The GO-Virginia Region 7 Council is excited to announce that the Northern Virginia Talent Pipeline Initiative (TPI) is underway. The Talent Pipeline Initiative is a planning program that focuses on ensuring that local businesses in key technology sectors can articulate their talent needs so that workforce development organizations can respond effectively in each of Virginia’s nine designated GO-Virginia Regions.
Region 7, which includes the jurisdictions located in Northern Virginia, has faced labor availability challenges for several years, especially in key technology industries including Computer Software, Cyber Security, and Emerging Technologies. The project will:
Identify gaps in employer skill needs for key jobs in high growth technology clusters.
Identify what workforce exists already and map the region’s ability to provide skills and training and expand equitable opportunities to the most promising career paths.
Identify the most strategically important programs required to help close identified gaps in the technology workforce development eco-system.
Danny Vargas, chair of the Region 7 council, explains the importance of the TPI project: “We have to provide employers in this region the skilled labor they need to succeed, or we face the prospect of losing job opportunities. At the same time, the planning work being done now will allow us to design and implement programs that build career paths for Northern Virginia workers, and especially those young people from under-served neighborhoods who have the drive and will to learn but need access to workplace and skills training.”
The work on this project is being led by Dr. Ken Poole and his team at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC), an Arlington-based non-profit. The team also includes faculty and staff from George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis. Project manager, Dr. Allison Forbes of CREC notes: “There is nothing more important for Northern Virginia, and the entire Commonwealth, to ensure that they have a talent development strategy that can be implemented and adjusted for rapid changes in technology, and that creates meaningful opportunities for all Northern Virginia residents.” Dr. Poole continues: “We look forward to working with the Region 7 Council and other stakeholders in providing critical data and analysis needed to build a sustainable talent pipeline for NOVA’s technology sectors.”
The research team is also being helped by a Project Advisory Board made up of key business and government leaders and economic and workforce development experts. Project Advisory Board members will meet with the research team at regular intervals throughout the project. The project is expected to wrap up in October 2024 with final recommendations and an implementation plan to address gaps in NOVA’s technology talent pipelines.