RD336 - Virginia Workforce Council 2011-2012 Annual Report

Executive Summary:
As the country and the Commonwealth slowly recover from one of the worst recessions in history, individuals still face many challenges in finding jobs. We are fortunate that due to our leadership, our people and our diverse economy, Virginia has done better on average than the rest of the nation. However, this environment has given particular focus to an increasing skills gap, which challenges our employers to find individuals with the appropriate skills for the jobs that are and will be available. These hurdles threaten our competitiveness as a nation and frustrate many of those seeking the American Dream.

It is in this setting that the Virginia Workforce Council has worked diligently in 2011-2012. Our goal is to provide guidance that improves all aspects of Workforce System operations while acting as an adviser to the Governor on workforce issues throughout the state.

In 2011-2012, the Council has begun to work to align all workforce initiatives with education and economic development. We are working to brand our system so that employers and jobseekers understand how and where to access our programs and services. We also know that workforce does not understand magisterial boundaries, so we have made a push to support regional solutions for regional workforce challenges. It has been a tremendous year for the Council as it works on behalf of all Virginians.

In this context, I am pleased to provide you a copy of our 2011-2012 Annual Report. I hope you will be interested in the information it provides on our work throughout the state’s workforce system. Additionally, within the body of this information, you will find the required report on the Career Readiness Certificate Program.

Performance measures for the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I programs are established in Section 136 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. The U.S. Secretary of Labor provides further guidance on the calculation of the measures. The VWC is working to establish additional state measures related to credential attainment, costs per participant, return on investment and customer satisfaction. To learn more about these measures and the resources allocated to the Local Workforce Investment Areas to support the associated activities, and view interactive graphical presentations of the data, visit the customized website developed in partnership with the Virginia Information Technology Agency at: https://bi.vita.virginia.gov/VCCS_WIA/rdPage.aspx.

In alignment with the Governor’s Workforce Development goals, the Council has fully embraced Career Pathways, so it seems only fitting that as the Commonwealth serves as host to the National Career Pathways Network Conference in our capitol city of Richmond this fall, we title our report Career Pathways Lead to Workforce Development. That is our focus and what helps shape the accounts of progress and success outlined in the pages to come.

Within the report, you will find a link to the accomplishments by the 15 local workforce investment areas, by performance measure, which were made possible by U.S. Department of Labor resources provided. These outcomes are reported through collaboration with the Virginia Information Technology Agency. While local Workforce Investment Board performance is noted here, the Council wants to convey to you its determination to reflect a comprehensive systemic approach to workforce development, aligned with our partners across all regions of the state. Achievements in this regard can be found within.

As you know, the Council is led by a majority of business representatives, appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell or his predecessor. Examples of innovative workforce training between private providers and industry can be found in this report as well. Collaborative strategies have been implemented to serve businesses, and assist jobseekers to attain credentials and increase/improve employment. The new Workforce Investment Act/Wagner-Peyser Five-Year Integrated State Plan and the newly revised Virginia Workforce Network Partner Memorandum of Understanding, approved by the Council and endorsed by all signatory partners, will continue to guide the Commonwealth in remaining competitive, creating jobs and enhancing the quality of life for all Virginians.

We thank you for your trust in us as we work to build the workforce for today and into the future. We pledge our commitment to excellence and to providing the type of policy guidance and advice that both informs and adds value to the development of a truly comprehensive system … a system that will ensure the right person for the right job.

Huey J. Battle
Chairman, Virginia Workforce Council