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Virginia First State to Adopt Digital Licensing Through Partnership with Merit

September 3, 2019

New platform will cut through red tape, track worker achievements, increase trust in workforce

Today, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) is streamlining individual professional licensing by partnering with digital credentialing service Merit® to drive innovation, digital transformation, and efficiency for hundreds of thousands of occupational license holders in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Merit’s technology will enable DPOR to issue digital licenses, giving every licensed professional the ability to carry their up-to-date credentials anywhere they go.

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“Electronic credentials will help cut red tape and modernize what is currently an antiquated system,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. “The innovative use of technology by a state agency to streamline and enhance its services to Virginia's citizens, consumers, workers, and industry is one of the reasons why our Commonwealth is the best place for business.”

Historic and current workers who get their licenses through DPOR will also be issued digital licenses that will be available in Merit’s mobile app or on a web browser for increased portability and hassle-free verification. On April 25, Merit and DPOR signed a memorandum of understanding for Merit to provide an electronic credentialing platform in support of DPOR.

“The demands on today’s workforce are rapidly changing, and we need state governments to be as dynamic as the economy is,” said Tomer Kagan, Merit CEO. “This partnership between Virginia and Merit will empower workers to track and maintain their licenses as part of a networked economy of credentialed professionals.”

More than 310,000 Virginia workers in more than 40 industries are required by law to have a license from DPOR to work. Merit’s platform will give these professionals an easier way to bring their licenses with them wherever they go and make the certification more accessible to consumers and businesses, increasing trust and peace of mind when engaging with workers around the state. A further benefit to the Commonwealth, the partnership will come at no cost to Virginia or those being issued digital licenses.

“Virginia is taking a bold step forward into the digital age,” said Mary Broz-Vaughan, Acting Director of Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. “This new partnership has the potential to simplify everyday activities for both the hardworking businesses and individuals that make up Virginia’s economy.”

“This partnership is the beginnings of an infrastructure that will help ensure that people with the right skills find the right jobs,” said M. Craig Toalson, Chief Executive Officer of the Home Builders Association of Virginia. “We have more than 83,000 contractors in Virginia who need licenses. This new system will make licensing easier for everyone involved, and will allow workers to spend less time navigating a complex paperwork process and more time focusing on the careers that they love.”

About Merit

Merit lets everyone access, track, and organize their life’s achievements, giving them the confidence, autonomy, and foresight to pursue their life’s goals. Organizations can securely issue and manage digital merits in order to better engage, serve, and grow their member communities. Individuals can leverage a single secure platform to verify their personal and professional qualifications versus relying on analog siloed systems of paper certificates, ledgers, and plastic identification cards. Merit is based in Millbrae, CA and was founded by Tomer Kagan and Jacob Orrin. Find more information about how Merit is helping everyone shape their future at merits.com.

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