VACo membership identified expanded workforce development efforts by the state as a 2015 legislative priority. In addition, a continuing theme raised by county officials at regional meetings this year is the need to focus efforts on expanding workforce development in order to improve quality of life and economic competitiveness.
VACo worked during the General Assembly session to advocate for improvements to the state workforce system. There have been numerous announcements in recent months about new opportunities and changes in the states’ workforce system that will assist with county-led initiatives. Below are a few highlights.
May 8 – Virginia was selected by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and USA Funds to join a national network to close the workforce skills gap. Click here to read more.
April 16 – The Governor’s staff provided an update to the Virginia Board of Workforce Development summarizing legislative, executive, Virginia Board of Workforce Development (VBWD), and agency actions, since the December 2014 release of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC)’s report to the Governor and General Assembly on Virginia’s Workforce Development Programs. Click here to read the report. The Governor’s staff also provided an update on the 2015 General Assembly Session and the Governor’s Workforce agenda. Click here to read the update.
March 20 – Virginia received a $22.3 million Federal Job Skills Grant award, which will fund workforce training for individuals who receive benefits through SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) – Click here to read more.
New funding and focus on workforce development by leaders in the General Assembly and by the Governor is good news for counties. However, one main area of concern for counties is that new state requirements on the use of federal workforce development funds will take away some flexibility from local Workforce Development Boards about how dollars will be spent. VACo asks its membership to report back any local impacts of recent policy changes.
VACo Contact: Erik Johnston, CAE