Our popular, top-performing higher education system is Virginia’s #1 asset in attracting major new business investment to the Commonwealth, as the recent ground-breaking announcement of Amazon’s major new Arlington headquarters illustrates. It also is the key to recruiting, developing, and retaining the talent needed to fuel Virginia’s economic growth in the dynamic 21st century innovation economy. To achieve these goals, we must reverse the four-year long “brain drain” that has seen young graduates leave the Commonwealth for better opportunities elsewhere. Business partnerships that create internships and similar “sticky” pathways to good jobs with Virginia employers are a core strategy for reversing this talent loss. Business-higher education partnerships also generate new business startups, bring research-related discoveries to market, and help colleges access new technologies and business process improvements that enhance efficiency and performance.
2019 SESSION RECOMMENDATION
- INTERNSHIPS AND AFFORDABLE PATHWAYS: Promote affordable pathways to college, and from college to Virginia-based employment, through significantly expanded internship and work-study opportunities, and through incentives for more alternative degree pathways, including community college transfer and online programs.