Jobs and awards announced for Hampton Roads’ combined workforce boards

A new jobs initiative and workforce development awards were announced at the Southeastern Virginia Regional Workforce Collaborative’s first joint annual meeting Oct. 2.

The collaborative is a partnership between the Hampton Roads Workforce Council and the Greater Peninsula Workforce Board.

Established by the Hampton Roads Workforce Development Board, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council oversees federally-funded workforce development programs for Western and South Hampton Roads.

The Greater Peninsula Workforce Board plans and oversees workforce development programs and services for the Virginia Career Works locations in the Greater Peninsula Region.

The collaborative served a combined total of 14,903 customers at Virginia Career Works locations, as well as 8,762 youth and young adults via emerging workforce programs in the last year.

Also, in a focused effort to improve employment opportunities for transitioning service members, the Hampton Roads Veterans Center on Glenrock Road in Norfolk served 5,567 customers.

Shawn Avery, Hampton Roads Workforce Council president and CEO, announced a new initiative to help underserved and under-skilled workers find better jobs through skilled trade education – the Connecting Opportunities Program.

Thirty students will be funded each year to participate in three- to six-week programs at the Skilled Trades Academy of Tidewater Community College. They will receive training and employment assistance for in-demand construction and maritime trades such as welding, roofing, framing and pipefitting.

These students will represent sectors such as the emerging workforce, transitioning service members and those with limited assets and education.

The Connecting Opportunities Program will be supported by Elizabeth River Crossings, which will donate $67,000 per year for three years, for a total contribution of $201,000.

“We hope that this program will help to connect our neighbors to the training and skills needed for new career opportunities in the region,” Elizabeth River Crossings CEO Doug Wilson said in a press release.

The following received 2019 Workforce Innovation Awards for commitment to workforce development and impact on the local economy:

Business, Ferguson; community organization, VersAbility Resources; education, New Horizons Regional Education Center; and regional innovator, Allfirst Industrial Contractors & Auxiliary Systems.

Amanda L. Slosson, regional transition assistance program coordinator, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, was named Workforce Champion of the Year.