The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) is seeking a Research Director for its newly created Virginia Office of Education Economics (VOEE). VOEE was created by the Virginia General Assembly in early 2021 with the support of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and other groups.

Virginia is creating a first-in-the-nation office to be a lighthouse/exemplar for how to leverage analytics and collaboration to drive improved labor market outcomes for students, job seekers, and regions. VOEE is charged with two important, complementary functions: (1) Provide a unified, consistent source of analysis for policy development and implementation related to talent development; and (2) Offer resources and expertise related to education and labor market alignment. VOEE will be foundational in the implementation of a new learning ecosystem within Virginia, connecting traditional education institutions with custom workforce solutions and improving overall educational attainment within the state and enabling economic mobility for all job seekers within the state’s workforce.

Reporting to the VOEE Executive Director, the Research Director’s main responsibility is to lead VOEE’s research agenda. Informed by benchmarking analysis and input from stakeholders, execute research that empowers all of VOEE’s key stakeholders (students, guidance counselors, job seekers, workers and families, policymakers, etc.) in the near-term, medium-term, and long-term. Garner feedback from key stakeholder groups in an iterative design process in order to set VOEE’s research agenda approach, including how research endeavors are designed, conducted and reviewed and design process of determining specific content areas/ industries/topics of focus.

Deliverables may include:

  • Comprehensive, reliable analyses of labor market supply/demand balances – annual or quarterly, by region and for the Commonwealth as a whole 
  • Periodic special reports on important talent-related topics (e.g., an in-depth analysis of talent pipeline needs of the tech sector, healthcare, or education; identification of predictors of underemployment of college grads to improve employment outcomes; insights on interstate migration of talent)
  • Research to catalyze the development of important new learning ecosystem elements, internally and/or in partnership with other organizations (e.g., improved navigation tools for individuals, new education financing mechanisms, policy initiatives to increase access to internships and/or apprenticeships)
  • Policy evaluation and recommendations to address labor market supply/demand gaps (e.g., talent pipeline plans for strategic growth occupations) – on request and/or based on largest identified labor market supply/demand gaps
  • Benchmarking of promising education and workforce/talent development efforts in other states designed to meet important labor market demands
  • Program evaluation of new programs launched from VOEE recommendations
  • Validation of potential opportunities to pursue in order to prioritize requests from various agencies
  • Analyses and proposals to support VEDP management in decision-making efforts


  • Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, mathematics, data analytics, business, or a related field
  • Advanced degree—PhD strongly preferred—in business, labor economics, public policy, and/or another relevant field strongly preferred
  • Subject matter expertise in education and labor market alignment research areas, including but not limited to the economics of education, unemployment, underemployment, navigational tools for jobseekers, industry credentials and certifications, and/or specific industry verticals (e.g., tech sector, healthcare sector)
  • Excellent strategic analysis and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written) and storytelling skills, as well as other interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of and experience working with talent-related datasets, including but not limited to BLS, Emsi, Burning Glass, Census Bureau, IPEDS, etc.
  • Strong grasp of data visualization skills and statistical analyses
  • Understanding of both qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as an ability to convert findings and insights into accessible and executive-level communications
  • Experience leading a team and engaging with a wide array of national stakeholders
  • Track record of developing people and building successful teams
  • Strong organizational skills and demonstrated project management experience

All candidates must apply through our website Candidates with disabilities are encouraged to apply. A valid Virginia driver’s license is required. Application deadline: June 11, 2021.

VEDP is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. It is VEDP’s intent that its employment and personnel policies and practices conform to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Applicants requiring more information or requiring assistance may contact VEDP Human Resources at 1-804-545-5634 or TDD 1-800-828-1120.