Steve Partridge, Vice President of Workforce Development, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA)

Steve Partridge, vice president of workforce development at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), is a nationally recognized workforce development expert. In this role, he provides proactive support to regional economic development initiatives and strategic, college-wide leadership for the development and delivery of workforce training and its integration with NOVAs academic offerings

Steve joined NOVA in February 2016, and in his first year collaborated with business, government, education and nonprofit leaders to position NOVA’s workforce development division to be a partner with regional economic development organizations; introduce a new, market-intelligence focus to supply regional data to community partners, faculty and the public; launch an effort to create and adopt new regional career pathways; rebrand NOVA's regional workforce development efforts; and develop new cyber workforce training capabilities.

Over the past decade, this self-described “public-policy wonk” has led efforts to fix the government's fractured workforce development system. In 2013, he testified before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension, advocating for workforce reforms that were later incorporated into the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, the long-overdue reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Following former President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address, Steve was invited to meet with former Vice President Biden and former U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to discuss opportunities to create a more demand-driven workforce system. He regularly consults with Congressional and Administration staff on workforce issues.

Steve is a member of the board of directors of Innovate+Educate, an industry-led nonprofit implementing research-based strategies to close the national skills gap and bridge the opportunity divide. He also served as the second vice chair of the board of trustees of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Workforce Development Council. He received its 2013 Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his superior commitment to advocating for and improving the nation’s workforce system.

Prior to joining NOVA, Steve served as president & CEO of Charlotte Works, the workforce development board for Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, N.C., where he helped launch its successful transformation from a traditional board into a demand-driven economic development organization. He also held a variety of executive positions at the Charlotte (N.C.) Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Department of Commerce, where he championed pro-small business policies and led efforts to develop and promote renewable energy.

He holds a master's degree in public administration from Arizona State University and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Arizona.

Steve and his wife Susanne are the proud parents of three boys: Andrew, 15; Grant, 12; and Jack, 5. When he’s not immersed in workforce issues, he joins his sons in swimming and soccer games. He also enjoys running, golf, film and travel.