Tertiary Workforce Services Analysis in Southwest Virginia: Transportation

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Virginia Tech. Office of Economic Development


There are many layers to a thriving workforce. According to the three sector economic theory, there is a need for “primary sector” raw materials, “secondary sector” manufacturing and production of goods, and “tertiary sector” services such as transportation, distribution, and customer service (Fisher 1939; Clark, 1940; Fourastie 1954). The concept behind these three layers can be applied not only to the production of goods, but also to the workforce itself. On the primary level, workers need the basic raw materials, namely employment opportunities (businesses). On the secondary level, workers need the education, training, and professional development to prepare them for these jobs. On the tertiary level, workers need “wrap around services” in their lives to enable them to remain employed. Regardless of the ways in which this concept is framed (in terms of goods or in terms of workforce), this tertiary layer forms the essential foundation of a healthy economy. This report is one of three reports that explore these critical tertiary services in Virginia’s Workforce Areas I, II, and III: childcare, transportation, and behavioral health facilities.