Educators, policy makers, and employers gathered at ChamberRVA's first Education Summit on July 18, 2019.

HireED and other next steps after the Education Summit

It was a productive morning at our inaugural Education Summit on Thursday, July 18. We heard from leaders in the state legislature, K-12 education, higher education, economic development, and the business community on the current and future state of our education and workforce systems. Expert speakers shared their perspectives on better cross-sector collaboration and how we each play a role in ensuring that our region’s students are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. Thank you to all our speakers for sharing their insights with us, to our guests for coming to the table, and to our sponsors for making it possible.


HireED will help inform students, parents, and educators about all the options and opportunities in Greater Richmond so they can make the best choice for their future.

At the summit, ChamberRVA announced a new information campaign called HireED that will tell students, parents, educators, and more about the vast array of resources and opportunities available in Greater Richmond to help young people become college-, career-, and life-ready. HireED is part of the Chamber’s FutureRVA community fund, a far-reaching, comprehensive initiative that aims to address every aspect of what makes our region competitive. One of these aspects is talent – talent attraction, talent retention, and talent development. As part of this strategic focus on talent, HireED will inform students and other stakeholders about the many different career options in the region and what it takes to get from point A to point B. The Chamber is uniquely positioned to spread awareness about the region’s in-demand industries, from healthcare and IT to construction and manufacturing. Through HireED, we plan to give students more information so they can make an informed, intentional choice about their future. Visit for an early glimpse into this initiative, and stay tuned to hear more in the coming months.

Mission Tomorrow

Mission Tomorrow is an interactive career exploration event for all the 13,000 public school eighth graders in the Greater Richmond region.

Many speakers also mentioned Mission Tomorrow as an important piece of the education-workforce continuum. Mission Tomorrow is ChamberRVA’s annual career exploration event for eighth graders in the Richmond region. Every October, all the region’s 13,000 public school eighth graders go to the Richmond Raceway over the course of two days. There, RVA’s employers have set up fun, interactive booths that showcase all the different career paths our region has to offer. This fall marks the fourth year of Mission Tomorrow and already it’s the largest event of its kind in the country. This year, we’re especially targeting our outreach efforts to parents and teachers, so they can support the students before and after the event and help keep the career conversation going beyond the day of. There are many impactful ways for organizations and individuals to get involved with Mission Tomorrow, from exhibiting to volunteering to sponsoring. Learn more and sign up at

Speaker presentations

We heard from a number of subject matter experts at the Education Summit during enlightening presentations and panel discussions. Those who shared data have allowed us to post their presentations.


Renee Haltom
Vice President and Regional Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
“Post-Secondary Paths: Risks and Rewards to Students”

Stephen Moret
President and CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership
“Education and Economic Development: Positioning Virginia for Statewide Growth”

Dr, Paula Pando's presentation on community colleges at ChamberRVA's Education Summit.

Dr. Paula Pando
President, Reynolds Community College
“The Community College Perspective”


Read the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial on the Education Summit, published July 21, 2019 (paywall).

“It’s a symbiotic relationship: To have a great education system, the state needs resources. To have resources, you need a strong economy that generates jobs and revenues. To attract businesses and industries that create a thriving economy, you need a good education system.” Read full article →

Read Pat Gottschalk and Kim Scheeler’s opinion piece in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce, published July 13, 2019.

“We are fortunate in the commonwealth that leaders in our education system are working on adapting to this changing world. They understand that we need to do a better job of aligning education with real-world opportunities. Rather than just education, the focus is becoming education toward what end. That means helping students and their parents understand what the jobs of the future look like and how to go about becoming qualified for them. It also means focusing our efforts on the jobs that will be in high demand and encouraging more investment in education that aligns with those jobs.” Read full article →


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