Workforce Partnership Team

Bridging gaps to provide everyone
with a path to employment.

Securing a steady, sustainable job with a livable wage is a critical element of many of United Way’s Steps to Success, including Basic Needs, College- or Career-Readiness and Financial Well-being. Unfortunately, many Richmond residents face obstacles that prevent them from landing and maintaining a sustainable job. Many others are underemployed with little support towards upward mobility. 

The Workforce Partnership Team brings together workforce professionals and those providing wrap-around services from across the Greater Richmond region. The goals of the team include streamlining services by building a network with strong referral mechanisms, sharing curriculum and best practices and providing professional development opportunities for team members. By setting these goals, the team aims to strengthen the region’s workforce system for job seekers, practitioners and employers. United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg provides backbone support to the Workforce Partnership Team and employs a full-time staff member dedicated to leading Workforce Partnership Team activities.

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The Workforce Partnership Team has four main goals:

  • Facilitate coordinated employment, training and wrap-around service support to the unemployed and underemployed.
  • Build a network of workforce professionals and develop referral mechanisms to address the needs of job seekers in the region.
  • Share and implement curriculum and best practices that holistically prepare job candidates to fulfill the workforce needs of the emerging economy.
  • Equip members to provide high quality workforce services by providing professional development opportunities.
  • The Workforce Partnership Team consists of working committees focused on soft skills development, co-case management systems, professional development and new member outreach.

Each committee designates one partner to serve on the Workforce Partnership Team Executive Committee.

The Workforce Partnership Team is a coalition of cross-sector partners that provide workforce development services at the direct-service or manager level.

All Workforce Partnership Team members agree to:

  • Work collectively as a team to share information and build public awareness regarding employment sustainability;
  • Develop and manage mechanisms to more effectively coordinate and communicate workforce services;
  • Build and strengthen internal and external relationships between workforce development and wrap-around service providers so that they can better serve the needs of job seekers, employers and the community;
  • Advocate for policies and procedures that support the effective provision of workforce services.

The barriers to employment usually stretch beyond a simple lack of training. Challenges range from basic needs like housing stability and safety to things like lack of transportation and history of incarceration. These problems rarely exist in isolation and they always impact a person’s ability to secure and maintain a decent job.  

That’s why members of the Workforce Partnership Team provide coordinated “wrap-around services” for unemployed and underemployed people in our region who may be working with three or more agencies at once.  

Many service providers that help with employment can help in other areas or provide an informed referral to an organization that can. This system removes barriers for job seekers and provides them with the best chance at finding and keeping a job.

Soft skills are social and emotional attributes that impact how we interact with one another. For a job seeker, important soft skills include basic communication, punctuality, dependability, organization and more. 

“Soft skills can be as simple as knowing to call your employer and inform them of your anticipated absence when you are sick,” said Kelly Green-Bloomfield, 2020 Co-Chair of the Workforce Partnership Team. “It sounds obvious, but it is also extremely important.”

In many ways, soft skills matter more than hard skills or technical knowledge. This is because many employers provide on-the-job training for specific positions. “We can train any employee who is willing to learn,” said one employer. “But if someone lacks the basic soft skills, that’s much harder to work with.”

Related Programs: Network2WorkRVA

Network2WorkRVA, a technology resource designed to connect those seeking jobs with access to training opportunities and employers looking to fill vital roles within their companies, launched in 2021.

Latest Updates


Workforce Partnership Team meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month. Our meetings are currently taking place on Zoom as we remain diligent in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Our next event has not yet been scheduled. Please check back soon!

Featured Story

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A Designer with Determination

Meet Chaella Dent, a graphic design student at John Tyler Community College. This spring, Chaella completed an internship at United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg to support Workforce Partnership Team activities.

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“The Workforce Partnership team is a way for me to learn about the gaps employees are facing in the job market. I can offer our agency services to other agencies in the workforce partnership team and I know I can partner with these same agencies for assistance with our job seekers for services that we may not offer. It all adds up to a better experience for job seekers and more people finding a job.”

Chris Martin, Director of Workforce Development, SOAR365

Contact Us

Get more information from Frank Cardella, Director of Research and Evaluation.