July 9, 2012

The Dan River Region Collaborative was recently named as the recipient of the 2012 Investor Committee Award for Promotion of Systems Change from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, presented by the Ford Foundation.


The Collaborative was recognized for its work with the three regional hospitals and advanced manufacturers in the Counties of Halifax, Henry, Patrick, and Pittsylvania, and in the Cities of Danville and Martinsville.


"Our ability to work across city and county lines, to form strong partnerships, and to strengthen the way we work together will create the greatest opportunity for system change and transformative results,” commented Julie J. Brown, Project Director for the Dan River Region Collaborative.


Through the initiatives of the Collaborative, the hospitals and advanced manufacturers are meeting for the first time ever in intentional dialogues to improve and advance this region’s workforce.


The award was presented at the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio by Chauncy Lennon, Program Officer for the Ford Foundation. Accepting the award on behalf of the Dan River Region Collaborative were Clark Casteel of the Danville Regional Foundation, Debra Dodson of the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region, and Brown. Kim Adkins, Executive Director of the West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board, and John Parkinson, CEO of Drake Extrusion of Martinsville, were also in attendance at the meeting representing the Collaborative’s partnership with the region’s Workforce Investment Boards and employers.


The Dan River Region Collaborative (DRRC) is a regional funding collaborative driven by employer partnerships in four strategic areas: advanced manufacturing, energy, healthcare and information technology. Through these employer-driven partnerships, the Collaborative works to identify training, policy, and capacity issues that impact the development of the region’s workforce. The ultimate goal is to create opportunities that move low-skill, low-wage individuals into high-skill, high-wage positions.


The Collaborative’s key funding partners, to date, include The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region, The Danville Regional Foundation, The Harvest Foundation, J.T.-Minnie Maude Charitable Trust, the Virginia Tobacco Commission, the Boeing Company, and the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.


The National Fund is spearheaded by a group of leading foundations across the United States, along with a major corporation and a leading federal government agency, including Chase, Ford Foundation, Knight Foundation, Microsoft, One Boeing Fund, Open Society Foundations, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Corporation for National and Community Service, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The Hitachi Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The Prudential Foundation, The Social Innovation Fund, and The Walmart Foundation. Additionally, national partnerships have been established with Jobs for the Future and the Council on Foundations.


NFWS has historically worked with collaboratives in large, metropolitan areas throughout the United States. Realizing that workforce challenges impact rural communities differently than urban settings, they sought to develop rural collaborative models to support. The Dan River Region Collaborative (DRRC) was initiated in the summer of 2008 and received its initial acceptance into the National Fund in the fall of 2008.