Workforce Development

Virginia Beach and the Commonwealth of Virginia provide employers access to some of the most successful workforce development programs in the country. 

Virginia Beach is a highly desirable location for the highly skilled, highly paid, high-tech workforce.  Over fifty percent of the City of Virginia Beach annual budget funds public education with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools, the key to establishing a continuous supply of a highly skilled emerging workforce.  

A new knowledge-based economy is emerging in Virginia Beach, driven by ideas, services and innovation.  In order to compete with this fast paced workplace, Virginia Beach understands it must continually build a skilled workforce through lifelong learning and worker training.  These programs not only support a strong workforce but also serve to achieve additional economic development goals.  With strong public and private partnerships, including a strong partnership with Opportunity, Inc., the regional workforce investment board, the continuously evolving Virginia Beach workforce is competitive on a global scale.


Virginia Beach City Public Schools Technical and Career Education students earned 5,307 industry-recognized certifications in the 2011-2012 school year.

2,173 high school students obtained certification in the Workforce Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth program.

Innovative "Mechatronics" Training Workforce Program

In partnership with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Tidewater Community College, Opportunity, Inc., and the business community, courses have been developed at Tidewater Community College to support skills training for the manufacturing sector. The initial curriculum will focus on computer numeric control operators, but will expand to other manufacturing career paths in the future. Additionally, a dual enrollment agreement exists between Virginia Beach City Public Schools and Tidewater Community College that allows high school students to earn college credit for selected manufacturing courses. 

Opportunity Inc.

As the regional workforce development board, Opportunity Inc. helps create training programs for a variety of industries, serves as a “one stop shop” for people seeking employment, and guides employers through the process of finding and hiring properly skilled employees.

For more information, visit

Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College with its four campuses, the largest being in Virginia Beach, is focused on providing the expert business driven training that companies demand to operate efficiently and profitably. Its services include customized training courses for various industry certifications, as well as a range of credit and noncredit courses.

For more information, visit

Workplace Readiness

It’s a question on every employer’s mind – and it is on Virginia Beach’s to-do list. In fact, a new initiative called Virginia’s Workplace Readiness Skills has launched in Virginia Beach, and is on its way to roll out through Virginia.

Virginia’s Workplace Readiness Skills program teaches high school students the critical skills they need for the workplace, whether they get a job right out of high school, or continue on to college or other advanced training.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic top the list, of course, but the curriculum also includes character-building skills that are fundamental to career success, such as listening, teamwork, work ethic, problem-solving, communication skills, and positive attitude.

In addition to workplace readiness skills, over 4,100 students in Career and Technical Education program passed industry certifications in the 2008-2009 school year.  The Virginia Beach City Public Schools' Career and Technical education courses provide skills and knowledge for all students, whether they are considering careers after graduation from high school, pursuing higher education, or seeking a combination of both.

GrowSmart Creates a Competitive Workforce

GrowSmart, a program that promotes the healthy development and school readiness of young children, was transferred to the Department of Economic Development in July 2011 in order to facilitate a more strategic alliance with our existing workforce development efforts. 

The Virginia Beach GrowSmart program, working with Smart Beginnings South Hampton Roads, has made significant accomplishments in the area of early childhood education:

  • Decreased kindergartners needing reading remediation from 1 in 5 to 1 in 10
  • Sponsored scholarships for 8 early childhood professionals in 2012-13
  • Mentored 35 child care centers and preschools through the QRIS rating program
  • Provided resources and information to more than 2,000 families
  • Partnered with Virginia Beach City Public Schools on kindergarten readiness
  • Partnered with Small Business Development Center on mentoring and training for 17 small, women-, and minority-owned businesses: 
  • Increased enrollment for participating programs by 37%
  • Increased revenues for participating programs by 29%
  • Created 24 jobs