|ISSUE 10 | SPRING 2013|
|Virginia Performs, a signature initiative of the Council, is a performance leadership and accountability system that links a
high-level vision and key goals for citizens with performance-based planning and assessment across all levels of state government.
The Virginia Report 2012 and our previous newsletter highlighted our improving economic picture in 2012. As is often the case for Virginia, external economic forces not only have major impacts on overall state economic performance, but also produce highly variable effects on our diverse regional economies.
Regional Economies, Regional Differences
These regional variations are important because "Virginia's economy" is really a collection of multiple, unique, regional economies -- and we have found that statewide averages can mask frequently stark regional differences. The chart at left, for instance (click for full size), highlights the significant differences in educational attainment and personal per capita income across the Council's eight regions.
These differences also matter because the right strategies to improve performance will vary by area. In addition to regularly tracking regional data on Virginia Performs, the Council's annual The Virginia Report includes additional region-based profiles. We are also now further strengthening regional assessment by developing regional versions of the Scorecard at a Glance and the Virginia Workforce Development System Report Card.(Click image at left for a PDF sample of each for the Valley region.)
You may read more about the new Workforce System Report Card below.
Even though the Commonwealth's regions don't always exhibit uniform success, Virginia Performs does show that a number of societal measures have been improving steadily over time. Some examples:
The new Virginia Workforce System Report Card, the first in a series of issue-oriented report cards based on the Virginia Performs model, was released in December 2012. Where the overall Scorecard at a Glance answers the question, "How is Virginia doing?", the workforce report card is designed to answer the question, "How is Virginia's workforce system doing?"
The Commonwealth's workforce development system is multi-layered and involves multiple agencies and levels of government, as well as many partners, both public and private. Assessing the performance of such a complex system has long been a significant challenge.
That's why Virginia has shifted its approach to using career pathways -- collaborative partnerships that focus on developing regional workforce solutions aligned with local business needs -- as the defining model for the future. Career pathways are targeted to emerging and current workers, as well as the unemployed and underemployed.
Report Card Goals
The new Virginia Workforce System Report Card's 6 key goals capture the many elements involved in creating these pathways to career success:
Each goal area has several indicators aimed at tracking progress toward these goals. The Council has partnered with Virginia's Workforce Data Quality Initiative -- part of Virginia's Longitudinal Data System -- to maintain the data behind these measures and to make them accessible to local, regional, and state thought leaders.
Virginia's Workforce System Report Card will continue to evolve. As a next step, the Council will explore moving beyond system-level performance to capture responsiveness to business and industry needs. New indicators would track the ability to match workforce supply-and-demand for industry and occupations at a regional level.
Explore Virginia's Workforce Development System Report Card on Virginia Performs.
The Commonwealth has long been noted for having an excellent education system and Virginia's students continue to reap its rewards.
Some recent good news in education:
For the second year in a row, Education Week ranked Virginia 4th nationally for overall educational quality and performance in its 2013 Quality Counts report.
Quality Counts grades are based on the performance of states in six broad areas: the role of education in promoting success at various stages of life; K-12 student achievement; rigor and quality of academic standards, assessments and accountability systems; teacher preparation, licensure and evaluation; school finance; and transitions and alignment of state policies related to school, college and workforce readiness.
A Leader in College Completions
Virginia is also a national leader in completion rates for students attending college. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which collects data from over 3,300 colleges and universities across the U.S., the average completion rate at 4-year schools for college students from Virginia is 76.4 percent -- 3rd highest in the nation. The national average is just 61 percent.
The National Student Clearinghouse takes a student-centered approach to data; as a result, they follow students who take different, sometimes multiple paths toward a college degree, including those who transfer, maintain part-time or mixed enrollment status, or are adult learners.
Some other interesting performance stats for Virginia:
For more information and detailed data, see the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
The U.S. Green Building Council has established an international -- and widely adopted -- ratings and accreditation system for green buildings, known as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). For the first time, Virginia took the Council's top spot nationally for having the most LEED-certified space in 2012.
Robert F. McDonnell | Vice
Chair: John O.
Executive Director: Jane
Full Council Membership
The Council on Virginia's Future produces this newsletter to keep you informed about
performance management in Virginia government -- its goals, methods, results and challenges.
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Richmond, VA 23219