United Way of Southwest Virginia and United Way of New River Join Forces
May 17, 2023
Christiansburg, VA (May 17, 2023) – United Way of Southwest Virginia (UWSWVA) and United Way of New River Valley are combining their resources to better serve Montgomery County, Pulaski County, Giles County, Floyd County, and Radford City.
United Way of Southwest Virginia uses a cradle-to-career framework for community support and has been recognized as one of the top 10 United Ways in the country.
"As we enter our 60th year of serving the New River Valley, we cannot imagine a better way to renew our commitment and deepen our collective impact than this partnership between the United Way of Southwest Virginia and the United Way of the New River Valley,” shares Heather Nicholson, Board President of the United Way of New River Valley. “United Way of Southwest Virginia's "Cradle to Career" approach is deeply invested in the well-being of children and families in our region. We are proud to join them under the United Way Southwest Virginia moniker and work to make a collective difference."
Using a cradle-to-career approach, United Way of Southwest Virginia is addressing the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce. From increasing the quality of childcare, to coordinating high school internships, to providing trauma-informed professional development opportunities for educators, United Way is investing in Southwest Virginia’s youth at every stage.
In addition, United Way of Southwest Virginia has been aligning local support and investment from schools, businesses, and government officials. For every dollar donated, they secure ten dollars in grant funding.
Joining forces allows for deeper collaboration with important partners such as Virginia Tech and Radford University. It also allows for more multi-regional projects with GO Virginia Region II. In order to ensure a deep connection with New River Valley partners and the community in general, United Way will maintain an office in Christiansburg throughout the transition period and for the foreseeable future.
Brendan McSheehy, Chairman of the Board at UWSWVA and Vice President of Innovation & Intellectual Property at Universal Fiber Systems shares, “The board of directors from both organizations are excited about what this means for Southwest Virginia. United, we amplify our ability to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person that lives and works here.”
Some highlights of United Way of Southwest Virginia’s programs include:
Annual Rural Summit. This event brings together leaders, practitioners, educators, and community members to explore proven strategies for building resilient and prosperous communities.
Virginia’s Community Schools Conference. This event explores the evidence-based equity strategies proven to improve attendance, school culture, family engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and college/career readiness.
Ready SWVA. This economic development and workforce expansion project includes a hub-and-spoke model of workforce readiness. The anchor facility for this project is the first of its kind in our region and features a hands-on career simulation facility, STEM teacher training labs, and a shared services alliance for qualifying licensed childcare providers serving our region.
United Way will also conduct a community needs assessment and meet with community members to better understand what role they can play in the future.
Travis Staton, CEO and President of United Way of Southwest Virginia will be leading the transition and adds “I am excited about joining forces for the greater good and we’re building a transition team made up of community members to help us map the process. As an organization serving the community, we want that community to have a voice in how we approach this. It will take time, but we will be thoughtful and intentional so that gaps in services or resources do not occur. This is how we become stronger, together.”