The GO Virginia Region 6 Council announced $350,000 of funding for two projects that aim to holistically
address workforce issues in the region, which includes the Fredericksburg Region, Northern Neck, and
Middle Peninsula. The overarching goal of each project is to create a pipeline of skilled workers that are
job-ready for Region 6’s identified industry clusters – Aquaculture, Forestry & Wood products,
Manufacturing, IT & Data Centers, Distribution & Logistics, and Professional, Technical & Scientific
Services. The projects are led by Stafford County Public Schools & JASON Learning as well as the Bay
Consortium Workforce Development Board and will be implemented this year.
“We are seeing an increased need for an industry-lead approach to workforce development in our
region,” said Region 6’s Chair Billy Beale. “These two projects highlight the Council’s focus on meeting
the needs of the employers, and keeping homegrown talent in the region.”
As part of the efforts to promote work-based learning in Region 6, Stafford County Public Schools has
been awarded $100,000 for their Pathways to Success project. The purpose of this project, co-designed
by nationally renowned K-12 STEM curriculum and training provider, JASON Learning, Stafford County
Public Schools is to ensure middle schoolers in Region 6 are receiving career preparation and exploration
and gaining workplace skills that employers desire in their future employees.
Pathways to Success will be a semester-long course (18 weeks) with place-based, project-based learning
mini-challenges. Students develop solutions to the mini challenge through hands-on experiences,
conducting research, and exploring career opportunities. Each mini-challenge will feature a local, diverse
industry role model and highlight priority industry clusters and additional supporting industry clusters.
Students will give presentations at the end of the mini-challenges that communicate their solutions and
share information on the learned career pathways.
“Early exposure to careers in middle and lower grades through the Pathways to Success program gives
students more time and opportunities to explore a variety of in-demand industries in their region and
gain the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge to succeed in those positions,” said Dr. Eleanor
Smalley, President and CEO of JASON Learning.
Pathways to Success, will be made available to school districts throughout GO Virginia’s Region 6 which
includes the Fredericksburg Region, the Northern Neck, and the Middle Peninsula. “Stafford Schools is
proud to support other school districts in GO Virginia Region 6 by partnering with GO Virginia and Jason
Learning to develop a ground-breaking curriculum that will give middle school students throughout
Region 6 a chance to explore the careers of their dreams,” said Stafford County Public Schools
Superintendent, Dr. Thomas W. Taylor.
On September 13, 2022 GO Virginia State Board announced an additional $2,500,000 in funding for a
Talent Pathways Initiative (TPI) to support analysis on the workforce needs of regional businesses and
the identification of the skills and training that can help prepare Virginians to fill available jobs in
regional markets. Each GO Virginia region is allotted $250,000 for the initial planning phase of the TPI.
The Region 6 Regional Council voted to appoint the Bay Consortium Workforce Development
Board (BCWDB) as their convening entity to administer the TPI. The BCWDB will host employer
collaborative roundtables across the sub-regions. This will consist of groups of businesses that have
agreed to come together to solve a common or shared workforce challenge. The goal is to outline how
employers can establish a collaborative and successfully prioritize relationships with the education
institutions and workforce development organizations that best prepare students for their in-demand
“The Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board would like to thank the GO Virginia State Board,
the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and the GO Virginia Region 6 Council
for their support in funding the Talent Pathways Initiative,” said Jackie Davis, Executive Director of the
Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board. “This funding will be used to assist the Bay Consortium
Workforce Development Board and GO Virginia Region 6 in developing a plan to create robust talent
pipelines specific to our region’s industry clusters.”
The TPI project will focus on three main industry clusters throughout Region 6: Professional, Scientific,
and Technical Services; Manufacturing; and Agriculture, Seafood, Commercial Fishing, and Marine
Industries. These industry clusters were chosen by the Regional Council because of their economic
significance to Region 6’s three sub-regions: the Fredericksburg region, Northern Neck, and Middle
Using a sub-regional approach, BCWDB will develop a plan to create robust talent pipelines specific to
the region’s industry clusters through tools including situational analysis, asset mapping of the region and development of industry coalitions.