Work Talk

Work Talk is a podcast about happenings in the region’s businesses. Businesses that participate in the podcast have the opportunity to tell their story; who are they, what do they do and what do they need to be competitive? Job seekers, through listening to the podcast, have the opportunity to learn about business needs and expectations and how they might prepare to go to work for a particular business and/or in a particular industry. We recognize that the more we understand about what businesses want/need, the more likely we are to meet that need.

For more information about Work Talk, contact Marty Holliday at or 540-357-0651

E52: Attracting and Retaining Talent in the Skill Trades

In this episode, you’ll hear about the efforts that are underway in the region to attract and retain talent in the skilled trades. Phil Callicott , Founder of the The Trades Training Initiative, discusses the vision that his organization has for developing in the construction industry and how the Trades Training Initiative is bringing together local businesses, nonprofits, and workers to address critical skills gaps.

E51: The STRONG Accountable Care Community- Improving Health and Wellbeing

In this episode, you’ll hear about the STRONG Accountable Care Community (STRONG ACC) and their new Regional Data Dashboard. Discover the history of the organization, what is included in their Data Dashboard and how the STRONG ACC is helping to break down barriers, improve inter-agency coordination of services, better address social determinants of health, and improve health and wellbeing for individuals, families, and communities.

E50: Supporting Economic and Addiction Recovery

This episode takes a deeper dive into The Pathways to a Strong and Healthy Region initiative, funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER program.  Focus of this conversation is around those elements that support recovery for individuals and families impacted by substance abuse. Discover the efforts being made to create a Recovery Ready Eco-system, and the importance of combining the efforts and funding from multiple organizations.

E49: DOL YouthBuild Grants- Supporting Education and Occupational Skills Development for Youth

In June of 2021, the US Department of Labor announced the award of 89 million dollars in grants in 31 states and Puerto Rico to help youth ages 16 to 24, who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. YouthBuild grants support a pre-apprenticeship model to help these youth learn valuable occupational skills.

In this episode, you’ll hear from 2 organizations in Virginia that received YouthBuild grant funding, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys and the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Area Consortium Board. Discover how the YouthBuild grant funds will be implements and each organization’s vision for the project.

E48: Regional Trends in Economic Development

In this episode, you’ll hear from two (2) regional economic development leaders about how they work with the Virginia Economic Development and the efforts that are underway to support and grow targeted industries. Discover the importance of placemaking and infrastructure improvements in attracting and retaining businesses and talent to the region.

E47: Strengthening Our System, Inc.- Providing Quality Care and a Person Centered Approach

In this episode, you’ll learn about Strengthening Our System, Inc. (SOS) and the services that they provide for individuals with disabilities and individuals with mental health concerns. Discover the history of the organization, the job opportunities that are available, and the necessary requirements to get started in this field.

E46: Opportunities with Blue Ridge Designs

In this episode, you’ll discover the story of Blue Ridge Designs, a Carroll County-based screen-printed apparel manufacturer. Discover the job opportunities available with Blue Ridge Designs, and the application and hiring process.


E45: The Virginia Road to Success Program- Increasing Self-Sufficiency, Connecting to an In-Demand Career

In this episode, you’ll hear from a guest panel about the Virginia Road to Success Program (RSVP) which focuses on helping individuals increase self-sufficiency through stable continuous employment. Discover the key partnerships that help the RSVP program to assist participants in obtaining employment that leads to self-sufficiency along an identified career pathway.

E44: The Virginia Economic Development Partnership- Making Virginia the Best State for Businesses, Workers and Families

Stephen Moret, President and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, joins the program to discuss the work that his organization is doing to advance economic growth and economic development across the Commonwealth of Virginia. He also discusses the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Virginia’s economy and the efforts that are underway to help the state fully recover.

E43: The Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Initiative

In this episode, you’ll learn about the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) project Pathways to a Strong and Healthy  Region. ARC POWER Initiative supports efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and re-employment opportunities, creating jobs in existing or new industries, and attracting new sources of investment.

Discover how the Pathways to a Strong and Healthy Region project will be focused on individuals with substance use disorder, regional communities and businesses to build a Recovery Ready Region through the ARC POWER funding opportunity.