Meet Our LETS Train Case Manager!

For #WorkforceDevelopmentMonth, we’re taking a moment to recognize our awesome case managers who work with individuals to overcome barriers they face when entering the workforce. As our last installment, check out the case manager for our LETS Train program! If you missed our other case manager posts, you can view them here: SWVA Works, R.O.P.E.S., and Project Reconnect.

Doug Meade – Doug is the son of a coal miner and grew up on a farm in Wise County. Doug’s rural upbringing has helped form his strong work ethic, values, and community spirit. His warmth and eternal optimism brighten the lives and the spirit of peers that work with him. He loves spending time with his work team and looks forward to staff potlucks. He always brings his wife’s famous banana pudding, much to the delight of his coworkers.

Doug has a rich and extensive forty-three-year public service career in social services, retiring from the Washington County Department of Social Services after thirty-six years working as Chief Administrative Officer. Upon his retirement in 2008, Virginia’s Governor (then Tim Kaine) and the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services paid tribute to Doug in the Congressional Record of the 110th second session of the US Congress for his dedication to public service. He is a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate with a Master’s degree in social work. Doug graduated from the nationally renowned University of Virginia‘s Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership in 2005. Doug has not ruled out running for a political office someday and has committed to continuing his community involvement.

For the past four years, Doug has administered LETS Train, an initiative funded by the Thompson Charitable Foundation. LETS Train’s mission is to provide a cash stipend to help under- and unemployed workers in Buchanan and Tazewell counties pay the bills while attending vocational training. Doug’s position involves identifying gaps in services, linking with existing resources, and developing new resources to fill the gaps in the prevention and treatment services continuum. He identifies key stakeholders, empowers/energizes communities, develops and implements data, advocacy, and policy change strategies, and helps build/connects with regional and local coalitions to address the substance abuse problems in the region.

Doug is passionate about preserving the Appalachian Mountains’ heritage and culture, including its music, oral history, and values. He is involved in regional initiatives focused on improving the job skills, employment opportunities, health care access, and educational attainment of area citizens, dedicating his free time to advocacy and public policy development work. He’s currently involved in a project in downtown Coeburn that has brought bluegrass and old-time mountain music to the stage at Lays Hardware on Friday nights. This economic development project is part of Virginia’s Crooked Road – Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail project.