Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia has been selected by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to receive an $11.9 million grant to advance employment and financial literacy for 1,800 Virginians in challenging environments. Virginia received the largest single grant award of any organization or state in the $50.7 million DOL Workforce Fund grant competition which awarded funds to 11 organizations in nine states.
The successful Workforce Innovation Fund grant proposal was jointly developed by the Office of the Governor and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). Grant activities will focus on implementing the Working Families Success Network (WFSN) model at six of the Commonwealth’s One Stop employment centers.
The WFSN model was developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Four of Virginia’s 23 community colleges are already implementing the model in collaboration with the Achieving the Dream organization. The model helps individuals cut through red tape and access services and resources to help them earn good-paying jobs.
This grant and the activities align with Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order establishing his “New Virginia Economy” workforce initiative, a robust plan that calls for 50,000 new STEM-H credentials earned by 2018.
“In order to create a new Virginia economy, our education and workforce development systems must give the necessary support to level the playing field for success,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This program will help our community colleges and One Stop Career Centers provide students the necessary financial and support services to help them succeed in a 21st century economy.”
“This grant will allow Virginia to implement a proven model of workforce development that doesn’t just train people for a job, but helps them to build their financial and career management skills.” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones said.
“Earning a college credential is no longer optional for those seeking in-demand jobs,” said Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. “This grant is a vital step in positioning Virginians to realize the American Dream.”
The VCCS Workforce Development Services unit will oversee the five year project, working with six regional workforce investment boards that are responsible for delivery of services authorized under the federal Workforce Investment Act.