ASU+GSV: Stephen Moret on what it will take to achieve real economic recovery

WorkingNation interviews leaders in public, private, and nonprofit spheres attending the ASU+GSV Virtual Summit as part of our #WorkingNationOverheard campaign

“I don’t think America is on track right now to achieve a diverse, and inclusive, and equitable recovery mostly because we weren’t ready going in,” says the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s president and CEO Stephen Moret.

WorkingNation interviewed Moret for our #WorkingNationOverheard series in partnership with the ASU+GSV Virtual Summit 2020, held from September 29 through October 1+October 8.

The struggle is in part due to the fact that state and local organizations were already strapped with existing commitments to education and workforce development going into the pandemic, according to Moret.

In addition to the need for federal help and transparency, Virginia was already working to boost its state’s skillset. Now, it hopes to come out of COVID-19 stronger than when it went in.

“We have created what I think will soon be recognized as the best state custom workforce development program in America. It’s called the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program. This is a program that works with companies that are creating new, high-wage jobs in Virginia, typically competitive projects like manufacturers, corporate headquarters, research and development facilities, and so forth,” says Moret.

“We have made the largest investment in U.S. history in computer science education. So not only was Virginia the first state to require computer science as a required part of the K12 learning curriculum, but we are investing more than a billion dollars to double the number of graduates that we educate each year in computer science and closely related fields, the bachelor’s level, master’s level and also community college graduates as well.”

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