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Author: admin, 31.08.2015. Category: Positive Phrases About Life

Keeping Virginia Performs fresh and relevant includes making regular updates and enhancements to key indicators throughout the year. Virginia's economy -- not as badly hit as many states during the recent recession -- has been on the mend for the last couple of years.
Business startups increased slightly in 2010 and 2011, the last year for which finalized data is available.
Virginia's newer, more accurate on-time cohort data is more current than national data from the National Center for Educational Statistics, which also showed some improvement in dropout rates for the 2008-09 school year.
Immunization rates for children increased for the second year in a row, rising from just under 70% in 2009 to just over 77% in 2011. Blueprint Virginia is an economic development initiative which envisions a dynamic, 8-year, business-focused strategic plan to raise the Commonwealth to new levels of economic success and statewide prosperity.
Public meetings have been held in over 20 communities across the state to gain regional insights for developing Blueprint Virginia priorities.
With these regional forums now coming to a close, issue-specific groups have begun to meet to discuss the challenges and opportunities in each area. As mentioned in previous newsletters, Council staff continue to support the Virginia Chamber of Commerce with Blueprint Virginia. That positive picture, however, has had a more troubling side in recent years: Too many of Virginia's foster care children are not being adopted. Formal public adoptions -- legal, permanent placement with a new family -- are seen as key to combatting the lasting consequences an extended stay in foster care can create. Now a new program -- Virginia Adopts -- has been launched by Governor McDonnell in April 2013 to build on this recent success.
A series of regional kick-off events are being held across the state to promote the program and provide additional information for those wishing to become adoptive parents. For more details and graphs about Virginia's current status, see Adoption on Virginia Performs.
Education, perhaps more than any other single factor, is a direct determinant of well-being, prosperity, and quality of life for both individual Virginians and their families, communities, and state. In global comparisons, the educational attainment of Virginians aged 25 to 34 lags markedly behind a growing number of key competitors, including Korea, Canada, and Japan.
The educational attainment of Virginia's 25- to 34-year-olds is lower than that of the previous generation (aged 35 to 44). Recent analysis by the Center on Education and Workforce at Georgetown University indicates that by 2018 over 60% of jobs in Virginia will require postsecondary education.

But as of 2012, only 38 of 100 incoming high school freshman in Virginia will complete a two-year or four-year degree within the normal completion time (3 to 6 years).
It is critical that Virginia continue to address these challenges early on in the education pipeline.
Beyond educational reform efforts, community involvement can give students a sense of aspiration, the confidence that they matter, and the resilience to succeed.
Every state is comprised of scores of counties and cities and townsA which often work independently of one another. The Council's regional system has been in place since 2005, and regional data and graphs are included with every indicator on Virginia Performs whenever available.
Regional Scorecards summarize current performance for each region on over 30 societal indicators, including economic issues, educational success, health indicators, and more.
Regional Trends at a Glance offer data analysis-based trends for the near future -- and allow at-a-glance comparisons of performance among the regions on specific indicators. Virginia's Regions also starts with an interactive map linked to listings of every locality included in each region. Virginia continues its impressive efforts to expand its increasing array of online services and citizen-government interactions, especially in agencies where licensing and permitting activities are core functions.
One new advance in online service is from the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), which launched CommonHelp* to allow Virginians to apply for benefits online, any time, from the privacy and convenience of their homes or anywhere the Internet is available to them. Originally created with the reforms under the Affordable Care Act in mind, eHHR first focused on interoperability and a seamless customer experience among HHR agencies, but has grown into a larger collaboration that also includes the Technology, Transportation, and Administrative secretariats.
These improvements will significantly enhance cross-agency data management capabilities and increase interoperability throughout the Commonwealth.
Council staff also conducts a final review of every indicator on the Scorecard at a Glance near fiscal year end to see what trend changes might be warranted.
The state's average unemployment rate never rose much above 7%, and has been improving since 2010.
Startups increased in all regions in 2010 and 2011, except in the West Central region in 2011, and newer economic data suggests continued improvement in 2012. Dropout rates declined in all regions for the second year in a row, except for West Central in 2012, which at 7.3%, was still below its recent 5-year average. These rates indicate that Virginia is back on track for childhood vaccinations, which had seen marked drop-offs in recent years. 2010 national data show Virginia's state and local taxation rate decreased slightly (to 9.3%) -- the second year in a row of modest declines.

Business and community leaders from around the state are participating in meetings and workgroups to help develop this plan. Virginia Adopts will attempt to match 1,000 foster care children with 1,000 familiesA over the course of the next year. In 2011, the state ranked 7th nationally for adult residents with at least a bachelor's degree. Less than 14% of adults in the Southside and Southwest regions had attained a bachelor's degree in 2011, and only about 75% had graduated high school.
Education reformers are currently discussing a number of solutions for accelerating the achievement of our young people, including strategies for digital learning, standards and testing, and high-quality teachers. However, these entities also share important characteristics -- geographical, economic, cultural -- that make it natural for them to be considered together and for them to work together on shared needs and projects. Now the new Virginia's Regions section of the website offers users additional ways to understand and view regional performance.
Users can get to this content from a link on the top right side of every page on Virginia Performs. Mine operators, healthcare licensees, tradesmen, the newly unemployed, and the new entrepreneur are among the many who can now accomplish much of what they need through a few mouse clicks.
Regionally speaking, average per capita taxes in 2011 totalled $1,748, down over $50 from the previous year and nearly $175 less than 2009 rates. Health and Human Services statistics, public adoptions in the Commonwealth increased from 663 to 755 between 2009 and 2011, and the total number of children inA foster careA actually declined. Education is the foundation from which we can maintain and build a robust and productive society.
By contrast, over half the population in the Northern region had a bachelor's degree or higher; in the Central and Hampton Roads regions, those college attainment levels were 31% and 27%, respectively. Virginia has initiated a number of reforms in each of these areas; for example, new incentives are in place to recruit and retain high-performing teachers in STEM-H subjects.
Business investment -- in the form of new startups and new jobs -- was a bit slower to respond, but has also seen reversals into positive territory recently. While the percentage of older adults vaccinated for the flu has decreased from a high in 2007, the current rate is not far from the long-term trend, and the rate of older adults immunized against pneumonia is at its highest level since 2002.

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