Our Impact

Virginia Ready is a state-wide nonprofit dedicated to convening credential based learning opportunities has been a catalyst for community change, investing over $6.1MM to help over 6,300+ Virginians gain real-world skills and enhance their career prospects through credentialing.

Credentials Earned
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Virginia Ready has invested $6.4 million dollars in Virginians through support of our business partners by awarding the $1,000 Credential Achievement Award upon our program completion.

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Too often job seekers are left behind after training. Through employer engagement, Virginia Ready creates more opportunity for scholars to find family sustaining employment.

Skills First Allies

Between our employer network and education partners, Virginia Ready has gained 37 “Skills First” partners who are leading positive change for the workforce of today and the future.

White Paper

The Insights Report

A snapshot of the workforce development challenges in Virginia – and how we might address them.

Press Release

Virginia Ready Announces Plan to Sunset Operations in Q4 of FY25

This legacy of partnership will continue, by investing back the organization’s remaining funds into nonprofits making significant strides across the state (and regionally).

"I am incredibly proud of the work Virginia Ready has been able to accomplish in just four short years. The team has facilitated access to thousands of motivated, skilled, and credentialed workers to fulfill critical roles across the state. We look forward to seeing that momentum continue through the good work of our funding recipients."

Tom McInerney
Board Chair & President and CEO of Genworth Financial.

Our Legacy

Read about the evolution of Virginia Ready over the past four years. 

May 2020
May 2020
May 2020
May 2020
September 2020
September 2020
December 2020
December 2020
May 2021
June 2021
June 2021
October 2021
April 2022
April 2022
April 2022
March 2023
March 2023
April 2023
July 2023
November 2023
November 2023
November 2023
June 2024
At our founding, Virginia Ready was missioned to upskill Virginians impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic for in-demand careers in IT/Tech, Healthcare, and the Skilled Trades
Founding Board Established
Glenn Youngkin, Suzanne Youngkin, Nancy Agee, John “Dubby” Wynn, Loretta Penn, Caren Merrick, Dale E. Jones, Thomas McInerney, Nazzic Keene
Partnerships Established
Virginia Ready received incredible business support from: 1901 Group, now Leidos, Bank of America, BAE Systems, Bon Secours, Booz Allen Hamilton, Carilion Clinic, CNSI, CoStar, Dominion Energy, EY, Genworth Financial, General Dynamics, Harris Williams, Huntington Ingalls (now HII), ManTech, Maximus, Northrop Grumman, Peraton, PwC, SAIC, Sentara Healthcare, and Stride.
Loretta Penn Named Board Chair
As a founding member of the VA Ready board, Loretta has offered valuable insights as in our work to continue our mission of helping Virginians find career success at a time when they need it most," said Caren Merrick, CEO of VA Ready.
"I've spent most of my career developing innovative, creative and sustainable solutions for executives in workforce management, strategic planning, talent acquisition and retention," said Penn. "Being able to use my life's work in this new and meaningful way is something I am so grateful for."
First Scholar Accepted
John Smith, II was accepted as the first Scholar into the Virginia Ready program. He enrolled to earn his Electrical Level 1 Credential from CCWA.
Scholar News Reel
Sentara Relationship Established
In the fall of 2020, Virginia Ready established a partnership with Sentara Health Systems–Virginia's largest employer in the state. Through their College of Health Sciences, Sentara was able to create their own workforce pipeline through credentialing and connect them directly to openings at their hospitals across the state. With strategic collaboration of Virginia Ready, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, and the Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC), Virginians had the opportunity to retrain as medical assistants and patient care technicians with financial assistance and career support.
Students not only had access to high quality training, but they also had an employment opportunity at the end of their journey. Employment was not a guarantee. Participants were guaranteed an opportunity to interview, and with support of Virginia Ready, scholars were able to hone their workplace readiness skills to truly make them an ideal candidate.
Through this partnership, 66 scholars were placed into jobs with Sentara
Eligibility Expanded
Virginia Ready expanded eligibility to all Virginians seeking to up-skill or re-skill in an in-demand industry of IT/Tech, Healthcare, or Skilled Trades regardless of their employment status.
First Partner Summit
Even as the economy began to recover, the emerging job market represented a new challenge. Partners gathered to discuss Virginia Ready’s impact in the region and the changes still needed in the hiring process so companies can find the talent they need to reboot Virginia’s economy.
SAIC Hiring Partnership Established:
With a talent need for their newest contract, SAIC was seeking to fill several IT Service Desk Analyst positions, which require a security clearance — a significant barrier to the application process. Partnering with VA Ready, SAIC committed to hiring Scholars who completed a CompTIA A+, Network+, or Security+ Credential and sponsored their security clearance. This partnership helped employ 8 scholars.
FY21 Year End
Scholars: 709
Fall Business Partner Summit
Virginia Ready’s partners continued to invest in their employees, just as Virginia Ready had invested in the education of their Scholars to help them land an in-demand job. At the second Partner Summit, partners shared best practices to engage this new workforce.
Spring BP Summit
Business leaders across the state of Virginia met virtually to discuss new ways forward in the recent landscape at Virginia Ready’s 3rd Annual Business Partner Summit. To inspire action, Virginia Ready invited keynote speaker, Marie Lynch, (then) President and CEO of Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, to share her company’s mission to create economic mobility in some of Chicago’s more disinvested neighborhoods by matching unemployed and underemployed residents with employers in need of workers.
FY22 Year End
Scholars: 1,868
Thomas McInerney named Board Chair
Virginia Ready Initiative is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom McInerney as the Chair of its Board of Directors. “I am proud that Genworth was a founding partner of Virginia Ready and has extended its support of the organization through the next two years,” said McInerney. “Virginia Ready’s mission aligns perfectly with Genworth’s vision for Virginia’s workforce.”
Women in Workforce event
During Women’s History Month, First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin and Governor Glenn Youngkin welcomed more than 125 women who are leading Virginia businesses and nonprofits, both large and small, to the Executive Mansion. Virginia Ready was given the opportunity celebrate our impact on women in the workforce:
46% of credentialed scholars are female & 19% are in the skilled trades.
Customer Service Credential Launched
In partnership with CCWA, a then dormant class was reopened to support the customer service needs across the Commonwealth for large employer partners, Genworth Financial and Maximus.
Program List Changes
Strategic Plan
Virginia Talent Opportunity Talent Partnership Established
The VTOP career readiness modules were developed by a council of business leaders and covered eight in-demand skills: career & self development, critical thinking, leadership, teamwork, communication, equity & inclusion, professionalism, and technology.
Connecting a Credential Ready Workforce
On November 2, 2023, we gathered many of our business, education, and community organization leaders contributing to Virginia’s Talent Development Ecosystem to participate in a Design Lab to offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues in workforce development.
Deloitte Partnership Established
Deloitte shared their expertise in human skills development by offering their Future of Work Institute to Scholars, allowing them to earn a microcredential.
DragonFli Partnership Established
With a desire to hire inexperienced workers, DragonFli created apprenticeship opportunities to support scholars entering the IT/Cybersecurity industry who needed experience to advance in their careers.

Virginia Ready
Fund Recipients

As of Q3 2024 the Virginia Ready team and board determined the impact of Virginia Ready could scale faster by shifting to invest in established organizations already dedicated to credentialing and non-traditional education. 

Northern Recipient

Claude Moore Charitable Foundation / Claude Moore Opportunities

Funds will be dedicated to the workforce highway design and implementation for the IT/Tech and skilled trades industries and continued development and dissemination of the Healthcare highway concept across the state.

Southwest Recipient

United Way of Southwest Virginia - EO

Funds will be used to support programmatic needs for the IGNITE and Career Commons initiatives for participants 16 years and older.

Mid-Central Recipient

The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County

Funds will be restricted to support adult learners in their community pursuing post-secondary education in the form of credentials specific to the IT/Tech, Healthcare, and Skilled trades industries.

Central Recipient

United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg

Funds will be restricted to bolster the work of the Workforce Partnerships Team and Network2Work program needs.

Tidewater Recipient
United Way of South Hampton Roads Funds will be restricted to increase the % of individuals served who earn job relevant licenses, certificates, and/or credentials; and increase the % of individuals served who increase their wages; and provide direct support and services to individuals receiving job skills training; and connect participants with wraparound supports to ensure their ability to achieve skills, licenses, certificates, and/or credentials.

Thank you to our Partners