• 407 South Loudoun Street • Winchester, VA 22601 • 540.662.4118

  • What is a skilled workforce?

    The answer to this burning question depends on who is in the discussion. Skills and talents vary from industry to industry. Certain industries require a highly technical background, others require strong planning and people skills, and some simply require that you show up ready to work each and every day with the right attitude in hand. 

    Regardless of the skill and talent requirements, the essential equation for success for businesses and workforce participants includes a blend of know-how and executive function (e.g., communication, collaboration, divergent thinking, work ethic, etc.). This blend can only happen successfully if the business and schools work in tandem to create strong, focused educational and training programs that meet workforce and industry needs today and into the future. 
    Strategic Alliance between Business and Schools

    Business Mandate: The challenge for businesses is to be an active rather than passive participant in developing educational and training programs that will meet their future needs. This effort requires that they provide the educational planners accurate and sufficient information on their workforce needs (e.g., skills, talents, professional attributes, etc.).

    School Mandate: The challenge for schools, be they K-12, community college, or university, is to fully partner with the business community to ensure that their skill-based programs leading to full employment upon graduation are in sync with the needs of local and regional employers.
  • Securing the Future- A Skilled Workforce Initiative

    The Chamber is proud to announce the Securing Your Future Initiative. The mission is to bring the business community into collaboration with the education community through ongoing dialogue that will define the employee skills and talents needed by local businesses and promote the training programs that can fulfill those skills. This initiative is a collaboration of the Chamber and local public and private schools. The focus of the initiative in the K-12 arena is to provide real life experiences for students as they approach graduation. The experiences can be in many forms:

    • Spot Observation - a student joins a business for a short period (morning, afternoon) to view what is happening in the workplace.
    • Shadowing - a student joins a business for a longer period (one to two days) and follows an employee through his/her daily routines.
    • Internship - a student joins a business for a longer period (quarter/semester) and truly engages in the business' day-to-day activities as a full participant in an unpaid status.
    • Cooperative experience (Co-op) - a student joins a business for a longer period (one to two semesters) and is effectively employed by the business in a paid status.

    We ask business who are interested in working with our students in the development of a "skilled workforce," business who believe in the future of our business community, to contact the Chamber office for additional information at 540-662-4118.

  • A Skilled Workforce Initiative Participants

    Top of Virginia Regional Chamber

    Winchester Public Schools

    Frederick County Public Schools

    Clarke County Public Schools
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    "The Top of Virginia Regional Chamber is an incredibly valuable resource for the Shenandoah Valley..." – Adrienne G. Bloss, PhD, Provost, Shenandoah University.