Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia will use the expertise of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (Georgetown Center) in order to boost statewide attainment of employer-demanded education and workforce credentials. The Center’s assistance will focus determining the labor market value of occupationally focused associate’s degrees and certificates as well as non-degree credentials, such as industry certifications and occupational licenses; as well as estimating these credentials.
Speaking about the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Industry-valued education and workforce credential attainment is critical to the future prosperity of citizens and businesses in the Commonwealth. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce will be a valuable resource as Virginia advances an ambitious workforce agenda. It will enable us to meet the goal of creating a world-class workforce system that will help existing businesses grow and expand and attract even more new businesses to Virginia.”
The Governor’s new Virginia economy workforce initiative includes a goal to award 50,000 STEM-H workforce credentials by the end of his Administration. The Governor, in partnership with the Virginia Business-Higher Education Council, has also called for more than 460,000 new workforce credentials by 2030. This collaborative state effort with Georgetown University will support the attainment of these goals.
“We welcome the expertise and assistance of the Center on Education and the Workforce and our inclusion in their foundation funded assistance to select states,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “In the next 10 years, about 50 to 65 percent of the jobs for which Virginia will need workers will be jobs that require education or training beyond high school but not a baccalaureate degree. We must make sure our education and workforce training programs are driving credentials that count for career success and business growth.”
The new Virginia economy initiative reflects strong interest in the growing number of credentials beyond traditional academic degrees. These non-traditional credentials include certificates issued by higher education institutions, and industry or occupational certifications and licenses required for certain jobs. There is growing understanding that these credentials play an important role in the economic success of American workers; Virginia has a long-term goal to be the number one state in the U.S. for the percentage of the population with a workforce credential.
“At a time when postsecondary education and training is the gateway to the middle class, states should aim high in setting attainment goals for credentials and the strategies to get there, as Virginia has done,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, the Center’s director. “Virginia is one of about a dozen states with a robust data infrastructure that generates earnings outcomes for postsecondary programs. We are pleased to work with the Commonwealth’s leaders as they take the next step in counting and measuring the value of credentials, especially those below the baccalaureate level.”
The Center’s assistance to Virginia is the result of foundation-funding to help states use data more effectively to inform policy and planning, and support decision-making about education and careers. Since 2007, the Center has worked with states to project educational demand, set educational attainment goals and increase transparency about the labor market outcomes of postsecondary education and training programs.
The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce is an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between individual goals, education and training curricula, and career pathways. The Center is affiliated with the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy. For more information, visit http://cew.georgetown.edu.