Despite rapid growth in the state's high-technology industries, there are likely to be few radical changes in the types of jobs Virginians hold during the rest of the 1980s, according to a new report by the University of Virginia's graduate business school.
One thousand new jobs a year will be available for secretaries, janitors and cleaners, fast-food workers, cashiers, sales clerks and registered nurses, according to the report.
While these occupations may add more jobs in the next five years, they are not necessarily growing at a faster rate than their competitors in high-technology industries, the study notes.
"Overall, employment in professional, technical and service occupations will increase faster than average, while employment increases among machine operators, skilled crafts workers and laborers will be slower than average," said James M. Heilman, who directed the study. The average growth rate for all occupations between 1980 and 1990 is expected to be about 24 percent, he said.
The fastest-growing occupations in the state during the decade are expected to be computer mechanics, with a 177 percent increase; paralegals, 119 percent; tax preparers, 89 percent; office machine and cash register servicers, 70 percent; and computer systems analysts, 68 percent, the study found. "But none of these will be among the leaders in producing new jobs," Heilman said.
The Virginia Department of Information Technology and MCI Telecommunications Corp. have signed an agreement that will give the state access to most of MCI's microwave communications towers in Virginia.
The arrangement, the first of its kind between the state and a commercial communications company, means Virginia could set up a statewide radio network "at very little cost" in exchange for allowing MCI to erect a 323-foot microwave repeating tower at the Powhatan Correctional Center, said George DesAutels, acting director of the department's telecommunications division.
The agreement will give Virginia access to MCI's 17 freestanding towers in the state and any towers MCI builds in the future, said Donald Campbell, MCI senior public relations manager.
MCI has the second-largest microwave communications system in the noncommunist world, with more than 900 towers in place in the United States, Campbell said.
The agreement allows the state to place communications equipment on MCI towers, giving it the ability to consolidate its communications system, DesAutels said. "It's the basis for us developing a statewide radio network," he noted.
For example, DesAutels said, a Highway Department official could call a highway engineer in the field by dialing from his desk. "There's all kinds of scenarios," he said.
The state also will be able to use the towers to enhance its emergency communications system and establish a comprehensive paging network among state employes.