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

E58: Recruitment and Retention Initiatives and Strategies

As the worker shortage persists in the region, this episode continues the conversation about the initiatives and strategies underway to help businesses with their recruitment and retention needs. Discover the importance of vetting candidates and assessing fair and equitable compensation. You’ll also hear about how analyzing exit data can help companies improve their business practices and culture.

E57: The Production Technician Career Pathway

In this episode, you’ll hear about the production technician career pathway, funded by a YouthBuild grant. Discover details about the development of the production technician program and hear from a YouthBuild participant about why he chose this program and the benefits he has received so far from participating.


E56: Recruitment, Retention and Career Pathways

In this episode, you’ll hear from area employers as they reveal their strategies for recruiting and retaining talent. Discover career opportunities in manufacturing and healthcare and innovative recruitment and retention practices.


E55: The Youth Career Exploration Camp

In this episode, you’ll hear details about the Youth Career Exploration Camp, which provides youth with an opportunity to explore high-wage, high-demand careers in the region. You’ll also hear directly from participants about what they have enjoyed most about the program.

E54: Reflections from the 2022 NAWB Forum

This special episode was recorded live at the 2022 NAWB Forum as Marty Holliday, Executive Director at New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Area, shares her thoughts about the future of workforce development and reveals her takeaways from speaking with other workforce leaders from around the country.


E53: Supporting Second Chance Employment

In this episode, you’ll hear about the efforts underway to support second chance employment. Even in the best of times, it is difficult for individuals with criminal records to access employment, and yet employment is a crucial part of helping people in recovery and justice-involved individuals to rebuild their lives. You’ll also hear about why employers should tap into this valuable and often untapped labor pool.

E52: Being a Recovery Ready Region: The POWER Initiative and Peer Recovery Specialists

In this episode the conversation continues about the POWER Initiative (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) and particularly peer recovery specialists. Discover the criteria for becoming a peer recovery specialist as well as the application and training process. 

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.