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

E13: Providing Job Opportunities for Youth

In this episode, you’ll hear about WIOA youth programs in the region and how they help young people prepare for and obtain meaningful employment. Discover how programs are individualized in order to achieve successful outcomes.

E12: How to Tap Into The Labor Pool of Persons with Disabilities

In this episode you’ll discover how and why the business community is choosing to tap into the labor market of persons with disabilities. You’ll also learn about the various services and supports that are available to support both job seekers and employers.

Mentioned in this episode:
Pathways to the American Dream Project
Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center 
VR Workforce Studio Podcast

E11: The Power of Apprenticeships

In this episode you’ll discover why apprenticeships have become such a hot topic today and the power they have to help fill the skills gap in a tight labor market. You’ll hear real stories about successful apprenticeship programs and the takeaway and lessons learned from those experiences.

Mentioned in this episode:
Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board
Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
Registered Apprenticeship Program

E10: Attracting and Retaining Talent to Build The Local Economy

In this episode, you’ll discover what’s happening in the region to attract and retain top talent in a tight labor market. You’ll hear about the connection between the education, business and workforce systems and how they all work together to create a talent pipeline and support economic development.

Mentioned in this episode:
Virginia Economic Development Partnership 
Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance 

E9: Giles County Youth Work Program- Best Practices for the Region

Today you’ll hear about the Giles County Summer Youth Work Program and the takeaways for other programs in the region. Employment not only allows young people to cover expenses for themselves and their families- it also provides valuable opportunities for them to apply academic skills and learn occupation-specific as well as general “world of work” skills; such as teamwork, time management and problem solving.

Mentioned in this episode:
Giles County Summer Youth Work Program

E8: Pathways to the American Dream- Enhancing Workforce Development Capacity

In this episode you’ll hear from Jenny Bolte, Project Manager, Kimber Simmons, Business Services Coordinator and Liz Annis, Workforce System Navigator as they discuss an initiative that is helping to meet the workforce needs of area employers as well as helping job seekers find meaningful full-time employment.

Mentioned in this episode:
Pathways to the American Dream Project

E7: Volvo’s New River Valley Plant- Creating Great Jobs and World Class Trucks

Franky Marchand, Vice President and General Manager of the Volvo New River Valley plant joins the program to explain the work that they do at the plant, the job opportunities that are available, and their new customer center. He also discusses the qualities that they look for in job applicants.

Mentioned in this episode:
Volvo’s New River Valley Plant

E6: Introducing the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council

Robert McAden, Executive Director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council joins the program. Robert discusses the types of IT companies in their membership and what their employee needs are.

Mentioned in this episode:
Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council

E5: Helping Young People Explore a Career in Manufacturing

This episode was recorded live during the CPID Advanced Manufacturing Career Exploration Academy, which helps young people explore and consider a career in manufacturing.

Guests include:

  • Stephanie Surrett is the Executive Director of the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing’s Center of Excellence
  • Kimber Simmons is the Business Services Coordinator for the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board

Mentioned in this episode:
Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities (CPID)
Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing Center of Excellence

E4: Building A Talent Pipeline in Southwest Virginia

This episode features an interview with Travis Staton,President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Southwest Virginia, as he discusses the efforts that his organization is making towards building a career pipeline in Southwest Virginia and their upcoming Careers Expo for Youth.

Mentioned in this episode:
United Way of Southwest Virginia
Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce