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January 14, 2014

Strengthening Workforce Development in Virginia

There is a lot of solid discussion right now in Virginia about workforce issues given how critical they are to meeting the challenges of the current – and future – economy in our state.

During his inaugural address on Saturday, Governor Terry McAuliffe acknowledged that many Virginians are not able to access the education and training they need to help them secure a good-paying job  and said that improving Virginia’s workforce development system will be a key priority of his administration.

To contribute to this conversation we developed a new report examining Virginia’s workforce development programs


The report provides detailed information about how workforce programs are funded, who they serve, and what services are offered through an at-a-glance summary of the program’s core components. In addition, our report provides an overview of the workforce development system’s structure as well as its documented challenges and efforts to strengthen it.

Even though the Great Recession officially ended four years ago, Virginia’s economy remains sluggish and families and workers across Virginia continue to struggle.  Many of these jobs demand workers with “middle skills” that require education and training beyond high school but less than a four-year degree.

One of the leading contributors to Virginia’s economic health is the state’s workforce. Maintaining it with up-to-date skills, education, and training is among the most critical investments we can make as a state and as a nation.

–Jeff Connor-Naylor, Program Director



The Commonwealth Institute

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