VIRGINIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: Virginia Chamber and SCHEV Announce Partnership to Expand Access to Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Students

Officials from KAF and Wooden Bakeries gathered recently to announce a new partnership between the two companies.  

Virginia Chamber of Commerce issued the following announcement on February 24.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – More college and university students will have the opportunity to participate in work-based learning opportunities under a new partnership between the Virginia Chamber Foundation (VCF) and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). The agreement will help prepare more students for the workforce of tomorrow by improving the connectivity between students and employers.

The partnership will address the current talent development and attraction challenges that are top concerns for the business community in Virginia, as revealed during the development of the Chamber’s Blueprint Virginia 2025 initiative and specifically advocated for as part of the Growth4VA campaign.

While the need for improvement in talent development is not unique to Virginia, it provides the Commonwealth the opportunity to create a statewide program that will ease the pathway from graduation to employment. The program will focus on building and retaining a talented workforce with the skills needed to fill in-demand jobs across Virginia through work-based learning opportunities, such as paid internships.

“We believe allowing students to experience business as an educational pathway to a career can help position Virginia students to lead in the workforce,” said Virginia Chamber President & CEO Barry DuVal. “We look forward to working with SCHEV to address our shared goal of increasing connectivity between students and businesses through internships and experiential learning opportunities.”

The partnership is one aspect of the Innovative Internship Fund and Program, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 2019. The program’s purpose is to expand paid and credit-bearing student internships and other work-based learning opportunities in collaboration with Virginia employers.

Under the agreement, the VCF and SCHEV will engage businesses and higher education institutions to develop unique readiness programs. Programs will offer toolkits designed to ensure the participating businesses provide the best work-based learning experience possible, that students are prepared to succeed in the placement and that higher education institutions are able to facilitate the relationship between their students and businesses across the Commonwealth.

“The Innovative Internship Program creates a new pathway for Virginia’s students,” said SCHEV Director Peter Blake, “not only to meet current workforce needs and regional economic growth, but also to enhance job readiness, higher education affordability and timely completion. The partnership with the Virginia Chamber Foundation will support all of these efforts.”

The creation of this partnership is an important first step toward the program’s overall goal to ensure Virginia continues to be the best state for business and achieve SCHEV’s goal to become the best-educated state by 2030. The partnership is currently in the development stage of a multi-year rollout. Updates will be provided throughout the year and will include a statewide informational tour slated for the fall of 2020.

About the Virginia Chamber Foundation:

The Virginia Chamber Foundation tracks Virginia’s economic competitiveness, conducts research and analysis, and hosts programs – connected to the priorities of Blueprint Virginia 2025. In December 2017, the Chamber released an update to its long-term strategic economic development plan, Blueprint Virginia 2025, which engaged over 6,000 business and community leaders to lay out a plan to getting Virginia back to the top of national business climate rankings. Learn more at

About the State Council of Higher Education:

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best-educated state by 2030. For more on The Virginia Plan:

Original source can be found here.

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