Colonial Heights, Va. — Virginia’s Gateway Region (VGR) and the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA) have created a new joint position to advance workforce solutions in the region. Michelle Rogers was named Director of Workforce Development and began her new role on July 6. According to the Virginia Community College System, this is the first time a regional economic development organization and a community college have partnered on such a venture.
“Better preparing our region’s workforce is a consistent requirement we hear from all stakeholders,” said Keith Boswell, President and CEO of VGR. “We are excited to embark on this new, tangible model with CCWA. Michelle will provide a human connection between new and expanding companies and our region’s workforce.”
Ms. Rogers has more than 15 years of economic development experience in the Commonwealth. She served in management roles at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
“Increasingly, the single biggest factor in businesses making a decision to locate or expand in an area is the quality of the workforce,” said Elizabeth Creamer, Vice President of Workforce Development and Credential Attainment for CCWA. “The days in which economic development could focus solely on incentives and site selection are over, and Virginia is facing a dramatically increased need for education and training partners to demonstrate how our programs can and have produced the skilled workforce industry needs.”
“As a community college, we empower people through education by preparing them for in-demand careers and connecting them to area employers,” said Edward “Ted” Raspiller, President of John Tyler Community College (JTCC) and VGR’s Board Chair. “To do this well and to ensure we are offering programs that meet workforce demand and student needs, as well as support economic development, we must maintain and grow our partnerships with business and industry. This new shared position will play an important role in this work, for both CCWA and VGR, and we are happy to have Michelle aboard.”
Virginia’s Gateway Region (VGR) is the regional economic development organization that markets the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, and the counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry and Sussex. VGR focuses its efforts on new and existing business investment and job creation.
CCWA is the workforce development partnership between JTCC and Reynolds Community College which serves the economic development and workforce needs in four cities and 12 counties of Central Virginia. The organization provides workforce development credentials, custom-designed instruction, consulting, skills assessments, and educational programs.