From the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia:

Contact: Laura Osberger
(804) 786-2323 (office), (804) 387-5191 (mobile)

February 22, 2019

For immediate release

RICHMOND During the 2016 session, the General Assembly and Governor established the New Economy  Workforce Grant. This grant, the first of its kind, provides a pay-for-performance model for funding noncredit workforce training that leads to a credential in a high-demand field. The grant also includes requirements for students to complete training in order to avoid paying additional costs. The grant is offered by community colleges throughout Virginia and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) serves as the grant administrator and reports annually on the progress of the program. Additional information is available through the Code of Virginia. Summary of Findings for FY 2018:

  • Institutions offered training in nine high-demand occupational fields.
  • Collectively, these institutions enrolled 3,760 students. Of those, 3,457 completed training and 2,518 reported a credential attained.
  • The top training programs lead to high-demand jobs as commercial truck drivers, welders, highway construction workers, medical assistants, phlebotomy technicians, certified nurse’s aides, power line workers and machinists. These programs accounted for over 80% of credentials attained.
  • The average student cost of the program was $904. The average state cost per credential attained was $2,004.
  • Training completion rates averaged 92% and credential completion rates averaged 73%.
  • The majority of students tend to be male with an average age of 35 years.
  • A preliminary review of earnings indicates that they increased in all occupational fields with the exception of computer and mathematical for individuals in those programs. In addition, individuals earning less than $20,000 prior to enrollment had the highest increase in earnings.
  • Program demand continues to exceed current funding levels.
  • Given the positive outcomes of the program over the last two years, SCHEV recommended for FY 2020 an additional $4 million in funding for the program and an additional $1 million in need-based financial aid for students enrolled in training.

The full report and all SCHEV reports are available at schev.edu/reports.


The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia 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: schev.edu/TheVirginiaPlan.