In workforce, it's about the people. Empowering all people to achieve a career pathway that offers economic mobility. At Virginia Ready, this means preparing a credential ready workforce. To achieve this, our approach has always been “Skills First”:
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. Among others, attendees included:
While Virginia Ready sits with the job seeker [scholar] at the hub of credential-based workforce development, the success of that job seeker relies on
By connecting these entities we are able to harness collaborative efforts and therefore work towards increasing the quality and success of individual scholars on their career path.
Deputy Secretary of Labor, Anthony Reedy joined the Design Lab to provide an update on the consolidation of Virginia's workforce programs and creation of The Virginia Department of Workforce Development and Advancement, which will create, sustain, and retain a highly skilled workforce. This provided attendees a background on how the state is supporting and participating in the development of Virginia’s workforce.
Chief Curriculum Officer for Deloitte's Future of Work Institute. Blythe Kladney then kicked off the Design Lab with an energizing and eye-opening keynote presentation–The Future is Human. She emphasized that jobs have rigid degree and work experience requirements, whereas skills are flexible and transferable across industries. Jobs have linear progression in titles, pay, and responsibilities, yet skills are attainable and scalable through upskilling and continuous learning.
“It’s not just ‘train, place, retain’ anymore–it’s redefining workforce development with an ecosystems-based approach” shared Blythe.
During the Design Lab attendees were matched at tables based on their role within the ecosystem to collaborate on solutions for three areas impacting today’s workforce:
Between six tables of workforce experts, we had an engaged and lively discussion on solutions to each of these issues, and we heard from many attendees that it was an opportunity to rethink how their organizations and others can uplift skills-based candidates. Check out the Design Lab findings here.
Just as we know work is changing, hiring practices are changing as well. It takes everyone in the talent development ecosystem to test and pivot to ensure job seekers are given an equal opportunity to achieve economic mobility, and we are grateful for those who were and continue to be engaged in this conversation.
Skills First partners are critical to the ecosystem and play an active role with Virginia Ready by helping scholars gain access to a network that will ultimately help propel them to advance their careers and embark on career pathways leading to family sustaining wages.
Interested in becoming a Skills First partner with Virginia Ready? Contact us today to become part of Virginia's workforce ecosystem.
Thank you to our participants:
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Take the first step towards success in your career by becoming a Virginia Ready Scholar and gain access to valuable resources, training, and support to achieve your professional goals.