Roanoke Regional Partnership and Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Board Seeking Proposals for Web-Based Talent Portal

The Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Board (GRWDB), in partnership with the Roanoke Regional Partnership (RRP), is seeking competitive proposals from qualified sources to create, develop, and assist in the implementation of a regional web-based talent portal for the Greater Roanoke Region. The region includes the Counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke and the Cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem.

Proposal submissions may be submitted either electronically or by physical mail. All proposals must be received electronically or in-person at the GRWDB office no later than 12:00 PM (noon) EST on Monday, October 10, 2022.

Click here to view the full RFP.

Building Strong Partnerships for a Prosperous Future

Five people smiling and posed in front of large window with mountains in the backgroundThere’s a reason it is called the Roanoke Regional Partnership. It takes local and regional partners working together with state agencies to boost quality of life, recruit and develop a local workforce, and build community wealth. The past few weeks have been a shining example of building and maintaining those strong relationships. Recently, the Partnership hosted the Honorable Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick and Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) CEO Jason El Koubi on a regional tour. In June, the Partnership also hosted VEDP project managers in several different sector teams representing technology, services, products, and lead generation.

These tours are important to the region in several ways. They’re opportunities to share information on regional strengths such as industrial diversity, location, speed-to-market real estate solutions, and workforce development programs. They also provide the Partnership an opportunity to market itself on the livability and quality-of-life amenities this region has worked tirelessly to curate. And of course, these tours open a two-way dialogue with decision makers. This visit with Secretary Merrick was an excellent opportunity for public and private leadership to share ideas and perspectives on a wide range of matters.    

The tours encompassed everything from industry and workforce roundtable discussions, meetings with leadership, tours of prepared sites to enjoyment of recreational amenities and discussions surrounding market assets and strengths.

Economic development is a team sport, and it involves a wide range and mix of partners at the local, regional, and state levels including the public and the private sectors. Everyone has a seat at the table. The Roanoke Regional Partnership and its leadership are actively engaged in productive relationship building to further the aims and pursuits of regional economic development.

Previous, current, and future successes cannot come to fruition without the support of the Partnership’s public and private investors. An example of that is the recent Thrive 2027 campaign. The $3.6 million campaign goal was surpassed by over $400,000, a testament to the work and relationship building the Partnership brings to the economic development table. Please visit to learn more about the Partnership’s strategies and tactics and to join the ranks of investors helping to grow the region.

Regional Industry and Higher Ed Partner to Bolster Recruitment, Retention, and Career Training

White man with grey ponytail and white woman with glasses and dark hair sit at a table, laughing with one another.
Photo courtesy of Virginia Economic Review, July 2022 Issue

We’ve written previously on how the Roanoke Region’s strong training assets fuel success in business attraction and growth, and Virginia Economic Development Partnership just highlighted another great example of workforce development and industry partnerships between Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) and Mack Trucks.

When the new plant producing medium-duty trucks opened in 2020, Mack Trucks engaged in a new partnership with VWCC, thus beginning a productive relationship.  Mack Trucks has worked with VWCC on internship and apprenticeship opportunities surrounding its programs in mechatronic systems engineering technology, a cross-discipline that combines mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering to meet high-performance manufacturing industry standards.  Skills based in automation are in high demand, and VWCC is providing their student body with the training and connections to be successful immediately upon graduation. 

VWCC has also customized training to support Mack Trucks with courses tailored to problem solving and process improvement as well as leadership and supervisory essentials training. 

“VWCC has a good understanding of our needs, and they adapt to fulfill our needs,” -Antonio Servidoni, vice president of operations for Mack Trucks’ Roanoke Valley Operation.

Read more on how the Roanoke Region’s workforce and industry partnerships are paying off in this piece from the Virginia Economic Review


The Roanoke Regional Partnership Announces Thrive 2027 Campaign Raises over $4 Million

Just three months after announcing the public phase of Thrive 2027, the Roanoke Regional Partnership is pleased to report that the campaign surpassed its $3.6 million fundraising goal. The bold, five-year economic development plan will bring more than $4 million dollars to accelerate the local economy and enhance the region’s competitiveness for business and talent attraction.

John Hull, executive director of Roanoke Regional Partnership, standing at podium with board members seated behind him

In total, Thrive 2027 raised $4,041,900, pledged over five years, to achieve four initiatives for the Roanoke Region: economic growth and innovation; talent attraction and workforce development; commercial real estate and infrastructure; and placemaking and livability. Success measurements for these initiatives are the creation of 3,000 new jobs, $350 million in capital investments, a 10-percent increase in population growth from in-migration, a 15-percent increase in per capita income, and a 300-percent increase in inventory of certified sites by 2027.

John Hull, executive director with the Roanoke Regional Partnership, said, “More than 122 businesses across all sectors representing the diverse geography of the Roanoke Region of Virginia have made the commitment to invest in future growth for our great region. The Roanoke Regional Partnership is well positioned to continue its long tradition of generating significant economic wins and building a strong, diverse economy. The economic progress that we have seen and will continue to enjoy is made possible by the leadership and investment of both the public and the private sectors working together.”

The fundraising announcement was made to investors on Thursday, May 11 at the Vinton War Memorial. “I am very encouraged, although not surprised, to see the business community showing pride in the current state of our region and optimism about the future. Their commitment, alongside our local municipalities’ continued support, will allow the Roanoke Regional Partnership to help lead the way for success in the next five years and beyond!” campaign co-chair and CFO of Carilion, Don Halliwill, said of the campaign’s success.

“With this strong demonstration of support, the Roanoke Regional Partnership is positioned to facilitate economic growth, talent development, real estate investment and improved livability for this region.” Paul Nester, campaign co-chair added.

Cathy Underwood, campaign co-chair, recognized the strong role collaboration and community pride played in Thrive 2027’s success. “A team of incredible community leaders, along with Partnership staff, has worked tirelessly over the last 10 months to achieve this success. It is always exciting to see a community come together and invest their time and financial support in something as important as this work.”

The Roanoke Regional Partnership, which includes eight municipalities and more than 120 businesses, has a long history of success with economic and community growth. Five years ago, the Partnership launched the Accelerate 2022 fundraising campaign; despite the fourth year of the campaign overlapping a pandemic, Accelerate 2022 was a success that is still delivering results today. Thrive 2027 will work to continue that momentum and keep the Roanoke Region growing with a commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation, greater regional coordination on employer talent needs, regional coordination on real estate and infrastructure needs, and attracting and retaining an increasingly diverse segment of people and businesses by expanding the region’s livability story.

The Partnership is grateful for the generosity of the Thrive 2027 investors and volunteers who contributed to the success of this campaign. For more information visit

 Several men holding plants smiling at the camera in a conference room