ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin celebrated the groundbreaking for a unique workforce development facility in Abingdon.
Housed in a former Kmart, leaders say the United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Regional Workforce and Child Development Hub will address labor shortages by providing childcare and job training in the same facility.
Once opened, the regional workforce and child development hub will provide career-focused services to 30,000 students per year from 21 school districts.
“This is something to be in awe of and not because it’s big, but because it represents what we can do when we lock arms and move forward together,” Youngkin said.
United Way is just one among many partners making the roughly $25 million transformation possible.
Both Ballad Health and Food City are kicking in multi-million dollar donations for the project.
“You can bring together public-private partners and have this type of impact and see this amount of collaboration to really take care of our future and our generation,” United Way President and CEO Travis Staton told News Channel 11. “It’s just impressive and very heartwarming.”
Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine told News Channel 11 that the hub won’t just serve the community, it will help Ballad tackle an issue plaguing hospitals and health systems across the country.
“Anybody who knows anything about what’s going on in health care right now knows the labor shortage is our biggest challenge,” Levine said. “This is the right investment to help solve that problem.”
Staton estimates that the facility will open in Aug. 2024.