Veterans Praise Governor McAuliffe's New Workforce Initiative

Halifax Co., VA - During his recent visit to Southside, Governor Terry McAuliffe promised to produce a workforce training initiative.

"You'll see an executive order out of me very shortly on workforce development. The system as it exists today is not working, " McAuliffe said.This week, he made good on that promise by signing executive order 23, "The New Virginia Economy" Workforce Initiative.The executive plan seeks to revamp the state's economy in four steps: job credentials, aligning with the needs of employers, diversifying the economy, and securing more jobs for veterans.

The last point hits close to home for Halifax County veteran Dr. Frank Carr.

"When I got out of the service, I left as a supervisor and then to look for a job, you're almost starting at the bottom with kids out of high school," Carr said.As CharChairmanthe Halifax County Veteran's Association, Carr says veterans across the state are ready to work but the training and jobs just aren't there.

"These guys are disciplined, they know how to work, they're on time, and they would be the ideal employee, " Carr said.State leaders recently praised the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center for having a head start on workforce development.The center's Work Readiness Foundations program allows students to learn technical skills and soft skills - like team building and interview techniques.

"There's been substantial interest and it is exciting to me because I can readily see that we are making a difference for people, " said program coordinator Sandra Conner.

Now, Carr hopes those searching for work - especially servicemen and women - will seek out the opportunities that will result from the Governor's support.

"They need to associate with one of the veteran's organizations and become a part so they can continuoscontinuouslyinformation they need, " Carr said.

The initiative also introduces The Patriot Pledge. McAuliffe hopes to get 10,000 business owners across the state to sign the pledge saying they commit to hiring more veterans.

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