Isle of Wight County’s location within the Hampton Roads region of Virginia offers a variety of labor benefits. Virginia is a right-to-work state with workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance costs consistently ranked some of the lowest in the nation. A strong regional transportation network connects a labor pool of over 800,000 people with a wide variety of skill sets to support every industry from warehousing and logistics, to advanced manufacturing, healthcare and retail.
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Workforce Development Working Group
Isle of Wight County, in partnership with Isle of Wight County Schools, established a workforce development working group, which includes local and regional workforce partners. This group is working to create a county-wide workforce development program to support training efforts of new and existing businesses in order to position the County as the premier destination for business growth.
Our workforce development partners stand ready to assist companies in recruiting and training qualified employees:
Isle of Wight County Schools consists of five elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools with just over 5,500 students. This innovative school system is fully-accredited with graduation rates surpassing the state level according to Virginia Standards of Learning.
Isle of Wight County Schools’ new career and technical education (CTE) program is designed to equip County students with skills to prepare them for “college, career, and life.” The new program offers courses including: engineering, manufacturing, robotics, culinary arts, and coding, to name a few, that offer the training which modern employers, including many local businesses, say they need in their workforce. These courses are designed not only to teach specific technical skills, but also the more elusive, much sought after “soft” skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. The school system recently renovated the vocational building at Smithfield High School to add new facilities, such as a commercial kitchen for the culinary arts program, and built a working farm called the Agricultural Land Lab at Windsor High School for use by the agriculture programs.
Isle of Wight County Schools is interested in partnering with local and regional businesses to help implement its new programs. Any business interested in participating should contact Mike Lombardo at 757-357-4514.
Paul D. Camp Community College is a two-year college offering associate degrees, certificate programs, and technical training. The Division of Workforce Development offers a variety of training and educational options to meet the needs of new and existing businesses including: Community Education Courses, Customized Training, Job Candidate Assessment, and Consulting Services.
Virginia will be offsetting the tuition of select workforce training programs at community colleges by 66% with the new Workforce Credential Grant (WCG). New incentive funds to offset the cost of tuition on select high-demand credentials programs are now available and programs are open for registration. See eligible programs below. For more information contact: Angela Lawhorne, Director of Workforce Development, at 757-569-6064.
Customer Services and Sales Certification
Manufacturing Technician 1 (MT1)
Commercial Driver’s License
As a workforce development board representing the communities in Southside Hampton Roads, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council serves as a one-stop connection between employers and potential employees. They offer testing services designed to effectively screen applicants, job specific training programs, and valuable connections to help employers hire exiting military personnel.
Blackwater Regional Library is a rural, regional system comprising 9 branches and 1 bookmobile servicing the City of Franklin, Isle of Wight County, Southampton County, Surry County, and Sussex County. The library branches in Isle of Wight include Carrollton, Smithfield and Windsor.
The region has a robust higher education system offering diverse learning experiences providing a work ready talent pool from which to recruit.