Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) has released a new report titled, ‘A Region on the Move.’ As Northern Virginia looks forward to new decade, the report examines how the region’s population has changed since 2010, and what these changes might mean for its future workforce and economic vitality.
Estimates show that Northern Virginia has grown faster over the past decade than has the rest of Virginia; Washington, D.C., and even the rest of the country, adding an average of 31,000 new residents each year. The region is also more racially and ethnically diverse than the United States as a whole. At NOVA, a majority minority institution where nearly two-thirds of students identify as non-white, understanding the region’s demographics is critical to ensuring our students’ success, and building tomorrow’s workforce.
The report also finds that Northern Virginia’s rapid growth has slowed in recent years, a trend that has important implications for the region’s economy and workforce. In response, the report outlines three main takeaways and strategies to help reinvigorate growth:
- Continue to develop effective regional talent attraction strategies targeted toward young adults and families.
- Address the high cost of living and issues of affordability in the region, particularly steep housing costs that can make it difficult for families to relocate here.
- Continue to grow regional higher education opportunities, education pathways and employer partnerships in order to retain talent.
As one of the nation’s leading community colleges, NOVA works to produce vital insights and current data on the region’s workforce and helps lead conversations about the future through partnerships with local corporations, economic development associations and other higher education institutions.
“Over the last ten years, our region’s economy has experienced significant growth, strengthening opportunity for our graduates,” said Steve Partridge, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Innovation at NOVA. “Working with employers to ensure our students have in-demand skills, NOVA will continue to prepare the workforce needed to accelerate the diverse Northern Virginia economy.”
NOVA remains committed to the cooperation and collaboration needed to guarantee Northern Virginia’s ongoing economic success. Partnerships with regional economic development organizations such as the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, as well as initiatives like the Virginia Economic Development Alliance and its “Work in Northern Virginia” are critical to the region’s continued prosperity.
“The report has identified a critical issue facing our business community: the continuing shortage of workers, especially those with the skills needed to fill the technology jobs that so many Northern Virginia businesses need to fill in order to succeed and grow here,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “This is exactly why Chairman Jeff McKay and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors funded our initiative to attract, retain, retrain and grow talent in Northern Virginia, and I applaud NOVA for identifying and focusing on an issue that is crucial to our economic growth.”
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.