The Board’s Corner

The Board’s Corner

Board Membership and Responsibilities

The Western Virginia Workforce Development Board (WVWDB) is a partnership of public- and private-sector organizations dedicated to cultivating a dynamic workforce development system that stimulates economic development. Created under the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the Board serves the cities of Covington, Roanoke and Salem, and the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke

As a key component in the Commonwealth’s workforce and career development system, the Board’s charge extends beyond WIA and incorporates the goals and objectives of varied and numerous organizations that impact the local workforce system, including businesses, state and local agencies and the faith- and community-based organizations in the region

As one of Virginia’s 16 local boards WVWDB overseas the local system which provides worker education, training, and employment services designed to:

help employers find skilled workers and

  • help job seekers prepare for, find, and retain employment.

The local board:

  • Operates as a catalyst for change– Seizes opportunities for systemic change and advocates for change at the state and federal levels to achieve the Board’s strategic goals.
  • Conducts strategic planning – Identifies and manages workforce and community issues, not programs and services. Engages stakeholders and aligns resources and Board’s activities with main priorities of the local community. Ideally spends a majority of every board meeting on strategic objectives. Develops a strategic plan, which is updated annually, and holds an annual planning retreat.
  • Ensure inclusiveness – Produces an integrated local career-development system through which industry, labor and educational partnerships are developed. Establishes connections among people and agencies to make sure local needs are met through the coordination of programs and services.
  • Acts decisively - Makes informed decisions based on strategic goals and the Board’s role in the Commonwealth’s Workforce and Career Development System. The Board is responsible for making strategic decisions, while staff members are responsible for advising and supporting the board.

Board membership - Given the Board’s responsibility to develop and maintain a streamlined and comprehensive local system, members are appointed by the Chief Local Elected Official Consortium on the basis of nominations from the local businesses or individuals. Ideal candidates are:

Community Leaders with a demonstrated ability to make a major difference.

  • Committed to and respected by the local community
  • Has a passion for education, workforce development and economic development.
  • Focused on major community issues
  • Willing to effectively communicate the local vision, and to engage and get full buy-in from others.

Visionaries who look beyond the “business as usual” activities.

  • “Push the envelope” with foresight, innovative ideas and creativity.
  • Have the ability to paint the picture of the desired state of the workforce to determine what the Board wants to accomplish and motivate partners to move in the same direction.
  • Positive change agents who celebrate change and welcome challenges as an opportunity for continuous improvement and a chance to shape the workforce of the future.
  • Strategic decision makers able to “think big,” see the broader workforce issues, and provide direction-setting leadership based on the mission and strategic objectives of the Board. Board members should be individuals in senior-level positions, with optimum decision-making responsibility, within their organizations.
  • Team players determined to accomplish the mission of the Board with full participation in Board meetings and activities.
  • Informed participants knowledgeable of and committed to learning more about workforce development needs of the entire community; actively seeking out and becoming involved in broader workforce issues.

Keys to Successful Board Membership

Workforce development Board membership carries great responsibility: Members guide the local workforce development system and programs available to businesses and job. As volunteers, successful members give their time willingly to accomplish the Board’s mission. Successful Board members:

  • Understand that the Board bears the ultimate responsibility for the integrity of governance and responsible stewardship of funds and programs entrusted to its authority. Each member will evaluate and make decisions with the good of the entire area in mind.
  • Know the Board’s mission, purposes, goals, policies, programs, services, strengths, and needs.
  • Participate in developing and refining the vision of what the “workforce development” system will look like and feel like in the Roanoke/Alleghany/ Franklin are for business and job-seeking customers.
  • Serve in leadership positions or undertake special assignments willingly and enthusiastically when asked.
  • Advocate on behalf of workforce development system and its programs and the Board within the business community in a manner which enhances the Board’s image and effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals.
  • Actively seek additional resources and opportunities to improve the availability and coordination of workforce programs and services within the Region and around the State.
  • Call to the attention of the Board Chair, Executive Committee or staff matters of potential significance.
  • Follow trends in workforce development and strive to continuously increase in knowledge of the industry.
  • Prepare for and participate in Board and committee meetings, including appropriate organizational activities. Suggest agenda items periodically for Board and committee meetings to ensure that significant policy-related matters are addressed.
  • Continuously evaluate Board performance in providing leadership to the staff and community in the workforce development arena, and make recommendations for improvement and growth.
  • Avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest that might jeopardize Board standing in the community and disclose any possible conflicts to the Board in a timely fashion. Never accept (or offer) favors or gifts from (or to) anyone who does business with the organization.
  • Maintain independence and objectivity and act with a sense of fairness, ethics, and personal integrity at all times. Avoid prejudiced judgments on the basis of
    information received from individuals and urge those with grievances to follow established policies and procedures to address their concerns.

WVWDB meets six times annually on the first Friday of alternating months (February, April, June, August, October and December). The annual meeting is held in June where officers are elected for the following year, which runs July 1 – June 30.

Each director serves for a three-year term and may be appointed for additional three-year terms. Directors are required to participate in training related to Board service and the Workforce Investment Act. Board of director bylaws require membership include at least 51 percent private sector members, who represent the locality in which their organization is based. The remaining membership consists of representatives of partner organizations as described under the Workforce Investment Act and applicable federal, state and local policy.

To nominate an individual, use the official nomination form and submit it to the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board administrative office by mail:108 N. Jefferson St. Suite 509, Roanoke, VA 24016, fax 540-767-6084, or email info@westernvaworkforce.com.

Questions may be addressed to any current board member or to the staff at 540-767-6149.