Education and Workforce
The true success of the business community is shaped by many influences, one being a robust, sustainable workforce. A skilled workforce can only be developed when public and private partnerships are formed and goals for success are implemented.
The Greater Richmond Chamber, in collaboration with several regional organizations, is focusing on several education and workforce related priorities to ensure the long-term viability of our regional workforce.
The Chamber-led Save Low Fares Richmond campaign aims to protect competition by encouraging Richmond travelers to fly on discount airlines, AirTran and JetBlue. The presence of these airlines has resulted in significantly lower airfares and major economic benefits for the Richmond Region.
Unfortunately, Richmonders have not supported these airlines, and since their entry into the market, both AirTran and JetBlue have reduced the number of flights originating in Richmond. Should these airlines leave the market completely, Richmond travelers can say goodbye to lower fares and a growing Richmond region.
The bottom-line: Low-fares are at risk at RIC. With the acquisition of AirTran by Southwest, it is more important than ever for travelers to choose AirTran or JetBlue when booking their travel. Southwest is closely evaluating AirTran’s performance as it decides the number of flights to commit to Richmond. In order to keep airfares competitive, Richmond travelers need to fly on AirTran and JetBlue now.
Click here to learn more about the Save Low Fares Richmond campaign and what you can do to help keep air travel from Richmond affordable.
Career and life preparedness is a major component of this long term equation. In May, the committee partnered with Capital One/JA Finance Park® to harness the business community’s expertise in a way that directly benefits area students.
Representatives from member companies Merrill Lynch,Creative, Fahrenheit Finance, Royal Dermatology, the Federal Reserve Bank, Bon Secours, UPS, SunTrust and KPMG spent a half day mentoring students as part of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia’s initiative to teach kids real world skills like creating and maintaining a personal budget.
Chamber members helped students consider the lifestyle choices that affect one’s finances, explain the cost and benefits of using credit, discuss how Social Security and Medicare contributions work, and encourage students to take a long-range view of spending and saving.
JA Finance Park® is a reality-based, hands-on simulation that enables students in 7-12 grades to build foundations for making intelligent financial decisions and developing a realistic understanding of the economic issues they might face upon graduation from high school. The facility is located in an actual business park setting and is made possible with the support of 18 local companies that understand just how vital workforce development is to the future of the Richmond Region.
The Partnership for Affordable Housing and the Richmond Association of Realtors recently released a study prepared by Dr. Lisa A. Sturtevant and Ryan Price of the George Mason University School of Public Policy Center for Regional Analysis. According to the researchers, the Richmond region is projected to grow considerably in the next 20 years and is poised to add more than 134,000 jobs in that time frame. Additionally, they estimate the region will need 180,0000 employees to fill vacated positions as a result of retirements and those moving out of the regional workforce.
The study, presented by Dr. Sturtevant in March, analyzes the projected housing needs of our region's future workforce and what our region will need to do to meet the need for affordable housing. Read the full study>
MENTORING IN RICHMOND
The Chamber's Community Affairs Committee and regional Business Councils thank our community partners for their involvement in education. We continue to act as a link between our members and the needs of area schools. If you are interested in mentoring our region's youth or engaging in other education based opportunities, please access the information below.
“Perhaps the most powerful influence to student success cannot be found in the curriculum; it derives from example and cheering them on. The influence of mentoring is unequaled, and we, as business professionals, have the ability to infuse vibrant aspirations in a new generation of our workforce.”
Read about it in the Times-Dispatch: "Businesses call on region to serve as youth mentors"
In fact, AEE shows economic benefits of just 1,000 new graduates from Virginia would increase the gross state product by $15 million, and pump an additional $1.2 million annually into state coffers, through their increased spending and investments. Check out more here.
1 out of 7 lives in poverty
1 out of 25 will not finish high school
Fortunately, there is something we can do about it. A community equipped with robust mentoring programs and dedicated to investing in its schools inspires a successful and competitive economic landscape. See for yourself. The National Mentoring Partnership, a parent organization of Virginia Mentoring Partnership,will tell you that:
93% improved their attitude about school; and
96% had an improved self-concept.
The Greater Richmond Chamber is calling out for business volunteers in our local schools!
Or check out a school system near you:
Powhatan County Public Schools
Share your mentoring experience on Twitter. Use hashtag #mentorRVA to engage in the conversation and get the message out.
Greater Richmond Chamber members have overwhelmingly identified education and workforce development as pillars of a thriving community; so it is no surprise that student mentorship and volunteer engagement in our schools consistently makes their way to the forefront of our various advocacy agendas.
This regional mentoring and volunteer initiative is a partnership of:
The Greater Richmond Chamber