NEWPORT NEWS- With a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council unveiled its second Hampton Roads Veterans Employment Center on November 16.
Roughly 85 people were in attendance at the ceremony for the new center, which is located at 600 Thimble Shoals Blvd. in Newport News. The Hampton Roads Veterans Employment Center will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The center was made possible thanks to a $300,000 grant from Smithfield Foods, which was announced in December 2020.
Both the Newport News Center as well as another center located in Norfolk help veterans transition to civilian life, offering resume development, career-building workshops, access to computers and teleconferencing, and on-site hiring support. The services, which come at no cost, are for current and former military members and their spouses. Professionals who have direct access to employment opportunities in the region will be available for career consultation.
At the grand opening of the new center in Newport News, Kathleen Jabs, Virginia’s Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, told the local ABC television affiliate one of the goals is to keep retiring or transitioning military members in Hampton Roads. She said about only half of the 20,000 members getting out of active duty in the commonwealth each year stay in Hampton Roads.
The Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC) is a non-profit organization that develops workforce policy and initiatives in Southeastern Virginia. According to the Greater Hampton Roads Community Indicators dashboard, 4.2 percent of veterans between the ages of 18-64 in the Newport News area were unemployed from 2015 to 2019.