Attachment A









Fiscal Year 2003 through Fiscal Year 2005



 Developed by the Albemarle County Life Long Learning Strategic Planning Team

Prepared by Strumpf Associates: Center for Strategic Change





Creating an informed citizenry and a competitive labor force is a strategic imperative for any community.  As part of addressing these imperatives, Albemarle County’s strategic plan has as one of four strategic directions to provide high quality educational opportunities for Albemarle County citizens of all ages. The competition created by a global economy, the proliferation of computer technologies, and the growth of decentralized work organizations all increase the need for a workforce with higher levels of initial skills and greater ability for continuous learning.   The growing availability and complexity of information and choices adults face make continuous learning increasingly important to function within society.  And population demographics are creating new demands for adult learning opportunities.


Preparing workers for the next decade provides exciting opportunities for change.  To compete and win in the global economy requires a new plan for investment in our current and future workplace.  Competition will be heightened.  Access to information and knowledge through new technologies will make commonplace opportunities we now only dream about.  To keep pace with, and stay ahead of these changes, business increasingly will need to place a higher premium on its supply of knowledge as a key asset.


In Agrarian Times success was land mass and brute strength.  In the Industrial Era success was in machinery and conformity.  In the 21st Century it will be knowledge, creativity and collaboration.  Qualified workers with new skills and knowledge will be the key to economic success.  The quality of a company’s workforce is increasingly its most competitive advantage.  Even entry-level jobs will require well-developed skills in reading, math, computer skills, literacy and reasoning.  Over the past few decades, the number of unskilled jobs - those requiring a high school diploma or less has declined.  In 1950, unskilled positions represented approximately 60% of the jobs available.  By the year 2000, unskilled positions had shrunk to an estimated 15%.


To address the ability of people of all ages to be able to successfully participate in their communities at work, in life, and at play requires providing new ways of learning both in and out of classrooms.  Continual learning must become a way of life for all who wish to succeed.


Learning is Life Long


When Governor Warner proclaimed a Virginia Lifelong Learning Week in 2002, he stated that, “Lifelong learning is a lifestyle of recognizing needs and engaging in behaviors that result in accomplishing the learning desired and is essential for growth and success of every citizen in Virginia in our ever-changing world.”  At its broadest, lifelong learning refers to a process or system through which individuals are able and willing to learn at all stages of life, from preschool years through old age.[1]


According to the 2000 Census, over 900,000 adult Virginians are in need of a high school diploma.  In 2001, 11,380 adults in Virginia earned their GED certificates and 13,000 students dropped out of high school.[2]  According to the National Institute for Literacy, in 1998 1,000,000 adult Virginians who have finished high school lack basic reading, math, or English skills necessary to fulfill their roles as family members, workers, and community members.   The single greatest predictor of a child’s educational success is the mother’s level of education.  Children are five times more likely to drop out of high school if their parents are unemployed and lack a high school diploma.  Thirty-four percent of job applicants tested by major U.S. companies in 2001 lacked sufficient reading and math skills to do the job they sought. [3] 


The National Center for Education Statistic’s Report, Participation Trends and Patterns in Adult Education: 1991 to 1999 provides some insights to the growing demand for lifelong learning.  This marks a sea change in U.S. education, making compulsory education only one of many in a myriad of learning choices.  The report measured participation in six types of adult education learning activities – work-related courses, non-work related courses, ESL programs, ABE programs, apprenticeship programs, and credential programs.  The report found that many participation patterns were the same in 1991 and 1999.  In both years, adults with higher levels of education participated at higher rates than adults with lower levels of education; retired adults participated at a lower rate than those in all other labor force groups; and those in higher status occupations participated at higher rates than those in lower status occupations.


The reports findings that virtually every group of adults examined increased their participation in adult education between 1991 and 1999 are good news.  However, upon closer examination, the report concludes that some groups are being left behind.  Particularly Hispanics, those with lower levels of education, those with lower status jobs, and those who are employed part time.


Our community is set to respond to the challenge of not only providing lifelong learning opportunities for all, but to also inspire and motivate all Albemarle County citizens to keep learning and growing.   We will increase learning access and opportunities for all, provide learning that meets the needs in ways that are age, stage and culturally appropriate, and work to identify and increase skills needed for the current and future workforce. 




The strategic planning team conducted an environmental scan by analyzing strategic challenges through the lens of the current state of demographics, the economy, children/youth and families, and education.  From these challenges evolved the strategic goals that set our direction over the next three years. 



ü       Albemarle County population is expected to reach 97,200 by 2010.

(Source:  2010 Projection – VEC’s Labor Market Information Data Updated 5/2/03).

ü       The County population is aging with the elderly (65+) increasing by 4,517 (84%) and experienced work force (45-64) increasing 7,191 (59%) between 1990-2000.

(Source:  2000 U.S. Census of Population).

ü       Six percent of County’s population is less than 5 years old, 19% is ages 5-19, 11% is ages 20-24, 29% is ages 25-44, 23% is ages 45-64 and 12% of the County is 65 years and older.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population, Table 1, adjusted to include 4,950 additional persons, assumed to be in 20-24 age bracket).

ü       The population has grown from 55,783 in 1980 to 84,186 in 2000, an increase of 26%, while the number of children under five has increased by 47% during that same time period.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population, Table 1).

ü       Sixteen percent of Albemarle County is non-white.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population, 2000 Table P8).

ü       The largest percentage of growth is in the Hispanic population (Between 1990 and 2000, the Hispanic population grew from 867 persons to 2,061 – a 138% rate increase.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population, 2000 Table P8).

ü       There has been an increase in residents who speak a language other than English in the home from 3.8% in 1980 to 8.6% in 2000.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population).

ü       Population growth in Albemarle County due to migration has been greater than the increase due to natural population increase (In 2001, 67% increase due to migration and 33% increase due to natural increase).

(Source:  Virginia Department of Health)

ü       Albemarle County’s median family income is $66,175 in 2000.  Median family income has increased 17% between 1990 and 2000.

(Source:  Weldon Cooper Center).




Workforce Trends

ü       Albemarle County experienced steady net job growth during the years 1993 through 1997, and witnessed a jump in net job growth in 1998 and 1999.  After 2000, the net growth in employment tapered off, with the total number of jobs declining slightly in 2001 and recovering somewhat in 2002 (761 net increase in jobs).

(Source:  Virginia Employment Commission’s ALICE Website, July 3, 2003 and the Virginia Employment Commission’s LAUS website, June 18, 2003).

ü       The largest local employer is the State government (UVA and the Medical Center) with 23% of local jobs.

(Source:  VEC ES 202 Report, NAICS Coding).

ü       Over the past twenty years the service and trade sectors have become increasingly important as sources of employment, while manufacturing has become less important.  Service employment has increased from 14% in 1990 to 24% of all jobs in the County during 2001.  Conversely, employment in manufacturing has decreased from 19% in 1990 to 10% of all jobs in 2001.

(Source:  VEC ES-202 Reports, SIC coding).

ü       Albemarle lost 1,699 manufacturing jobs between 1998 and 2002, it, however, gained 3,791 jobs total, with at least 500 jobs for each of these five sectors:  State government (1,083), health care (785), local government (541), construction (516), and information (520).

(Source:  VEC ES 202 Report, NAICS Coding).

ü       The average annual employment in all job sectors was 38,718 in 2001.

(Source:  VEC ES-202 Reports, SIC coding).

ü       The participation of males in the labor force (72%) is greater than that of females (61%).  Labor participation among both males and females has increased over the last three decades.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population: 1980, 1990 and 2000).

ü       Albemarle’s average weekly wage ($666) in 2002 was below the state’s average of $715.  Albemarle has witnessed increased wage growth since 1990, up 9% in inflation adjusted dollars.

(Source:  Virginia Employment Commission, ALICE ES 202 NAICS Report and Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from BEA).

ü       Albemarle has an extremely high level of educational attainment compared to the state and other counties.  53% of the county population has at least an Associates degree while the state level is only 35%.  5.3% of the county population attained less than 9th grade.  7.3% attained between 9th and 12th.  17.8% attained a high school degree.  16.4% attained some college.  5.5% attained an Associate degree.  24.6% attained a Bachelor’s degree.  23.1% attained a Graduate degree.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population:  2000).

ü       51% of jobs in Albemarle County are filled by non-residents.

(Source:  U. S. Census, 2000).

ü       Self sufficiency wage in Albemarle County ranges from $16,634 for a single adult to $39,037 for two adults with a pre-school child and a school age child.

(Source:  Self Sufficiency Tables,


Economy Trends

ü       During the course of the years 1993 through 2002 inclusive, Albemarle typically had an unemployment rate lower than the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the United States.

In 2002, the unemployment rate for Albemarle County was 2.3%, compared to the Commonwealth of Virginia at 4.1% and the United States at 5.8%.

(Source:  Virginia Employment Commission’s LAUS website).

 ü       The total nominal value of residential and non-residential real estate in the County increased in each of the  years 1992 through 2001 inclusive, with the sharpest rise taking place in 2001.

(Source:  Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Taxation, Annual Report for 1993 through 2002).

ü       Total taxable sales in Albemarle County have nearly doubled in the past decade, with the largest increase taking place in 1993, 1999, and 2000.

(Source:  Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service Website).

ü       The County’s per capita taxable sales have increased by about 50% between 1992 and 2001.

(Source:  Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service Website).




Youth Discipline and Substance Abuse

ü       Alcohol arrests for people 19 and under moved from 2.3/1000 in 1997 to a high of 12/7/1000 in 2001, then down to 9.6/1000 in 2002.  Arrests for underage drug and alcohol possession three-year average increased from 3.8/1000 for 1994-1996 to 6.2/1000 in 1999-2001.

(Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).

ü       School reports of violence have increased from 26.0/1000 in 1998 to 28.8/1000 in 2001. (Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).

ü       The number of suspensions increased from 72/1000 in 1997 to 122/1000 in 2001. (Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).



ü       The number of calls to the Poison Control Center has increased from 7.8/1000 in 1997 to 16/1000 in 2001 for the Charlottesville/Albemarle community. 

(Source: Stepping Stones, July 2002).

ü       There has been an increase in low birth weight babies from 5.3 of total live births on average between 1991-1993 to 6.4% between 1998-2000.      

(Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).

ü       The need for accessible and affordable dental care was confirmed as a pressing local need.

(Source:  Charlottesville/Albemarle Commission on Children and Families’ Community Needs Assessment


Financial Status

ü       Seven percent of the County’s population is living in poverty.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population, 2000).

ü       Hispanic persons had the highest percentage of persons living in poverty.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population, 2000). 

ü       Twenty Percent of Albemarle County’s population is either in poverty of considered the “working poor”.

(Source:  U .S. Census of Population, 2000) 

ü       Overall poverty trends show a slight increase from 7.8% in 1995 to 8.0% in 1998 but a decrease in 1999 to 6.8%.  Child poverty trends reflect a similar trend line with a rate of 10.3% in 1995 to 12.3% in 1998 and 9.1% in 1999.

(Source:  US Census Small Area Income and Poverty Measurements). 

ü       The average number of children receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has decreased from 34 on average in 1991-1993 to 12 in 1999-2001. 

(Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).

ü       Food Stamp participation has decreased from 29.7/1000 in 1997 to 23.5/1000 in 2001.  (Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).

ü       In 1999, 4.7% of the County’s elderly population (above age 65) was living in poverty.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population 1980, 1990 and 2000).

ü       The estimated percentage of persons under 18 living in poverty in the County was 6.7% in 2000.

(Source:  Stepping Stone, September 2003).

ü       Household income emerged as the factor that has the greatest impact on need, access to services and quality of family life.

(Source:  Charlottesville/Albemarle Commission on Children and Families’ Community Needs Assessment


Family Characteristics

ü       The number of children in foster care has increased from 8.4/1000 children ages 0-17 in 1997 to 9.3 in 2001.

(Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).

ü       8.6% of all families in Albemarle County are female headed families that have children under 18.

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population 1990/2000).

ü       Female headed households with children under the age of 18 more than doubled during 1990-2000 (From 4.7% to 8.6%).

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population 1990/2000).

ü       In the FY 03/04 budget, the County budgeted $6.7 million for the Comprehensive Services Act Program which supports a system of services and funding to serve troubled and at-risk families and children.

(Source:  FY 2003/04 Albemarle County Budget Document).


Early Childhood

ü       Child Care spaces have decreased from 20/100 children ages 0-5 in 1995 to 16 in 1999.  (Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).

ü       The Women, Infants and Children feeding program has decreased from 18.4/1000 in 1997 to 15.8/1000 in 2001 for the Charlottesville/Albemarle community. 

(Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002)




Population Information

ü       15.9% of students in Albemarle County are enrolled in special education programs.

(Source:  Virginia Department of Education).

ü       Though they make up only 4% of all students in Albemarle County (a total of 459 in 2002-2003), Hispanic students are the fastest growing sub population in the County schools.

(Source:  Virginia Department of Education).


School Discipline

ü       Alcohol arrests for people 19 and under moved from 2.3/1000 in 1997 to a high of 12/7/1000 in 2001, then down to 9.6/1000 in 2002.  Arrests for underage drug and alcohol possession three-year average increased from 3.8/1000 for 1994-1996 to 6.2/1000 in 1999-2001.

(Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).  

ü       The number of suspensions increased from 72/1000 in 1997 to 122/1000 in 2001.  (Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).


Educational Attainment

ü       The population of Albemarle is highly educated.  Of those 25 years and older, 48% have at least a bachelor’s degree while 13% of the total population have less than a high school diploma.

(Source:  US Census of Population).

ü       The County has a high level of educational attainment when compared to the State. (69.6% have some college to graduate degrees).

(Source:  U. S. Census of Population, 2000).

ü       The number of youth needing special education services increased from 86 in 1999 to 116 in 2002. 

(Source:  Virginia Dept of Education).

ü       The High School graduation rate is steady but 17% of students do not graduate and 8% of those that do not graduate are in poverty.

 (Source:  Monticello Area Community Action Agency – Community Assessment).

ü       The percentage of students enrolled in 9th grade that graduate four years later moved from a low of 73.5% in 1997 to a high of 84.2% in 2001 to 76.7% in 2002. 

(Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002).

ü       The County’s dropout rate in 2002 was 0.8%.

(Source:  Stepping Stones, September 2003).


Housing Impact on Education

ü       The number of subsidized housing slots has decreased from 81.4 units per 1000 in poverty in 1998 to 70.9 in 2001. 

(Source:  Stepping Stones, July 2002). 

ü       34% of housing in Albemarle County is renter occupied.

(Source:  U. S. Census, 2000).

ü       Of the rental units in Albemarle, 38% of occupants paid more than 30% of their income for the rental unit.

(Source:  U. S. Census 2000).

ü       The median gross rent in the County was $712 for 1999, above the State median gross rent of $650.  (Source:  U. S. Census 2000).






ALBEMARLE County Vision:     To maintain Albemarle County’s stature as a quality community by promoting the values of education and lifelong learning, historic and scenic preservation, safety, affordability, cultural diversity, citizen participation and economic opportunity that make the County a desirable place in which to grow up, raise a family and grow old while preserving our natural resources, rural character and visual beauty for future generations.



STRATEGIC DIRECTION:      Provide High Quality Educational Opportunities for Albemarle County Citizens of All Ages



VISION:                                County residents of all ages embrace the wonder of learning.                                



MISSION:              Provide lifelong learning opportunities that result in gaining the skills and abilities required to      succeed in school, work, and beyond and to inspire every individual that learning is lifelong.                                    


Customers:                       All County Residents



Role:                            The County will play several roles in furtherance of our vision and mission for education for all:


§         We will be stewards of the educational future of the residents we serve.

§         We will catalyze change in the community to move it toward our vision for educational opportunities. 

§         We will strategically invest in value added educational services. 

§         We will be a community facilitator and convener to identify issues and act collectively with community partners to address them.  



LEARNING  Core Values                      


Our Common Values:


We believe in the following shared principles....


LEARNING   We encourage and support lifelong learning and personal and professional growth.


● We believe it takes bold acts of courage for individuals to continue learning throughout their life.


● We believe that education and learning are the great equalizer and open the doors to full participation in a democratic society.


● We believe that a strong community is built upon individual development, growth, and learning.


The County has identified four strategic goals to guide our work over the next three years.  We believe that these four goals will help the County become more focused on developing and facilitating quality educational opportunities for all by diversifying delivery systems and structures, broadening our approach to providing services to all learners within our community, and linking education and workforce preparation.   By accomplishing these goals, we will better assist all our customers. 



Goal One:                 Create accessible opportunities for everyone in the community to learn, ensuring all educational services meet the needs of the changing demographics within the community. 


Goal Two:                 Meet the teaching and learning needs of all citizens along an appropriate continuum of ages and stages of development



Goal Three:              Ensure the education system meets the workforce preparation needs of current and future employees and employers. 


Goal four:                Position the County as a recognized leader in educational excellence.





The following principles define the way the County approaches the operational aspects of the daily work, in accordance with our values, goals, and strategies.  The core processes employed by the organization to accomplish the goals will operate in the following fashion.









At two years:


§         Increase customer satisfaction with community lifelong learning opportunities

o        Achieve an 85% customer satisfaction rating from each customer group on annual customer survey.


§         Residents in all demographic groups are more aware of community learning opportunities.

o        Community awareness in each identified demographic has increased by 20%.


§         Develop jobs and workforce opportunities for students that augment workplace and academic competencies.

o        75% of all students in a work-based learning opportunity receive a competency rating of proficient or above on a worksite supervisor rating. And

o        50% of the teachers surveyed rate work-based learning as a significant learning opportunity



At five years:


§         Increase the level of resources available to meet the learning needs along the learning continuum

o        Gaps have been continuously evaluated and filled

o        Measures of effectiveness are in place and utilized to make program improvements


§         Demonstrate effectiveness in contributing to the community’s economic development initiatives through workforce development.

o        Economic development partners rate workforce development partners as making a significant contribution to economic development in the area. 


§         County-wide lifelong learning efforts have been recognized as ‘excellent’ at a state and national level

o        The County’s has received one state or national award for excellence.

o        At least one institution or jurisdiction outside of the County has used the County’s lifelong learning system as a benchmarking opportunity. 












[1] From a working paper of the National Center for Educational Statistics, July 2000.

[2]  Virginia Association of Adult and Continuing Education

[3] National Institute for Literacy


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