Governor Bob McDonnell today announced his job creation and workforce development agenda for the 2013 General Assembly session, including measures to make it easier to start, locate and grow a business in Virginia, and to more closely align education and job creation. He included nearly $10 million in proposed budget amendments to support entrepreneurship, job creation and workforce training initiatives, including a pilot program to help entrepreneurs to grow sustainable start-ups, a Governor's School on Entrepreneurship for Virginia middle school students and support for community college job-training programs. 2012 was the Year of the Entrepreneur in Virginia and this legislative agenda is focused on growing Virginia's innovation economy. The Jefferson Innovation Summit for the Commonwealth produced a Policy Playbook of ideas, many of which are included in today's release. The recently released Policy Playbook is available here.
"Making Virginia the best place in the country in which to find a job is the top priority of our administration," said Governor McDonnell. "Today, I put forward additional proposals that will make it easier for the private sector to create jobs, and easier for Virginians to get training in the skills necessary for those jobs. By improving the online Business One-Stop system, making the Commonwealth friendlier to entrepreneurs, and making sure that students graduate from our K-12 and college systems career-ready, we will continue to expand jobs and opportunity. I want to thank Delegates May, Kilgore, Head, Ramadan, Webert and Watson for their leadership of the Business Development Caucus. The Caucus worked tirelessly over the past year to ensure that small business owners' voices were heard in the legislative process. Their small business roundtables resulted in much of the legislation and budget items announced today."
Speaking about today's announcement, Lieutenant Governor Bolling said, "We have made much progress in economic development and job creation, but we still face challenges in the area of workforce development. This agenda will help us build upon our successes over the last 3 years and continue to make Virginia the best place to work, live, and raise a family. I look forward to working with Governor McDonnell, the Business Development Caucus, and Senate and House leadership on this legislation."
Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Gate City), chair of the Commerce and Labor Committee said, "This is a bold agenda that will help the private sector create jobs and make Virginia more competitive for new businesses. This agenda rightly recognizes that innovation and entrepreneurship must be at the center of any long-term strategy for economic growth."
Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Lynchburg), chair of the Science and Technology Committee and member of the Virginia Workforce Council said, "We've made tremendous strides in strengthening and streamlining Virginia's workforce development programs during Governor McDonnell's administration. Virginians can see the tangible, positive results all around as our existing firms expand and we attract new businesses to the state. This legislative package on job creation builds upon the success of the last three years, solidifying our gains and lengthening our strides."
Senator Frank Ruff (R-Clarksville) said, "If we are to continue to lead the nation in job creation, we must focus on meeting the workforce needs of those prospective employers. I am glad to work with the Governor to better align our workforce development policies to meet those standards."
Since the beginning of the McDonnell administration, Virginia has added 150,500 net new jobs. The unemployment rate has dropped from 7.3 percent to 5.6 percent in November, the lowest rate in the southeast and second lowest east of the Mississippi.
HB (Ramadan)/ SB 1137 (McWaters): Full Integration of the Business One Stop System
Requires the State Corporation Commission to begin integrating processes and forms into the business registration and permitting center.
Background: Business One Stop was launched in May of 2008 in order to assist entrepreneurs in obtaining the information and completing the steps required to register their business. The Business One Stop has grown in the years since, expanding to include a number of agencies that touch a Virginia business. The goal of the Business One Stop is to be the first and only stop a business will need to make when establishing a business or accomplishing tasks related to their business.
HB (May)/ SB 1120 (McWaters): Coordination Aimed at Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Directs the Department of Business Assistance (DBA); Center for Innovative Technology (CIT); Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC); Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to develop a marketing campaign to attract and recognize entrepreneurs, small businesses, and emerging industry businesses.
This campaign will include a welcome program to facilitate speedy completion of necessary business start-up functions, including licensing, facilities location, employee relocation guides, and business support services. Additionally, the plan will fully integrate a recruitment campaign to target industry segments for pursuit, to identify potential incentives for the establishment, location, or relocation of these companies, and to showcase assets such as economic incentives and regional living condition profiles and asset profiles, including universities, technology councils, venture firms, and research institutes.
HB 2075 (Poindexter)/ SB 1181 (Reeves): Innovation and Entrepreneurship Measurement System
Authorizes the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority / Center for Innovative Technology to create the Commonwealth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Measurement System as a tool to measure areas within the Commonwealth worthy of economic development and institutional focus in furtherance of the Commonwealth Research and Development Strategic Roadmap.
This is a recommendation of the Jefferson Innovation Summit for the Commonwealth and is considered a best practice nationally.
HB2094 (Watson)/SB1069 (Carrico) Creating the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS) to provide for education and workforce policy outcomes
Establishes the Virginia Longitudinal Data System to inform policy and program improvement for Virginia's education and workforce programs
HB2097 (James)/SB1188 (Martin) Establishing the Career Pathways System Advisory Council
Aligns programs and seeks cost efficiencies in the Commonwealth's workforce development system so as to expand availability of training and broaden the pipeline of workers.
Codifies a formal governance and annual reporting structure of the Career Pathways System to sustain the current engagement of nine agencies-VCCS, VDOE, SCHEV, VEC, VDOLI, VEDP, DBA, DSS, and DARS
HB2154 (Byron)/SB1177 (Ruff) Expanding the Role of Virginia Workforce Council to Promote Sector Strategies and Alignment of Education and Commerce and Trade
This legislation expands the Virginia Workforce Council's scope to more broadly address the entire spectrum of workforce development
Includes advising the Governor on policies relevant to increasing alignment and resource sharing between education and workforce programs for the purpose of improving the workforce pipeline in targeted industry sectors
HB2101 (Ramadan)/SB1248 (Black) High School to Work Partnerships
This legislation directs the Board of Education to develop guidelines for the establishment of High School to Work Partnerships where each local school division's career and technical education administrator works with the guidance counselor office of each public high school to partner with local businesses to create apprenticeships, internships, and job shadow programs in a variety of trades and skilled labor positions.
Funding for Business One Stop Integration ($400,000)
This amendment provides an additional $400,000 of general fund appropriation the first year for system modifications to begin integration of the Business One-Stop portal and the State Corporation Commission e-file system. This will further streamline business formation in the Commonwealth.
Regional Accelerator Grant Program ($500,000)
Establishes a pilot program to help entrepreneurs to grow sustainable start-ups. Grant funding will be provided to organizations that support entrepreneurial networks through effective business planning, technical assistance, mentoring and access to capital. Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate the ability to leverage other funding and to support startups with growth potential and that align with regional economic development strategies. Efforts will be made to select demonstrations in diverse settings including both urban and rural areas with significant economic development needs.
Cybersecurity Accelerator ($2,500,000)
The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) has combined its expertise in entrepreneurship and technology to create the nation's first cybersecurity accelerator, modeled after the highly successful accelerator created in California. Since 2005, Silicon Valley's Y-Combinator Accelerator is credited with creating 449 companies and securing $926 million in private investment for their development. The CIT accelerator will focus exclusively on cybersecurity company creation and will initially produce 10 to 20 new companies per year, bolstering Virginia's cyber assets and capabilities.
Governor's School on Entrepreneurship ($210,000)
The Governor's amended budget provides $210,000 to establish summer regional Governor's Schools for Entrepreneurship in fiscal year 2014. The Department of Education will partner with regional collaborations of school divisions to offer two-week summer regional programs that provide Virginia middle school students with the opportunity to solve problems through product innovation and to explore entrepreneurship in a global market. The curriculum will focus on entrepreneurship, globalization, team building, design thinking, project management, product design, and leadership within a culturally diverse environment.
Funding for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Measurement System ($50,000)
This amendment provides funding for the Commonwealth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Measurement System. The system will function as a tool to measure areas within the Commonwealth worthy of economic development and institutional focus in furtherance of the Commonwealth Research and Development Strategic Roadmap.
State and Regional Career Pathways Development ($1,750,000)
Provides for the Virginia Community College system to award 15 regional career pathways grants to support sector strategies and lifelong career pathways development statewide.
Pathways grants must target priority industry sectors: manufacturing, IT, life sciences, energy and logistics.
Requires engagement of Workforce Investment Boards, community colleges, other higher education entities, school divisions, economic development and the private sector.
Funding provides for state outreach and marketing, technical assistance to regions, and evaluation.
Virginia Longitudinal Data System ($291,355)
Supports the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS) to track and examine student progress from early childhood to postsecondary education to the student entering the workforce.
Provides for sustainability and improvements in multi-agency VLDS system.
Funding for acquiring additional data through National Student Clearinghouse and technology and data analysis functions.
Planning Grant for Advanced Integrated Manufacturing Center at Thomas Nelson Community College ($125,000)
Support community college, industry, and WIB planning of advanced manufacturing center in integrated digital processes, from design and rapid prototyping to additive manufacturing, to meet projected regional needs of 200 small and 14 major companies for multi-skilled technicians.
Proposed center will provide community college credit certificates and degrees, dual enrollment for high school career pathways, and non-credit workforce training.
Generate innovative curriculum featuring interdisciplinary, project based learning with applied math and writing modules, serving as a model for the Commonwealth.
Planning Grant for Governor's Academy for Student Apprenticeships and Trades ($100,000)
Support regional planning team of school divisions, community college, business and industry and other stakeholders in developing a Governor's Academy to target high school students who plan to pursue full-time employment at graduation.
Focus on improving and expanding high school training in trades through applied math and science for targeted occupations and a robust pre-apprenticeship program.
Precision Machining Center at Danville Community College ($3,700,000)
Supports expansion of Center and equipment to double the training capacity of precision machining programs with a 95% job placement rate and current wait list of 40.
This program provides high school dual-enrollment instruction in advanced manufacturing as well as community college credit and non-credit instruction; this is a 33-credit hour program.