The Counties We Serve

The Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board is located in the beautiful Appalachian mountains of Southwest Virginia. The SWVA WDB represents Virginia’s Workforce Area One and encompasses the communities of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise Counties, as well as, the City of Norton. Although it is a predominantly rural area, there is significant industrial development and business presence.

Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board


We envision meeting the needs of our businesses and workers by enhancing skills to create a qualified, career-ready workforce that reflects the Southwest Virginia values of honesty, dependability, and resiliency.


Executive Director

Sarah Bundy

Director of Operations and Finance

Pam Ratliff

Administrative Manager

Tiffanie Goff

Director of Programming
One Stop Center Operations

Nick Childers

Assistant Director of Finance

Rachel Patton

Business Solutions Director

Heather King

Richlands One Stop Manager

Jason Sartin

Wise One Stop Manager
Business Solutions Coordinator

Committed to supporting the success of our community


We are the Chief Local Elected Officials (CLEOs) of the units of local government within the area who, along with the SWVA WDB, ensure alignment of economic development, fiscal policies, and strategic planning.

Brian Shoemaker

Lee County

Michael Brickey

Scott County

Steve Breeding
Russell County
Kyle Cruey

Tazewell County

Peggy Kiser

Dickenson County

Roger Rife
Buchanan County
Mark Caruso

Norton City

Tim Boardwine

Wise County


We represent local businesses, educational institutions, and mandated partners and are responsible for setting policies to ensure quality services while remaining compliant with the law. Over half of the Board’s membership consists of local business leaders.


We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides workforce services to individuals and businesses throughout far southwestern Virginia in the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Wise, and the City of Norton. Our support system helps job seekers overcome barriers they may face as they look for work while connecting them to our region's businesses for employment opportunities. While most workforce development boards in Virginia only operate the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs, we are uniquely positioned to pursue other funding as a nonprofit organization. As such, we have an array of specialized programs that help individuals with severe barriers, like substance abuse recovery and justice-system involvement. These programs work in harmony with WIOA to ensure the utmost success for each and every participant.

Debi Hutchinson

Programs Manager

Tiffany Petrey

SWVA Works
Workforce Specialist
Lee and Scott Counties

Robyn Davis

SWVA Works
Workforce Specialist
Wise County & City of Norton

Stephanie Edwards

SWVA Works
Workforce Specialist Dickenson County

Mike Elswick

SWVA Works
Workforce Specialist Buchanan County

Lisa Hubbard

SWVA Works
Workforce Specialist Tazewell County


SWVA Works
Workforce Specialist
Russell County

Lisa Baker

R.O.P.E.S. Program
Program Manager

Rita Perkins

R.O.P.E.S. Program
Program Assistant

Sharon Kitts

R.O.P.E.S. Program
Employment Specialist

Jason Pruitt

R.O.P.E.S. Program
Employment Specialist

Melena Lester

Employment Specialist

Jason Sartin

Wise One Stop
Center Manager and
Business Solutions Coordinator

Heather King

Richlands One Stop
Center Manager

Doug Meade

Operations Assistant


Our History

With the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board embarked on its journey to develop a workforce system that would provide a well-trained workforce compatible with both the needs of existing businesses and adaptable to the needs of prospective businesses. The process has been ever-changing and a struggle at times. With the enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, a new way of doing business followed, yet always with the same goal in mind:

Our Mission is to provide businesses with the workforce to diversify the economy, and to provide the workforce with pathways to well-paid, satisfying careers that maintain their quality of life in Southwest Virginia.

Our Programming & Services

The Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board is committed to improving the businesses and lives of people in this area. We help individuals obtain employment and further their careers. We empower businesses with key resources and support. While our work to leverage available programs and initiatives to support our region is ongoing, below are some of the crucial programs we currently champion to serve those that come to us for help:

WIOA Adult Program: For job seekers 18 years or older who face barriers (such as low income or lack of training) to enter or reenter the workforce.

WIOA Dislocated Worker Program: For job seekers that have lost their jobs (through no fault of their own) and need to reenter the workforce as quickly as possible. Additional funding is available to provide extra assistance with housing, childcare, uniforms and tools, and more.

WIOA Youth Program: For young adults ages 16 - 24 who face barriers to entering the workforce. Barriers can include having a low family income, being in or aging out of foster care, or lacking critical academic skills. Additional funding is available in Dickenson and Tazewell counties for young adults who don’t meet WIOA eligibility and/or who are still in school.

ReEngagement and Opportunities & Pathways to Employment Success (R.O.P.E.S.): For job seekers who are recovering from substance misuse disorder OR have a criminal background (an individual does not have to have both to qualify for the program). We help with on-the-job training, DMV fees and penalties, safe driving classes, mental health referrals, and more.

Living Expenses while Training Stipend (LETS Train): For job seekers that are un- or underemployed, live in Buchanan or Tazewell county, and are enrolled in a training program. We provide a monthly living stipend so that they are able to finish training and go to work.

Cars to Work: For low-income job seekers or employed individuals who need transportation to and from work and live in Dickenson or Tazewell Counties.

A Step Ahead: For workers who have lost their jobs. We provide a monthly living stipend to individuals so that they can attend short-term training to hone their existing skills or enter a new career field.

Southwest Virginia
Workforce Development Board

116 S. Flannagan Ave.  Suite C
Lebanon, VA  24266
(276) 883-4034

Working together to build a stronger workforce