DATE: December 8, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills: Framework for the Future

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), in collaboration with the Demographics Research Group of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, is pleased to share with school divisions the research report--Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills: Framework for the Future.  The purpose of this research was to evaluate Virginia's current 21 Workplace Readiness Skills and to make certain they are up-to-date and aligned with the needs of employers.  For more than 30 years, in each decade since the 1980s, hundreds of employers throughout the Commonwealth have been interviewed or surveyed to determine the most essential workplace skills for entry-level workers.

The current research consisted of three stages: 1) reviewing relevant literature to identify and understand changing workplace trends; 2) analyzing numerous state and national workplace readiness skill frameworks to evaluate how Virginia's framework compares; and 3) conducting a survey of Virginia employers and workforce professionals to obtain their feedback about which workplace readiness skills are most critical for entry-level workers to have, now and in the future.

Based on findings from the research, as well as input from Virginia's Advisory Committee for Career and Technical Education, the recommended revisions represent more of a refinement of the current skills rather than a major revision.  For more details, refer to the research report.

Next steps to complete this research will include: creating or revising the curriculum frameworks and performance standards; revising the Workplace Readiness Skills assessment; and communicating the final revised Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth to educators and the public.

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at or by telephone at (804) 225-2052.