This news release is from the previous Governor's administration.
For Immediate Release: June 10, 2015
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, 804-225-4260, | Virginia Employment Commission: Joyce Fogg, (804) 786-7592,

Governor McAuliffe Announces Talent Solutions Grant Competition for Economic Development

~$900,000 in grants targeted to help close skills gap in key industry sectors~


Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the Governor’s Office, in partnership with the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), will be offering the Commonwealth’s first competitive grants designed to help close the skills gap in key industry sectors of critical importance to the Virginia economy and reward and encourage employer-led talent development solutions. These state grants will be matched by private funds and used to provide job training and develop vital workplace skills for prospective and existing employees. 

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am pleased to launch this grant program as part of my ongoing efforts to prepare Virginia’s workforce to do the jobs of today and create the jobs of tomorrow.  Creating and sustaining a world-class workforce is critical for building a new Virginia economy, and it will take commitment and investment from both the public and private sectors to achieve this goal.  This grant competition is designed to encourage these partnerships.” 

“Businesses seeking to expand or locate in Virginia look first and foremost at the quality of our talent,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.   “They want to know the workforce is ready to perform exceptionally on the jobs they need to be done.  This competition is another strategy we are using to distinguish the Commonwealth’s workforce, giving Virginia a competitive advantage.”

“The VEC is committed to working with our partners to look beyond traditional solutions to today’s workforce challenges,” said Commissioner Ellen Marie Hess.  “These grants will serve to set the groundwork for future public-private partnerships in the Commonwealth.”

To align with business priorities, grant awards will be made available to three types of private sector applicants:  

  • A group of businesses operating in the same industry sector that comes together out of a shared commitment to design and execute an innovative and highly effective training program to develop a talent pipeline of skilled workers for entry level jobs that can lead to career positions.  
  • A group of businesses from different industry sectors that have a common workforce development need and join together to design and execute training to develop shared skill requirements in new job applicants or incumbent workers.  
  • An individual employer who has identified a need to lead a skills development initiative with companies who comprise that employer’s supply chain.  In this type of grant application, the large employer takes the lead in working with members of its supply chain to identify common critical workplace skills that can be developed through incumbent or pre-employment training. 

A total of $900,000 in grant money is available, with a maximum individual grant award amount of $200,000.   The grants require private sector matching funds equal to or greater than the amount of the awarded grant.  They encourage public-private partnerships and proposals that leverage additional resources through regional workforce development agencies, such as Workforce Development Boards, community colleges or other public or private partners. Applications are due to the VEC on or before September 30, 2015, and awards are expected to be announced by October 23, 2015.  

More information on the grants can be found at VEC promotes economic growth and stability by delivering and coordinating workforce services across the Commonwealth.