Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce2019-10-18T14:16:13+00:00

Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce

There’s a gap between the worlds of learning and work.

There is a gap between the worlds of learning and work in Southwest Virginia. Research shows us that less than half of high school graduates in Southwest Virginia go on to further their education; in Southwest Virginia in 2015, more than 3,000 16-19 year olds were not in school or working; and our employers need to fill open positions. What’s needed is a true “cradle-to-career” continuum: a talent pipeline that prepares the next generation for the jobs of tomorrow, supplies businesses with skilled workers and builds a robust, competitive economy.

We are bringing partners together to do something about it.

Youth should be ready to enter and advance in the region’s workforce. Together with dozens of community partners, we are addressing the problem through initiative-based community impact.

Thank you, Sponsors!  We are grateful for the Sponsors who have demonstrated their commitment to preparing our youth for viable careers and a lifetime of learning!

If you have questions about supporting the Expo, please call Mary Anne Holbrook at 276.525.4075 or email mholbrook@unitedwayswva.org.

Sponsors

Ambassadors

Leaders Breakfast

Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce: The Leaders Breakfast is an invitation-only event for business CEOs, legislators, city managers, county administrators, workforce investment boards, school superintendents, and other cross-sector leadership from throughout the region. At the breakfast, leaders receive up-to-date information and research on current workforce issues of the region and updates about our region’s emerging workforce.

Learn More

2019 Ignite Internship Impact Report 

We’ve created a document that will quickly summarize the impact of the Ignite Internship initiative as of 2019. This impact report contains information presented at the 2019 Leaders Breakfast including a breakdown of the components of our Ignite Program internships, as well as our research and sources. We invite you to view the 2019 Impact Report using the link below.

Click here to read the full 2019 Ignite Internships Impact Report 

Letter from Governor Northam

Following the 2019 Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce Leaders Breakfast, Governor Ralph S. Northam sent his congratulations to community business partners, students and staff for completing a successful inaugural round of Ignite Internships in efforts to establish a talent pipeline that better prepares the workforce of tomorrow.

Click here to read the full letter from Governor Northam

2018 Op-Ed Series

The series of four opinion pieces will be published in June, July, August, and September. The op-ed series will include opinions from community leaders about the issues facing our region and proposed solutions with positive, long-term effects on the workforce of tomorrow.

2018 Written Series

The three articles in the 2018 written series will be published during the months of July, August, and September, and will showcase “bright spots” in Southwest Virginia related to skill development through hands-on learning. We’ll share the stories of local success and the investments companies are making in the next generation – preparing our region’s young people for tomorrow’s workforce.

2018 White Paper

We’ve created an eight-page document that will quickly summarize the Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce initiative as of 2018. This white paper contains information presented at the 2018 Leaders Breakfast including a breakdown of the 2018 components of our Ignite Program, as well as our research and sources. We invite you to download the PDF using the link below.

Click here to read Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce: The White Paper.

2017 Written Series

The eleven-article written series was created to shed light on the gap between the worlds of learning and work in our region and introduce “Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce” in 2017. We explored challenges in Southwest Virginia’s workforce and showcased the talent we have here in Southwest Virginia. We shared the stories of local workers and discussed topics that specifically affect our workforce in Southwest Virginia such as local livable-wage jobs, local innovation, the value of working at an early age, the uniqueness of the community college system, and combining passion with skill – just to name a few. Our last article provided an overview of the actions being taken to bridge the gap between the worlds of learning and work in our region.

The “Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce” series was written by United Way of Southwest Virginia and was published in the Bristol Herald Courier, Clinch Valley Times, The Castlewood – St. Paul Observer, and The Lebanon News from May through October 2017. A sidequel series was also published in The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee / Virginia from May through October 2017. The series as a whole garnered over 50,000 digital impressions through social media and online access to the original articles. The printed articles were distributed to a readership of over 50,000 individuals across the region, adding up to more than 500,000 print impressions.

This written series was a Platinum Award recipient in the MarCom Awards 2017 competition.

MarCom’s Platinum Award is presented to those entries judged to be among the most outstanding entries in the competition. There were over 6,500 entries from throughout the United States, Canada and 17 other countries in the MarCom Awards 2017 competition.

11/11: United Way of SWVA creating major community collaborations to strengthen tomorrow’s workforce

2017 White Paper

We’ve created an eight-page document that will quickly summarize the Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce initiative as of 2017. This white paper contains information presented at the 2017 Leaders Breakfast including a breakdown of the 2017 components of our Ignite Program, as well as our research and sources. We invite you to download the PDF using the link below.

Click here to read Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce: The White Paper.

Download

Ignite Program

The United Way of Southwest Virginia Ignite Program sparks career interest in the next generation of Southwest Virginia’s workforce through career awareness (through components like the Careers Expo for Youth) and skill development. The program helps bridge the gap between the worlds of learning and work by connecting schools and students with employers and employees. Across the United Way of Southwest Virginia service area, the Ignite Program is investing in the lives of over 29,000 students – enabling middle school and high school students to realize their potential and be ready to enter and advance in the region’s workforce.

Learn More

How can you join in our efforts?

About United Way of Southwest Virginia

United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life.  Through an initiative-based cradle-to-career approach, United Way of Southwest Virginia is creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce. United Way convenes cross-sector partners to make an impact on the most complex problems in our region. Through collaboration with government, business, nonprofit and individuals, United Way innovates for positive, lasting social change.  With a footprint that covers nearly 20% of the state of Virginia, United Way of Southwest Virginia programs and initiatives serve the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe, and the cities of Bristol, Galax, Norton, and Radford.