Archive for April, 2011

Coming Out of the Great Recession: Changes in Workforce Development

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

What can we expect as the economy recovers? Where will the jobs be? What skills will be in demand? How do we plan for the changes? These are the questions that PVCC Division of Workforce Services grapples with everyday.

Ms. Valerie Palamountain of PVCC spoke at the April 13, 2011 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Charlottesville Senior Center. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV member Grace Zisk.

Valerie Palamountain is the Dean of Workforce Services at Piedmont Virginia Community College. In her position, Ms. Palamountain works with business organizations, the Virginia Workforce Center, and economic development agencies within the Charlottesville region to develop training programs that meet the needs of the business community.

Prior to joining PVCC, she held a similar position at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Ms. Palamountain also worked in private industry for 15 years as a project management consultant in the information technology industry. Her experience includes marketing, training and consulting with Fortune 1000 companies.

Ms. Palamountain holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University at Albany, Albany, NY.

Ms. Palamountain is on the boards of the Albemarle County Rotary Club, the Small Business Development Center, and the Charlottesville One Stop Committee. She resides in Palmyra, Virginia, and enjoys gardening, music and outdoor activities.

Program Summary

At the April 13 SSV meeting, Valerie Palamountain, Dean of Workforce Services at Piedmont Virginia Community College, addressed the topic, Coming Out of the Great Recession: Changes in Workforce Development. It will likely take four to six years for the nation to return to the pre-recession employment peak. Yet the Charlottesville area manifests a number of positive assets: a strong economy, outstanding educational systems, exceptional quality of life, well-educated workforce, technologically sophisticated, and extremely capable people who can meet a diverse range of recruitment needs.

When looking at retirement–whether in 2015 or 2050, Ms. Palamountain says we must look at three issues: How we keep an older workforce active? How we keep an older workforce up to date on technology? How we bridge the gap between 5 generations in the workforce? PVCC provides training for career changes, life changes, and finding jobs; customized training for employers; certification and licensure programs; and demand-driven training for career pathways, apprenticeships, continuing professional education, continuing personal education, and recreational interests.

PVCC focuses on healthcare, construction, green building, intelligence community, viticulture/culinary, technology, hospitality/tourism, and K-12 students. Partners are the key to the future. PVCC partners with employers, the Chamber of Commerce, the Artisan Center of Virginia, the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center, economic development (TJPED, WIB), K-12, and colleges and universities.

Forecasting the future, the focus will be on workplace skills; rapid implementation of new technologies; infrastructure projects; more “green” regulatory oversight; “skills” versus “education”; recruiting and retention; entrepreneurship; and worldwide community.