By Tim Ryan

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council, overseeing federally funded workforce development programs for the entire Hampton Roads region, celebrated an innovating evening at the Rivers Casino Portsmouth for the 2023 Workforce Innovation Awards. Hosted by Mayor Shannon Glover, this event was a tribute to our local workforce innovators’ remarkable efforts and visionary initiatives.

Congratulations to all the honorees who stood out with their exceptional contributions and pioneering ideas. Their unwavering dedication to advancing workforce innovation is commendable.

🏆 Community-Based Organization:
Serving over 3,000 businesses and supporting an equal number of jobs, they offer professional business advertising, training, and resources to businesses across Hampton Roads.

🏆 Business:
W.M. Jordan Company
Established in 1958, they not only build structures but also nurture leaders, fostering lifelong learning and innovation.

🏆 Education:
Virginia Peninsula Community College
Virginia’s fifth-largest community college is transforming lives and the community by providing broad access to higher education and workforce training.

🏆 Special Mention:
Chesapeake Worlds of Work
An interactive expo offering students insights into high-demand, high-wage career opportunities in the region.

🏆 Workforce Champion:
Michael Paris, City of Norfolk
With numerous accolades, Michael’s dedication to economic and workforce development is unparalleled. His leadership has brought significant investments and job opportunities to the city.

🏆 Innovator of the Year:
City of Hampton, Hampton Economic Development, Hampton City Schools – Workforce Innovators
Their collaborative partnership aims to bridge the gap between local job market requirements and education, fostering a skilled workforce for the future.

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council is committed to providing strategic solutions to assist businesses in finding qualified workers and aids job seekers in finding suitable job openings and training opportunities. Their mission is “To provide the talent employers need to grow the economy that helps everyone thrive.” We envision “One Region, One Workforce, One Economy… that delivers economic empowerment for all.”

At Innovate Hampton Roads, we believe that recognizing and celebrating innovation is pivotal to the growth and prosperity of our region. Such acknowledgments not only shine a light on the trailblazers of today but also inspire the visionaries of tomorrow. The Workforce Innovation Awards serve as a testament to the boundless potential and collaborative spirit of Hampton Roads. By championing these innovators, we’re not just applauding their achievements; we’re fostering a culture of progress and creativity that will propel our region into a future brimming with opportunities. Together, as a united community, we continue to pave the way for a brighter, more innovative tomorrow.