Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Framing Va Graphic

*Today we inaugurate Workforce Wednesday with the first in a series of blog posts focusing on workforce issues around the commonwealth.

It was certainly an honor and privilege to sit in the rain-soaked bleachers this past Saturday as a witness to the Inauguration of the Commonwealth’s 72nd Governor Terry McAuliffe. As I explained to my teenage son and daughter, the ceremony was an opportunity to experience history in the making. Attendees included a former U.S. President and Secretary of State, former Governors (8 of which I have served), the sitting U.S. Senators that represent Virginia, state legislators and numerous dignitaries. People from all walks of life shared umbrellas and ponchos just to get a glimpse of our new leader being sworn into elected office.

Governor McAuliffe shared in his Inaugural Address that day, his belief that “our 23 community colleges have and will continue to play a major part in this effort, to make it easier for servicemen and women to get good jobs when they come back home.”

 Inauguration-shotHe continued his address, focusing on the key role that Virginia’s community colleges play in creating a top state to do business.

“They are our workforce development engines…preparing our students for the jobs available today and equipping them with the knowledge and skills for the emerging industries of  tomorrow. With a community college within 30 miles of every single Virginian, they are the key to attracting and keeping the industries of the future across the Commonwealth — from  Arlington to  Abingdon; Luray to Lunenburg.”

The Governor appoints the Virginia Workforce Council to advise him on workforce training needs. This 31-member policy body is 51% business-led in accordance with the federal  Workforce Investment Act, and includes a number of the Governor’s Cabinet members, agency heads, the Chancellor of Virginia Community Colleges, local and state workforce partners,  labor officials, legislators and non-profits. The most recent Virginia Workforce Council Annual Report is available for the public here.

Paula Scott Dehetre
Chief of Staff, Virginia Workforce Council
VCCS, Workforce Development Services'

Virginia's Community Colleges

Created more than 50 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 270,000 students a year in credit and workforce courses.

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