Sen. Warner, VA community colleges announce consulting agreement in India
~ Va. college foundation to consult with non-profit on skills-based training ~
Jan 10 2012
Contact: Kevin Hall - (202) 224-2023
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today announced a consulting agreement between the Virginia Foundation for Community Colleges Education (VFCCE) and the India-based Wadhwani Foundation (WF) to promote skills-based education in India. The memorandum was signed by Dr. Ajay Kela, President and CEO of Wadhwani Foundation, and Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community College System.
Sen. Warner, co-chair of the Senate’s India Caucus, is visiting India this week as part of a five-person congressional delegation that also includes Sens. Michael Bennet (CO), Tom Udall (NM) and Reps. Joseph Crowley (NY) and Cedric Richmond (LA). Rep. Crowley is co-chair of the House India Caucus. The delegation has been meeting with top government and business leaders in New Dehli, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata, exploring opportunities to expand business, trade, defense, educational and cultural relationships between the two countries.
“Virginia’s two-year community colleges play a vital and unique role in our workforce training efforts,” said Sen. Warner, who is one of eight former Virginia governors to sit on the Honorary Board of Directors of VFCCE. “This agreement will allow Virginia’s Community Colleges to share their expertise and best practices materials as we work with the Wadhwani Foundation to help expand basic skills-based training as India’s middle class explodes in size.”
“Since our founding nearly half a century ago, Virginia’s Community Colleges have excelled at connecting area employers with individuals who have the skills and knowledge to help them achieve mutual success, which benefits the entire community,” said VCCS Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois. “We are excited about this partnership and the opportunity it presents to share our organizational and operational expertise.”
As part of the memorandum, the VFCCE and the WF will identify high-impact skill development programs in India that need support, and further partnerships will be forged with government or private initiatives to meet local needs. Virginia community college experts will serve as consultants, sharing best practices, and the Wadhwani Foundation will provide local support and funding for this capacity building.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, India's current high-growth rate will result in a major economic transformation over the next two decades. Income levels are forecast to almost triple, and India will climb from its position today as the twelfth-largest consumer market to become the world's fifth-largest consumer market by 2025. At the same time, India’s middle class is forecast to expand by more than ten times from its current size of 50 million people to more than 580 million people.
According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia exports to India in 2010 were valued at about $294 million – up from $284 million in 2009 and $190 million in 2008. In April 2005, then-Governor Warner became the first Virginia Governor ever to travel to India, and led the largest-ever state trade delegation to visit the country.