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News Releases

REPORT RELEASE: New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Annual Report 2020

Jun 22, 2021, 12:57 PM
Laura Osberger
(804) 387-5191

June 22, 2021

For immediate release

RICHMOND — Today the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) issued the Workforce Credential Grant Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed data reporting for institutions and SCHEV in accordance with Executive Order Number 51.

The General Assembly and Governor established the “New Economy Workforce Grant” program in 2016. The grant is offered by community colleges throughout Virginia and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. This grant 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.

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 2020:

  • Institutions offered training in nine high-demand occupational fields.
  • Collectively, these institutions reported 7,484 enrollments, the most since the inception of the program and an 8% increase from FY 2019. Some students enrolled in multiple programs.
    • An additional 1,903 students started their program but were unable to complete their training or credential due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Institutions were reimbursed on a prorated basis and the records were removed from the analysis.
  • Of the 7,484 enrollments included in this report, 6,879 (92%) completed training. Among program completers, 4,906 (71%) went on to earn the credential. Some students will go on to earn a credential beyond the FY 2020 period and thus result in a higher credential rate.
    • Black or African American students are eight points less likely to earn their program’s credential compared to white students. Hispanic students are seven points less likely.
  • The average student cost of the program was $677. The average state cost per credential attained was $1,627.
  • More than one-in-five enrollments were in Highway Construction Programs. Commercial Drivers’ licenses had the second highest enrollments accounting for nearly 16% of the program.
  • Most students who earned their credential saw an increase in earnings. Median annual wages increased approximately $7,000 or 31%.
    • Students in the bottom quartile (with wages less than $8,200 before completing their credential) saw the highest median wage increase.
FY 2020 Data on Enrollment, Training Completion and Reported Credentials by  Occupational Field

 FY 2020 Data on Enrollment, Training Completion and Reported Credentials by Occupational Field

Credentials produced through the Workforce Credential Grant contribute to SCHEV’s vision to be the best state for education, and overall target of 70% postsecondary attainment of all 25 to 64-year old working-aged Virginians by 2030, with at least 10% coming from certifications.

The full report and all SCHEV reports are available at


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The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is the state’s coordinating agency for higher education. With Pathways to Opportunity: The Virginia Plan for Higher Education, SCHEV is dedicated to making Virginia the best state for education by 2030. For more on this statewide strategic plan, visit


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