Recruitment and Retention

  • Match the needs of the companies with the area’s workforce, cluster and gap analysis, and areas that can drive growth. Healthcare, manufacturing, food service, and technology are major employers.

  • The public school system has been identified by multiple stakeholders and studies to be a significant challenge to the recruitment and retention of businesses in a variety of sectors including healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and a variety of professional positions.

  • More aggressive marketing for tech companies, advanced manufacturing, and tourism.

  • Unified message in marketing by each county Industrial Authority, in concert with the Virginia’s Growth Alliance (VGA) and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance (SVRA), to promote the whole region.

  • Market available resources to existing industries.

  • Target whole industry segments (technology-based companies, data, manufacturing, agricultural, etc.) to better compete at national, regional, and state levels for industries.

  • Identify market areas to be targeted such as professional applicants (i.e., doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers), skilled labor (mechanics, plumbers, electricians, welders), and other labor segments.

  • Partner with appropriate private companies that have ties outside the region (e.g., MBC established a Silicon Valley office in California to recruit for Southern Virginia).

  • Use public incentives to target specific industries and expand infrastructure to support the key industries.

  • Strengthen supply chains (e.g., likeminded businesses to grow the automotive cluster).



  • Expand the number of programs offered in technical training areas: nurses, accountants, machinists, mechanical engineers, welders, fabricators.

  • Strengthen workforce development programs in the high schools.

  • Coordinate training efforts between secondary and post-secondary institutions to have a cohesive, robust regional workforce development program.



  • Provide incentives that are partnership based.

  • Market funding opportunities to companies so they may use available resources.

  • Strengthen efforts between Virginia’s Growth Alliance ( and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance ( to leverage private/public funding opportunities for identified critical infrastructure or facilities.

  • Leverage local funds to match state and federal grant funding opportunities to expand or maintain infrastructure.


The Southside Planning District will continue to work with regional partners and the localities to shape growth and development in the region.  This process has unveiled a strong and common vision for a sustainable and diverse economy that is focused on the 21st Century.  Specific goals and priorities have emerged that blend traditional and innovative tools. At the end of the day, the effective recruitment and retention of business to the region lies in having a diverse, well trained workforce and a unified, strong marketing message. This requires partnerships, educational advances, and financial commitment. 

Collaboration is the new competition, and the key to innovation and success.

Implementation Strategy Focus Areas

Southside Planning District Commission

200 S. Mecklenburg Ave. South Hill, Virginia 23970

(434) 447-7101