Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issues executive order for Workforce Plann - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issues executive order for Workforce Planning Council

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has already used one executive order that is part of his plans for education reform, and he issued the second order April 4.

Tomblin's most recent executive order will re-establish and reconstitute the West Virginia Workforce Planning Council, and he has one more executive order planned as part of education reform, according to a news release from his office.

"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 in the news release. "To meet these goals, we must align classroom learning with specific workplace needs, incorporate occupational training and life skills into curriculum."

Tomblin said the council will help align classroom learning with workplace needs.

The council will have seven members: the governor or his designee, the chancellor of the Council for Community and Technical College Education, chancellor of the Higher Education Police Commission, the secretary of Education and the Arts, executive director of WorkForce West Virginia, director of the West Virginia Development Office and the state superintendent of schools or his designee.

Tomblin's order also cancels out previous executive orders, such as the 21st Century Jobs Cabinet of West Virginia, which was established in 2008, and the West Virginia Workforce Planning Council, set up in 2007, both while Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was governor. Tomblin's release said those moves were in an effort to streamline and coordinate the state's job development efforts.

Members of the council will not be compensated and the council will meet at least once a month. The council also is required to report to the governor and the Legislature by Dec. 1 each calendar year, according to the order.

Tomblin's news release states the council will be 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."

Tomblin's previous executive order established the Governor's Commission on Middle Grades to focus on raising student achievement on the middle school level, according to Tomblin's news release.