ChamberRVA will host state and regional leaders in a discussion of education and workforce at the Education Summit on July 18.

July 15, 2019

College-, career- and life-ready: ChamberRVA to host Education Summit on July 18

State and regional leaders across sectors will discuss the future of RVA’s education and workforce

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – State and regional leaders will speak about education and workforce development this Thursday at ChamberRVA’s inaugural Education Summit, presented in partnership with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The event brings together educators, policy makers, and business and community leaders to discuss innovative educational approaches and the role each sector plays in ensuring students are ready for the jobs of tomorrow. Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane, and Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox will speak, among a number of other distinguished experts from the fields of education, business, and economic development. Hundreds of regional leaders are expected to attend, including superintendents, school boards, and business and nonprofit leaders. The event is made possible by gold sponsor Altria Group.

Discussion at the Education Summit will focus on innovative educational approaches the Greater Richmond region can take to address future talent needs, with the goal of aligning different sectors around tomorrow’s workforce requirements. The full agenda is as follows:

  • The Honorable Kirk Cox, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, will speak on ways the legislature is helping shape the future of education in Virginia, from primary through post-secondary education.
  • Renee Haltom, vice president and Richmond regional executive of the Federal Reserve Bank, will present the latest data and research on the costs and returns to students pursuing post-secondary education.
  • Leslie Parpart, director of community relations at CarMax; Victor Branch, Richmond market manager and Richmond market president at Bank of America; and Mitch Haddon, president and CEO of ColonialWebb, will discuss talent, projected workforce needs, and perceived gaps today in a panel discussion moderated by Liz Mountjoy, vice president of strategy and business development at Altria.
  • Stephen Moret, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, will present on how talent and educational systems shape economic development and other critical issues for the Commonwealth.
  • The Honorable Atif Qarni, Virginia secretary of education, and Dr. James Lane, Virginia superintendent for public instruction, will discuss the challenges and opportunities in K-12 in a panel moderated by Dr. Jamelle Wilson, board member on the Virginia Board of Education.
  • Dr. Paula Pando, president of Reynolds Community College, will present on the ways community colleges are preparing graduates for the future.
  • Dr. Katherine Rowe, president of William & Mary, will talk with Victor Branch about how higher education is changing for the future and its role in the Commonwealth.

“Across different sectors, we share a vision for Greater Richmond as prosperous, well-educated and well-skilled, and so we need to develop a plan for how to get there,” said Pat Gottschalk, partner at Williams Mullen and chair of the ChamberRVA Board of Directors. “It’s crucial for our education, government, business and nonprofit sectors to be aligned around our region’s workforce needs. Accordingly, we have a duty to help students and their parents understand what the jobs of the future look like and how to become qualified for them.”

According to ChamberRVA’s 2018 analysis of workforce data for their FutureRVA initiative, major regional industries are expected to need high numbers of employees in the next 10 years, both because the industries and companies are growing and because large numbers of older workers are expected to retire. For example, the Richmond region’s healthcare industry employed 96,076 workers in 2017, and is expected to need to add 34,488 employees – or 36% of its workforce – in the following 10 years. In addition, the Chamber found that parents and students don’t often know the breadth of job opportunities that are available or the education requirements and salary ranges for many of the region’s in-demand jobs in growing fields like healthcare, education and construction.

“Our education system and our workforce system are not unconnected,” said Kim Scheeler, president and CEO of ChamberRVA. “They are interdependent parts of a lifelong continuum – from when our young people first start learning skills, throughout school, and continuing on to when they’re hopefully able to support the life they want, doing work they enjoy and are good at. Our education goals and our workforce goals do not serve two different visions; we are all working to set every single young person up for a lifetime of success. How we approach these issues and come together to address our opportunities and challenges will define the future success of our regional community.”

The Education Summit will take place on Thursday, July 18, 2019, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Marriott Downtown Richmond at 500 East Broad Street in Richmond. Networking and light breakfast will be available at 7:00 a.m., and the program will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. Registration is $35 for nonprofits, $55 for ChamberRVA members and $65 for non-ChamberRVA members. Educators (teachers, guidance counselors, administrators) and government officials are encouraged to contact the Chamber to receive a special discounted rate. Visit for more information and to register.


About ChamberRVA: ChamberRVA is the chamber of commerce representing the entire greater Richmond region – one city, seven counties and one town – since 1867. The chamber’s mission is to build a thriving regional community by supporting the success of members, providing a strong business voice and developing RVA’s future leaders. Learn more about ChamberRVA at

Press contact: Leigh Rossi,, 804-783-9312.

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