Following a very vibrant discussion at a Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce Meeting this week, I was reminded of the urgent importance of Workforce Development in Central Virginia.
Bringing new businesses to Richmond is important, but what is equally important is that we have a ready workforce for the growth that we are working hard to develop. The setting for this meeting was J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and that was a reminder of the important role Community Colleges and Career and Technical Education play in our region's workforce development. Here are some observations:
Our Community Colleges will educate and prepare a significant number of the workers who will meet the present and future demand.
Many skilled high paying jobs will go to those individuals who will be trained on the job or in one of the many technical and career schools.
Many of those skilled workers will come directly from high school and go into company apprenticeship programs.
The Technical Centers in many of our public schools are training our next generation of skilled labor. This isn't shop class anymore.
The bottom line is that our students and current workforce have options when it comes to developing or furthering their career. It is important to pay close attention to the career opportunities that will be available in the future and to acquire the skills and knowledge to meet those opportunities. We have many students who need to be prepared for the jobs of the present and future. And the future is now.
For more information, go to the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce's website at grcc.com.