Preschoolers at the VCU Health System Child Care Center at Northside Family Learning Center on W. Graham Road represent the first segment of the workforce pipeline in the City of Richmond. Paul Koonce (far right), check CEO of Dominion Virginia Power, recently toured the facility with Sarah Verno, Assistant Site Director, to observe the students engaged in early learning activities that will help them be prepared for kindergarten. A board member of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, Koonce also chaired Blueprint Virginia, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s initiative to provide business leadership, direction and long-range economic development planning for the Commonwealth. Throughout the Blueprint development process, which lasted over a year, early childhood education was elevated as a critical investment priority to ensure a competitive workforce. The child care program at Northside Family Learning Center earned a 4-star rating from the Virginia Star Quality Initiative for providing high quality early learning services. For more information on school readiness efforts in Virginia, visit www.smartbeginnings.org.