​​​Workforce Development

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 passed 10,404 industry-credential tests in the 2014-2015 ​​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. 

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 www.opp-inc.org.​

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 www.tccworkforce.org​

Workplace Readiness

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.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)​​​​​

Among the many academic choices provided to students are the school-within-a school Academies and Advanced Academic programs.  Upon graduation, students who successfully complete courses in  Career and Technical  Education ​(CTE) are prepared to enter the workforce.  In the 2014-2015 school year, 10,404 students passed  industry-credential tests through their Career​ and Technical Education (CTE)​ courses. Since 2002, 56,844 industry-credential tests have been passed by students.  For more details, download the 2014-2015 Annual Report of School Performance​.

​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

Virginia Beach GrowSmart’s​ vision is that “all children will be born healthy, enter kindergarten ready to learn, and read proficiently by third grade, establishing a strong foundation for success in school and in life.” Virginia Beach is proud to be the only economic development organization of its kind to formally incorporate early childhood education and development into its comprehensive workforce development strategy. Since 2011, the Department has received regional and national attention for its recognition that the creation of a skilled, educated future workforce begins at birth.​​

GrowSmart takes a multi-faceted approach to ensuring our youngest citizens get the best possible start in life. Through an award-winning partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), GrowSmart provides customized business training and mentorship to local small businesses in the childcare and early education industry. The program has impacted more than 2,400 families to date.​

In addition, GrowSmart helps to improve the quality of the care and education that is available to families of young children. Centers are  sponsored to participate in the Virginia Star Quality Initiative, a quality rating and improvement system for early care and education sites. GrowSmart offers college scholarships, professional development opportunities, and a plethora of resources to teachers and caregivers of young children. There is also a strong parent education component, which includes print and online resources and family outreach events.

To sustain and build upon GrowSmart’s past successes, the Virginia Beach GrowSmart Foundation was incorporated in 2014. The Foundation engages influential business leaders in our community to serve as champions of the importance of early education as an economic imperative. ​