We get a lot of questions about what is the Workforce Development Board (WDB), who its members are and what they do.  So here’s a bit of background:

There is a long history of Federal workforce training programs.  This one began with the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, which was reauthorized with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014.

In both of the above mentioned Acts, the Governors are required to designate local workforce areas within each State (the Commonwealth of Virginia has 15 Workforce Areas). Each local area is required to have a Workforce Development Board which is appointed by the Chief Local Elected Officials of the jurisdictions within the Workforce Area. Board members are subject to conflict of interest requirements and sunshine provisions.

In 2010 the 13 jurisdictions of the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Area (which includes the counties of Bland, Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Montgomery, Pulaski, Smyth, Washington and Wythe and the cities of Bristol, Galax and Radford) became a single government entity, through a Joint Exercise of Power by way of Local Ordinances, to oversee workforce programs in the region*.  The New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Area Consortium Board consist of the Chief Local Elected Official or their elected official designee, from each of the local governments comprising the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Area.  The Consortium Board serves as the policy board for the Area which includes making appointments to the Workforce Development Board.

The New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board (WDB) is made up of representatives from regional businesses (51%), plus representatives from federally required One-Stop Partners, and other key regional representatives (e.g. economic development, community based organizations, etc.).  The WDB oversees the programs and initiatives as specified in WIOA (which include programs for Adults, Youth and Dislocated Workers) along with other special grants and programs as available.

On December 9, 2015 the NR/MR Workforce Investment Area Consortium Board approved a resolution for the NR/MR WDB to act as the regional convener for the region’s workforce system.

In this role the NR/MR WDB:

  1. Coordinates workforce system partners to seamlessly interface with economic development and the business community;
  2. Serves as the region’s workforce analyst;
  3. Brokers partnerships and systems;
  4. Advocates for workforce programs and initiatives; and
  5. Builds capacity for system performance

The Workforce System includes (but is not limited to):

  • K-12 Education systems
  • Post-Secondary Education/Training providers
  • Adult Education
  • Training/Employment Programs offered for special populations
    • Veterans
    • Unemployed and/or underemployed
    • Older Workers
    • Workers with disabilities
    • Economically disadvantaged
    • Youth (ages 14-24)

More information about our area, boards and programs can be found on our website at http://www.nrmrwib.org.


*With the change from WIA to WIOA, the Consortium Board will again review its Agreement and go to the localities for adoption of a new Ordinance.