Virginia Launches Open Data, Open Jobs Initiative

A new data set joins public-private partnerships aimed at mobilizing the commonwealth's workforce.

by / July 8, 2016

On the fun scale, looking for a job is right up there with trips to the dentist and standing in line at the DMV — but Virginia is making the process easier. On July 7, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a new initiative called Open Data, Open Jobs that uses the magic of data science and public-sector elbow grease to connect job seekers and employers.

The initiative is centered around a single data set, now housed at data.virginia.gov, composed of postings taken from multiple job boards. The new data set is intended to be a starting point for developers who want to create new tools that simplify and innovate.

“With close to 1.5 million jobs to fill in the next decade, we must take an all-hands-on-deck approach to workforce development,” McAuliffe said in a press release. “... As we build the New Virginia Economy, it is imperative that we harness the creativity of entrepreneurs and coders to help us develop new ways to connect employers with prospective employees."

The new data set was created through the Governor’s Data Internship Program along with students and staff at the Discovery Analytics Center at Virginia Tech. More job postings will be added to the data set as they're posted online, the state reported.

Other program partners include the Data Analytics Program at George Mason University, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, Direct Employers Association Inc., the Council for Virginia’s Future, Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Community College System, Devis, and Glassdoor.

“Innovation such as we’re seeing with Open Data, Open Jobs is integral to building a workforce to support the new Virginia economy,” said Maurice Jones, secretary of commerce and trade for the state. “In addition to Virginia Tech, George Mason University faculty and students are now exploring ways in which the new data set can better inform Virginia’s efforts to develop and expand its Data Analytics and Cybersecurity workforce. The Open Data, Open Jobs data is spurring both technology solutions and a fresh look at workforce challenges.”

Open Data, Open Jobs was born from the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Research and Statistics, a body created by an executive order that required the creation of a virtual body for the modeling of innovative approaches around labor market, workforce and education data.