Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) announced on Wednesday, Tuesday, May 30, 2023, that Virginia won’t require applicants for nearly 90% of the state’s classified jobs to have college degrees starting on July 1, 2023.
Youngkin calls it a “landmark change” by the Richmond region’s largest employer for the roughly 20,000 openings the state advertises in a year. State-classified positions are salaried jobs covered by the Virginia Personnel Act. After the change becomes effective, applicants for state jobs will be hired based on experience, training, and other factors.
Youngkin said in a statement:
“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.”
Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater in a statement:
“By giving equal consideration to applicants with an equivalent combination and level of training, knowledge, skills, certifications, and experience we have opened a sea of opportunity at all levels of employment for industrious individuals who have the experience, training, knowledge, skills, abilities, and most importantly, the desire to serve the people of Virginia.” .
Secretary of Administration Margaret “Lyn” McDermid, who oversees the state’s human resource management department, said the Virginia state government has one of the broadest ranges of jobs in the state.
“Our employees design, build, manage and sustain public services across hundreds of lines of business, and giving equal consideration to all job applicants, including those who have experience solving real-world problems is a smart business practice.”
She said applicants' experiences, training, and credentials might match or even exceed what college graduates can offer.
"We want to get the best people for the jobs we have. In a tight labor market, competing for good people, if you have the skills and want to do public service, we want to be sure you're on the list to be interviewed."
Not the only state
Virginia joins Maryland and North Carolina which have made similar moves. They have eliminated the college degree requirement for state positions.
Maryland eliminated its four-year college degree requirement for many of its state jobs last year. State officials said Maryland was the first state to make that move.