Inside Business, January 24, 2018
By Sandra Pennecke
Virginia’s workforce development system has a new brand to help in its quest to put Virginians to work.
The system, which consists of state and local partners and 62 one-stop career centers, will be dubbed Virginia Career Works.
Shawn Avery, president and CEO of Opportunity Inc., was on the advisory committee that drove the initiative.
“As we become more laser focused on connecting job seekers to meaningful employment opportunities in Hampton Roads, it is important that we create greater synergy with workforce and economic organizations across the commonwealth,” Avery said. “The efforts taken to unify Virginia’s workforce development system were both strategic and collaborative and I was pleased to represent our region in the development process.”
Avery said he looks forward to the benefits the statewide branding initiative will afford Opportunity Inc. (Hampton Roads’ workforce development board), in terms of greater awareness, support and resources for its One-Stop Workforce Centers and the job seekers it serves.
Local workforce boards will incorporate the new brand on their websites, social media sites, business resources and signage in the next nine months. Federal funds will be used to help local partners with the expenses related to the change.
The branding process, which took place over the course of six months, was a collaboration of efforts between workforce, education and economic development leaders from throughout the state.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, market research was used as an integral part of the process from start to finish.
“Having a unified brand for Virginia’s workforce development system is a critical, but positive, step in our efforts to have a trained and ready-to-hire human talent pool in Virginia,” Todd Haymore, secretary of commerce and trade, said in the release.
Haymore said employers are looking to fill more than 150,000 high-quality jobs throughout the state and will need to fill about 1.5 million jobs in the next 10 years.
“To leverage fully that growth, our workforce system must engage and develop that talent with the skills to fill those jobs,” Haymore said.