CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Thursday he is re-establishing the West Virginia Workforce Planning Council. The move is the second of three executive orders Tomblin plans to make regarding education reform.
"For our children's future and that of our state economy, we must ensure our high school graduates are ready to either enter the workforce upon graduation, or make a seamless transition into college or vocational school," Tomblin said in a news release.
The move tweaks the task of the council, already established by an executive order, so that it will take on the duties of the 21st Century Jobs Cabinet of West Virginia.
The council will coordinate initiatives and leverage funds to help create a system connecting students with real-life skills that can be used in the workforce. It's the exact same goal of the council when it was first created, according to the language of the executive order Tomblin signed Wednesday.
The council consists of seven people: the governor or a designee; heads of the community college system and the Higher Education Policy Commission; state superintendent of schools or a designee; secretary of the Department of Education and the Arts; the executive director of Workforce West Virginia; and the director of the West Virginia Development Office.
Monthly meetings and an annual report to the governor are required.
Earlier this year, Tomblin issued an executive order creating a commission to study education at the middle school level. Most students who consider dropping out do so in middle school; the commission is tasked with improving academic achievement at this level.