SNVC and the Aurora Foundation announced today that its President and CEO, Tom DeWitt, served as co-moderator with Brett Vassey, President of Virginia Manufacturers Association, for the “Workforce Development” session at the 2010 Virginia Small Business Summit. The summit, hosted by Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies, LLC, brings together Virginian small business leaders to discuss business development strategies and important issues affecting the economic health of Commonwealth business.
On September 23, 2010, Mr. DeWitt joined forces with Lieutenant Governor William T. “Bill” Bowling, House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, and the Hon. George F. Allen to address the key challenges facing Virginia small business. As co-moderator of the “Workforce Development” session, Mr. DeWitt focused on issues regarding the preparedness of new employees. “By first defining the challenges that we face here in Virginia with respect to workforce readiness, we can then build upon that to move to specific solutions that speak to these challenges,” Mr. DeWitt stated. As CEO of SNVC and Founder/Chairman of The Aurora Foundation, Mr. DeWitt knows firsthand the challenge of finding qualified job candidates. According to the U.S. Business Council, “57% of member CEOs report ‘education and workforce preparedness’ as a very/most important policy issue. In addition, 73% of those CEOs report difficulty finding ‘qualified workers’ in the U.S.” The business leaders expressed concerns that while being the best in the nation, Virginia universities’ and colleges’ student development potential was underutilized. Being a small business, SNVC greatly relies on the preparedness of job candidates to successfully compete against larger corporations, and, therefore, takes great interest in Virginia’s educational system, including certification programs. Additionally, SNVC established the Aurora Foundation in 2008 in an effort to assist universities in better supporting the needs of their veteran students and to continue to aid in the movement for improving Virginia students’ preparedness for the workplace.