Talent development, recruitment, and retention are essential for robust growth and excellent job opportunities in the knowledge-based new economy. Throughout much of Virginia today, expansion of existing businesses and attraction of new business investment are hampered by workforce shortages and skills gaps—the lack of properly developed talent. More people have migrated away from Virginia during the past three years than have come here, and many of those leaving are well-educated younger Virginians in search of better job opportunities.
Developing the talent needed for business growth and job access, retaining talented young people in our Commonwealth, and attracting new talent to Virginia must be a sustained public policy focus for the foreseeable future.
Partnering with the business community, Virginia’s colleges, universities, and community colleges are stepping up to help meet the talent challenge. With a top-ranked higher education system, Virginia can and should be known nationally and internationally as the TOP STATE FOR TALENT.
To achieve the talent goal, Growth 4VA advocates these policy priorities:
- Make reform-based investments that will keep Virginia on track to achieve the degree and credential goals unanimously adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in the 2011 “Top Jobs Act” and included in the “Virginia Plan for Higher Education” of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).
- Confer 100,000 more Virginia bachelors and associates degrees by 2025, focused in high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and healthcare. (Top Jobs Act, Virginia Code § 23.1-301)
- Become the best educated state by 2030, with an estimated 70% of working Virginians (ages 25-64) possessing a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized credential. (Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV)
- Actively promote the statewide and regional development of business and higher education partnerships that will:
- Ensure that education and training programs are aligned with job opportunities.
- Close the skills gaps that are hampering business and job growth.
- Attract and retain top talent in Virginia.
- Provide enhanced education and training for veterans and adults.