Framing the Issue
As Virginia’s labor market continues to evolve, the latest research shows that 67% of jobs in the Commonwealth will require some form of postsecondary credential or workforce certification by 2020. However, over one third of adults in the region did not meet that education benchmark as of 2017.
A prepared and capable workforce is essential to helping Richmond residents and businesses thrive. With a regional poverty rate of 11.8%, more than one in ten people lacks stable employment that pays a living wage. Securing employment that meets both employer and family income needs requires access to educational or credentialing opportunities, on-the-job training, and the removal of barriers such as transportation and childcare.
Government entities, higher education institutions, registered apprenticeship programs, nonprofits, and businesses must work together toward two connected goals:
- Area employers have access to the skilled workers they need; and
- Individuals have access to training and resources that provide pathways to employment and/or higher income.
System of Care
A comprehensive regional Workforce System of Care is currently under development by a united coalition of organizations, including Goodwill, Office of Community Wealth Building, Capital Region Workforce Development Board, and Community College Workforce Alliance. The system will provide financial coaching, career credentialing, adult education, on-the-job training, and apprenticeships to career seekers in the region.
This coalition is focused on creating an ecosystem that provides wrap-around services to the career seeker — from employers, workforce development providers, education services providers, and human services providers.
A robust workforce development network includes a core group of experienced and knowledgeable nonprofit partners. Of those listed below, many have received support from the Community Foundation and will continue to be valued partners as we remain focused on specific community metrics that indicate success.