virginia’s economy. The Executive Order sets out action items that are aligned with WDQC’s state blueprint:
- Several state agencies and all local workforce investment boards must develop strategies for increasing in-demand credentials, including certifications and licenses. The State Council for Higher Education will host an online scorecard to track progress toward the initiative’s credential goal.
- The state will create a consortium to provide data on regional skills gaps, wages and the availability of workforce programs so that policymakers can better align workforce strategies and investments with the labor market.
- The Virginia Employment Commission, in partnership with other agencies in the workforce system, will develop an online dashboard to provide information on the supply of workforce credentials.
Andy Van Kleunen, Executive Director of the National Skills Coalition, a WDQC partner, told the Washington Post that the initiative’s focus on middle-skill jobs is a smart way to target investments to get more people into work.