Youngkin: Virginia agencies eliminating higher-ed degree requirements for some state jobs

Gov. Youngkin's office says this change is to give equal consideration to all qualified applicants.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 9:14 AM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 12:49 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The state of Virginia is set to make a big change in hiring practice by eliminating the requirement or preference that applicants for many executive branch jobs have a higher education degree.

“This landmark change in hiring practices for our state workforce will improve hiring processes, expand possibilities and career paths for job seekers and enhance our ability to deliver quality services,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a statement accompanying the announcement Tuesday.

The change will apply to almost 90% of state-classified positions, Youngkin’s office said in a news release. It will take effect on July 1.

Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater said in a statement that agencies would instead be giving “equal consideration to applicants with an equivalent combination and level of training, knowledge, skills, certifications, and experience.”

On average, Virginia state agencies advertise over 20,000 job opportunities each year, according to the news release.

Youngkin, a Republican, has made workforce development a priority of his administration. During this year’s legislative session, he prioritized bills that aim to streamline now-scattered workforce development programs and to make it easier for certain licensed or experienced workers, such as barbers and cosmetologists, to move to Virginia and get straight to work.