Governor re-establishes planning council

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recently issued Executive Order 3-13, re-establishing and reconstituting the West Virginia Workforce Planning Council.

“For our children’s future and that of our state economy, we must ensure our high school graduates are ready to either enter the work force upon graduation or make a seamless transition into college or vocational school,” Tomblin said. “To meet these goals, we must align classroom learning with specific work place needs, and incorporate occupational training and life skills into curriculum. Through this council, we can meet the needs of business and industry today and tomorrow, while also ensuring our children are prepared to lead successful careers.”

The governor’s executive order re-establishes the seven-member council comprised of the governor or his designee, the chancellor of the Council for Community and Technical College Education, the chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the secretary of education and the arts, the executive director of Workforce West Virginia, the director of the West Virginia Development Office and State Superintendent of Schools James Phares or his designee.

The council is tasked with coordinating initiatives, leveraging resources and planning for the delivery of a comprehensive work force strategy that ensures an integrated and strategic approach in meeting the educational and training needs of West Virginia’s employers and students, and enhancing the economic development efforts of the state. The council will report to the governor and the Legislature on its activities by Dec. 1 each year.

Executive Order 3-13 also rescinds previous executive orders in an effort to streamline and coordinate job development efforts. As part of the governor’s comprehensive education reform plan, an executive order was earlier issued which established the Governor’s Commission on Middle Grades. The commission is focused on raising student achievement on the middle school level.