White House initiative will help provide workers with competitive skills
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia is one of the newest members of the TechHire initiative, a White House program that aims to meet national employer demands by partnering with states and localities to create sustainable pathways to the workforce, specifically for under-served populations. Virginia is the first state in the Southeast to earn this designation by the White House.
“This partnership with the White House on the TechHire initiative is another positive step in preparing our workforce and building the new Virginia economy,” McAuliffe said. “In Virginia’s TechHire application, we set ambitious goals because we know how important it is to leverage innovative programs in our communities that can provide Virginians with the industry-ready skills they need to fill the jobs of the 21st century.”
Through its participation in TechHire, the Commonwealth committed to filling an estimated 74,000 computer-related jobs over the next eight years. To meet this demand, work is underway to connect with more than 25,000 businesses to help place 10,600 Virginia TechHire graduates in technology jobs by 2020. Virginia also set a goal to partner with 20 additional businesses to hire TechHire program graduates by next year.
“Virginia is blessed with enviable assets, including more employees with technology experience per capita than anywhere else in the country,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “We must build on this strength to get more Virginians in all parts of the Commonwealth into high growth and high wage careers, and the TechHire initiative will help us with that aspiration.”
The Commonwealth will work with Local Workforce Development Boards, regional technology councils, Dominion Resources and other businesses, Virginia’s community colleges and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce to train 1,200 TechHire participants to fill available technology jobs this year. VCCS will administer the program.
“This partnership between Virginia and the White House comes at a crucial time in the Commonwealth’s history,” said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. “As businesses require more high-tech know-how from employees, it is incumbent upon us to make sure Virginians have access to the appropriate training to take full advantage of the careers of the future.”
As part of this new agreement, Virginia TechHire will focus on uniting employers, educators, nonprofit organizations, and other community leaders around growing the information technology sector in order to increase Virginia’s economic competitiveness and boost income mobility and educational attainment of underrepresented populations in higher education.
“The Governor has made technology education and training in our public colleges and universities a high priority, and the TechHire initiative will help support that goal,” Secretary of Education Anne Holton said. “This partnership will help prepare all of our students, specifically those from under-served populations, to succeed in the 21st century economy.”
“Helping people prepare for technology jobs is really in our sweet spot,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “The jobs are in high demand, and the skills needed are constantly evolving. Our short-term training programs are tailor-made for connecting individuals with what could be life-changing career opportunities like these.”
The TechHire initiative was launched in March 2015 by President Barack Obama. Fifty communities across the county and more than 600 employer partners are currently participating.