2017 Quarter 4 Virginia’s Blue Ridge Works (VBRW) Quarterly Workforce Report
Welcome to the 2017 fourth quarter workforce report, produced by the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development on behalf of the Area III Workforce Development Board (VBRW), Virginia’s Blue Ridge Works! This region includes the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, Roanoke, and the independent cities of Roanoke and Salem. These quarterly reports analyze and present regional labor supply and labor demand data to inform the public of the evolving workforce landscape. Please note that the data presented in this report is the most up-to-date data available as of December 2017. In this quarter’s report, we explore some basic regional trends including population, employment, and workforce gaps. We then delve into four industries targeted by the region’s GO Virginia Growth and Diversification Plan. This GOVA region is comprised of VBRW and the New River Valley—spanning from Pulaski in the southwest, Franklin County in the southeast, Giles in the northwest, and Alleghany County in the northeast. GO Virginia is a recent initiative approved by Virginia’s House of Delegates, which offers funding for suitable workforce and economic development projects. By improving collaboration across regions, this initiative is meant to leverage local capacity to encourage the development of targeted industry clusters that have predominantly higher wages and attract money from outside the state. GO Virginia regions across the state have identified four or more target industry clusters, and have developed strategies to grow and diversify these clusters. Arguably one of the most prominent strategies identified by all GO Virginia regions was to growth, retain, and attract skilled workers. This report will provide some basic data on the target GOVA clusters in VBRW and highlight assets and areas where workforce stakeholders may play a role in GO Virginia.