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

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

E3: Employment Opportunities with Hollingsworth & Vose

Vince Hatcher, site manager at Hollingsworth and Vose, discusses the story behind the company, the types of employment opportunities that are available, and what qualities and qualifications the company looks for in prospective employees.

Mentioned in this episode:
Hollinsworth and Vose

E2: Mohawk Industries, Opportunities with a Global Flooring Company

Discover the story behind Mohawk Industries, a leader in flooring products, and the various opportunities that exist in their Hillsdale, VA plant. You’ll learn about some surprising benefits that the company offers and the various career opportunities that exist within the organization.

About Mohawk Industries:
Mohawk Industries is the leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone and vinyl flooring.

Mentioned in this episode:
Mohawk Industries

E1: The Somic America Story

Today you’ll learn about Somic America, located in Wytheville, VA, and the various positions that exist within the company. Discover what skill sets the company is looking for, what the hiring process looks like and some of the benefits of working for Somic America.

About Somic America: A leading supplier to the automotive manufacturing market, Somic America specializes in the manufacture of ball joints for suspension and steering systems, and rotary dampers for seat and tailgate applications.

Mentioned in this episode:
Somic America