Skills Initiative Goes to Virginia
Enlarge image Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani, Presidentof Tidewater Community College, delivering a presentation about skills training in Virginia. (© Germany.info) “Dream it, do it” – the Virginia Manufacturers Association’s motto for its training initiative also captured the sentiment at the event jointly organized and conducted by the Governor’s Office of Virginia and the Skills Initiative on October 7, 2013 in Hampton. Carrie Roth, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and Peter Fischer, Minister of Economic Affairs at the German Embassy, engaged in a discussion with representatives of German and American companies about how to meet the need for skilled workers. Among the items at the top of the companies’ wish list were quicker access to information and a short line to the Virginia administration. The business leaders also deemed it important to address the issue of training in a strategic and sustainable manner – all the way from projecting needs, to developing a curriculum, to ensuring certification on conclusion of training.
Enlarge image German Embassy Minister of Economics Peter Fischer(l) with (from l-r) Elizabeth Creamer, Director of Education and Workforce Development; Carrie Roth, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade in Virginia; and Craig Herndon, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development Services for the Virginia Community College System at a Skills Initiative event in Virginia. (© Germany.info) “Interesting, I didn’t know that,” was one of the comments most frequently heard on that balmy fall morning in Hampton– mostly in connection with one of the numerous programs that community colleges in Virginia have to offer. Elizabeth Creamer, Director of Education and Workforce Development, stressed that Virginia was unable to draw on a vocational training system that is as sophisticated and tradition-rich as Germany’s. But the Virginia administration has developed a skills roadmap and will continue on that course. Virginia is one of the few U.S. states that focuses on the convener function of the local Workforce Investment Boards, which have made vocational training a priority.
Virginia and the Embassy agreed to continue working together in the field of vocational training and to use the know-how of German companies to advance their goals.