RD115 - The New Economy Workforce Credential Grant – January 31, 2019

Executive Summary:

In FY 2018, 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:

• Institutions offered training in nine high-demand occupational fields.

• Collectively, these institutions enrolled 3,760 students. Of those, 3,457 completed training and 2,518 reported a credential attained.

• The average student cost of the program was $904. The average state cost per credential attained was $2,004.

• Training completion rates averaged 92% and credential completion rates averaged 73%

• The top 10 training programs accounted for over 80% of credentials attained.

• Overall, the majority of students tend to be male adults with an average age of 35 years.

• A preliminary review of earnings indicates that earnings increased in all occupational fields with the exception of computer and mathematical for individuals in the program. In addition, individuals earning less than $20,000 prior to enrollment had the highest increase in earnings.

• Program demand continues to exceed current funding levels.

• Given the positive outcomes of the program over the last two years, SCHEV recommended for FY 2020 an additional $4 million in funding for the program and an additional $1 million in need-based financial aid for students enrolled in training.