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2021 Virginia Education & Workforce Conference

The Virginia Chamber Foundation, Virginia Business Higher Education Council and Virginia Talent & Opportunity Partnership are pleased to present the 2021 Virginia Education & Workforce Conference. 


This year’s event will be held on Wednesday, October 20 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and will be hosted in a hybrid format. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from business and higher education leaders, as well as Governor Terry McAuliffe (Democratic Candidate for Governor) and Glenn Youngkin (Republican Candidate for Governor), through featured remarks and panel discussions focused around this year’s theme, “Developing Affordable Pathways for Virginia’s Talent: A Partnership between Business and Education.”


The Virginia Chamber remains committed to ensuring the safety of our attendees through limited capacity in-person events. Currently, we are only able to offer a limited number of in-person registrations for individuals who are not attending with sponsoring companies.

We are pleased to announce that we will be providing a livestream of the full Conference for those unable to attend in-person.

You may use the link below to register as either an in-person attendee or virtual attendee. Additional in-person registrations may become available closer to the event.

Before registering, please click here to review our current guidance for in-person events. 

In-Person Conference Registration: $95

Virtual Conference Registration: $45


The Honorable Terry McAuliffe

Democratic Candidate for Governor

Glenn Youngkin

Republican Candidate for Governor

Ed Baine, President, Dominion Energy Virginia and Co-Chair, Blueprint Virginia 2030

Mark Dreyfus, President, ECPI University

Victoria Harker, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Tenga Inc.

Keith Hoezler, Head of Business Banking, Atlantic Union Bank

Jennifer Hunter, Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Altria Client Services

Stephen Moret, President and CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership

Delbert Parks, Vice President and Site Executive, Micron Technology Virginia

Dr. Robert Sandel, President, Virginia Western Community College

Dr. Tim Sands, President, Virginia Tech

Dennis Treacy, Chair, Virginia Business Higher Education Council

Dr. Dietra Trent, Special Advisor to the President, George Mason University


Fostering Greater Connectivity Between Higher Education and Employers 

As our economy struggles to recover from the pandemic, business growth in Virginia is impeded by employers’ inability to find workers with the right education and training. To remedy identified workforce shortages, business, higher education, and state government must work together to align programming and investments with the Commonwealth’s talent needs. We can deepen our competitive edge as the talent state by creating an array of affordable pathways that move students efficiently from learning to earning, retaining them for full-time work in Virginia. This panel will discuss ways to make Virginia the talent-to-opportunity leader for the nation.

Developing Greater Workforce Resiliency: Lessons Learned from 


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of resiliency and flexibility to weather economic hardship and long-term disruptions. This panel will discuss how Virginia can continue to lead on workforce and education related issues through lessons learned during the pandemic.

Supporting Affordable Pathways through Work-Based Learning

While more than 70 percent of employers want new college graduates to have relevant work experience like an internship, only 10 percent of students currently participate in work-based learning opportunities during their academic career. For many students, only paid, for-credit internship opportunities are feasible. How to scale up work-based learning opportunities statewide, for the benefit of students, employers, and the Commonwealth, is the focus of this panel. 

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