RD85 - The New Economy Workforce Credential Grant – January 31, 2018

Executive Summary:

The General Assembly and Governor established the New Economy Workforce Credential grant program in 2016. In FY 2017, the Virginia Community College System and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center offered training aligned to high-demand occupations and fields as identified by the Virginia Board for Workforce Development. The following includes a summary of observations from the first year of implementation of the program:

• Training and workforce credentials were aligned to high-demand fields identified by the Virginia Board for Workforce Development.

• Collectively, these institutions enrolled 4,961 students. Of those, 4,636 completed training and 3,072 reported a credential attained.

• Of the students who enrolled, 93% completed training.

• 66% of those completing training reported a credential attained.

• 61% of students were male.

• The average age of a student was 35 years.

• The median pre-training wages one-year prior to enrollment was $22,000.

• Program demand has exceeded current funding levels for FY 2017 and FY 2018.

• A recent Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission study of the Virginia Community College System included a review of the program. The Commission made two recommendations regarding the methodology to identify high-demand fields and the prioritization of funds based on areas that have high unmet demand.

• SCHEV staff will work with the Virginia Board for Workforce Development and eligible training providers in the coming year to address the JLARC recommendations.