Talent in the Lynchburg Region
The Lynchburg Region boasts a large, talented and motivated workforce, supplemented by exceptional training and workforce development programs. With eight colleges and universities located in the Lynchburg Region there is no shortage of ready-to-work talent. The Alliance works closely with education providers, workforce development partners, and existing industry to support pipeline building.
Colleges & Universities
Central Virginia Community College, a two-year institution established as a member of the Virginia Community College System, provides state-supported educational facilities beyond the high school level for the region. Students may obtain certifications in high demand occupations such as healthcare, IT, and manufacturing.
Liberty University is a liberal arts institution with 15 colleges and schools and offers programs in fields such as education, counseling, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, business, and more. Liberty graduates are sought after by prestigious companies for their integrity, personal discipline, and versatility. They are confident and competent, ready to make a lasting impact on their profession and their community. There are currently 15,500 residential students and over 80,000 online.
University of Lynchburg is a nationally recognized private university that offers programs in business administration, education, medicine, physical therapy, and more . U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review, and Colleges of Distinction recognize University of Lynchburg as one of the best institutions of higher education in the nation. They have nearly 3,100 students and more than 20,000 alumni around the world.
Randolph College is a nationally recognized, private, coeducational, liberal arts and sciences institution with a career focus located in the Lynchburg Region. Founded in 1891 as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, Randolph is known for its excellent academic program, diverse close-knit community, exceptional faculty, rich traditions, and growing NCAA Division III athletics program.
Sweet Briar College’s campus occupies 2,840 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sweet Briar prepares women to lead in fields of biology, education, business, performing arts, and more. The college is home to one of two women’s ABET accredited engineering programs in the U.S. Sweet Briar College was named one of the nation’s Most Innovative Schools, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings.
Virginia Technical Institute provides hands-on training in a variety of fields including electrical, plumbing, heating and air, welding, pipe-fitting, carpentry, masonry, multi-craft industrial maintenance, and project management. Unique to VTI is the leadership training that will further enhance the students opportunities in the marketplace. Students ranging from high school to adults have the opportunity to earn a journeyman’s license in a field of their choosing through curriculum from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).
Virginia University of Lynchburg is one of America’s Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) and has been training leaders for the past 130 years. Founded in 1886 as Lynchburg Baptist Seminary, it was renamed in 1962 to Virginia Seminary and College before acquiring its current name in 1996. VUL offers multiple programs of study including associates and bachelors degrees in ministry, arts, and sciences.
Virginia Talent Accelerator Program
As a region in the State of Virginia, prospective new companies may qualify for the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program. This program delivered by VEDP in partnership with the Virginia Community College System, provides world-class training and recruitment solutions that are fully customized to a company’s unique operations, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.
The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program accelerates facility start-ups and expansions by expediting recruiting and shortening the new-hire learning curve. The highly customized job-specific training services are delivered using methodologies and media determined to be most effective for accelerating learning in each topic. These can include:
- Hands-on training
- Broadcast-quality videos
- Illustrated work instructions
- Instructor-led classroom sessions
- E-learning modules
The Lynchburg Region is home to five public schools systems and multiple private K-12 education providers. At the high school level, students have the option to participate in early college offered through Central Virginia Community College. This program puts junior and senior students on a fast track to an associate’s degree. Additionally, students can choose to participate in career & technical programs such as welding, manufacturing technology, nursing, or computer networking.
The XLR8 Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy is the 16th regional Governor’s STEM Academy offering programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for high school juniors and seniors in the Lynchburg Region. It is located on the campus of Central Virginia Community College and offers academic and technical training related to careers in engineering, mechatronics, biotechnology, health science, and cybersecurity.
The region takes pride in creating special opportunities for students to connect with and learn from employers. In 2019, the region launched its first Worlds of Opportunity Career Fair. This two-day event exposed thousands of students to hands-on learning activities with over 50 regional employers. Additionally, the region was critical in the creation of Central Virginia Welding Wars, a one-day competition among high school, collegiate, and professional participants to bring awareness to the occupation of welding. This event was created to aid in the connection of employers and talent due to the high growth of the region’s metal sector.
Vector Space is a membership-based nonprofit makerspace. It provides a physical place for people interested in science, technology, engineering, art, and math to collaborate, invent, discover, and build the things that interest them.
A place where students, hobbyists, and professionals hone their craft, share their knowledge, and learn new things. Their mission is to build an open and collaborative community that fosters innovation, creativity, and the pursuit of science-based knowledge. In their short five years, Vector Space has made a huge impact by adding programs for K-12 students, women in machining, and robotics.
The Central Virginia Workforce Development Board (WDB) is the designated regional convener and administrative entity that coordinates workforce training and career services through federal funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The organization is charged with overseeing and implementing workforce development initiatives and activities throughout the Virginia Career Works Central Region.
The WDB collaborates with contracted program operators and workforce system partners to assist employers with applicant screening, writing job descriptions, and training new employees. The WDB also ensures that classes and career services are effectively delivered for Virginia Career Works Central Region youth and adult residents as well as businesses. The WDB offers programs such as employee training assistance, career pathways counseling, and job fair execution.
Young Professionals of Central Virginia (YPCV) is a committee of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance. YPCV is dedicated to cultivating a young, vibrant, professional community.
The committee creates events that connect YP’s to each other while providing professional development opportunities and leadership training. It is a community of emerging leaders that is making a positive impact in region and allows emerging talent to make connections, make a difference, and become a vital part of this region, socially and professionally.
In 2019, the region launched its first Level Up Young Professionals Summit, a one-day conference that provides multi-track leadership development courses and an awards ceremony that recognizes five outstanding young professionals making a difference professionally and personally.
In 2018, the City of Lynchburg ranked as the #1 City of Millennials to Consider Moving To by Reviews.Org. Factors such as low cost of living, access to outdoors, a vibrant urban hub, and public safety have continued to drive the city’s median age down to 28 years.