Are you looking to pursue an in-demand career close to home, but unsure of what industries are hiring in your community? You’ve come to the right place.
Family members, friends, teachers and even current employers will often offer well-intentioned advice on what career you should pursue and what will make you the most money down the road. While advice from those you trust can be valuable, you’re the only one who knows where your true passions and abilities lie. And when it comes to job outlook, only the experts have the data to make accurate predictions for the future.
There are many community resources ready to connect you with information on booming industries in your region and which businesses are looking to hire employees.
Here are some regional economic and business agencies across the state with an abundance of workforce information that are just an email or phone call away.
Workforce Development Centers
You may have learned about Virginia Career Works Central Region in one of our previous blogs, but did you know that there are several Virginia Career Works centers spread across the Commonwealth? Virginia Career Works Northern and Virginia Career Works Hampton Roads are two other centers that represent a network of state agencies and nonprofit organizations that help connect Virginians to financial, community and workforce resources. Each center offers different programs and services, but all serve as an excellent resource to find out who’s hiring in your community, and how you can gain the skills to make you a qualified candidate.
Visit the Virginia Employment Commission to find your local Virginia Career Works office.
Economic Development Offices
Economic development offices such as the Bedford County Office of Economic Development and Wise Country Office of Economic and Industrial Development are government agencies that create economic and industrial growth opportunities and work to increase the quality of life for citizens in their regions. These agencies can offer information on what businesses are in the area, who’s hiring, what the cost of living is like and in the case of Bedford’s office of Economic Development, link high school students with local businesses based on their career interests.
Visit your region’s economic development office and learn more about what makes your community unique and where the jobs are.
Local business alliances also support businesses and citizens in a multitude of ways but are usually membership organizations. Alliances including the Lynchburg Regional Alliance and the Hampton Roads Business Alliance work to attract businesses to their region and offer members products, services, events, consultations and leadership development programs and more. Business alliances also serve as a liaison between businesses and workforce, making them a go-to resource for what industries are in-demand in your community.
Your local community college is a resource for you as well. Connect with your advisor or your college’s student success center to learn more about your local job market.