McAuliffe, Northam announce rebranding of Virginia’s workforce development

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Virginia is rebranding its workforce development system, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Gov.-elect Ralph Northam announced Monday.

The system, which includes a network for state and local partners and 62 One Stop Career Cetners, will include the Virginia Career Works brand once it is fully activated later this year.

“We have tremendous resources to help connect employers and job-seekers in the cmmonwealth, but our research shows that many Virginians are not aware of these important programs,” McAuliffe said in a statement.

Workforce, education, and economic development leaders from across the state have taken part of a six-month branding process and participated in work sessions to clarify the system’s strength and opportunity, as well as identify the brand’s key characteristics.

The process was predominantly guided by market research, polling a cross-section of hiring managers representing a range of business sizes and industries, along with a geographically diverse group of residents, to establish a benchmark of awareness and knowledge. Roughly 50 percent of employers surveyed were able to recall with accuracy a local or state workforce organization; 25 percent of job-seekers were able to do the same.

Later in the branding process, employers and job-seekers were polled again to test potential names and brand marks or logos. Based on the market research, Virginia Career Works was selected due to its strong appeal with both customer groups.

Workforce development has been identified as a key issue for improving the commonwealth’s economy and is a central part of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Blueprint Virginia 2025.

“As we learned during the development of our Blueprint Virginia 2025, the ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce is the number one issue facing Virginia businesses,” Barry DuVal, president of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “This unified branding initiative demonstrates another significant step towards a more cohesive, strategic approach to workforce development in the commonwealth as we work to advance the system in a way that benefits both businesses and job seekers.”

During the next nine months, local workforce boards will update their websites, social media channels, and business materials – including business cards and forms – and facilities will have new signage to activate the new brand. A comprehensive activation plan is in development to guide partners through the implementation process, and McAuliffe has committed federal funds to assist local partners with the costs associated with the transition.

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