Gov. Northam announces new tools for workers and job seekers

Published 9:34 am Thursday, June 18, 2020

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Gov. Ralph Northam shared a new suite of technology tools to help Virginians take full advantage of the supportive services available through the commonwealth’s workforce system.

The Virginia Career Works Referral Portal is a statewide platform designed to streamline intake processes across state agencies and connect individuals with training, certification, education, and employment services to help them find a job or advance a career path.

The new Virginia Career Works Dashboard is an innovative data visualization tool that makes information about Virginia’s labor market and workforce system more accessible to workers, businesses, and policymakers.

“Workers and families across Virginia are experiencing tremendous financial pain, as well as coping, in many cases, with the devastation of getting sick or losing a loved one to COVID-19,” Northam said. “This ongoing health crisis requires our government systems to respond faster and with more flexibility than ever before. This strategic investment in our workforce technology infrastructure puts the commonwealth in a stronger position to help Virginians get back on their feet and overcome these unprecedented challenges.”

Building up Virginia’s workforce development system has long been a priority of the Northam administration. While these tools were in development before the COVID-19 crisis began, the commonwealth worked to accelerate their rollout to ensure the resources would be available to Virginians who need them during an extremely difficult time.

“The new portal and strategic workforce dashboard embody Gov. Northam’s vision for the workforce development system as a whole,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “By making the full spectrum of services accessible through one virtual door, we are bringing every resource to the table to help Virginians recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Consistent with the requirements of Executive Order Nineteen, the cloud-based system leverages open-source software supported by the Apache Foundation, expediting development and reducing long-term operational costs.

“This scalable, standards-driven system is an important addition to Virginia’s growing information technology ecosystem,” Chief Data Officer Carlos Rivero said. “In addition to its immediate benefits, this collaboratively built solution provides a future-proofed foundation for continuing development.”

The new technology tools were developed in collaboration with the chief workforce development advisor, the commonwealth’s chief data officer, and six state agencies: the Virginia Community College System, the Virginia Employment Commission, the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Department of Social Services, the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.