Photo: Virginia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Barry DuVall presents the keynote address at VEWC’s 2022 industry networking event. (Photo By: Jim Robertson)

The Virginia Energy Workforce Consortium hosted its 2022 networking event on Sept. 23 at Hardywood West Creek in Richmond, Va.

Dominion Energy Talent Acquisition Director Latoya Asia welcomed attendees and introduced keynote speaker Barry DuVall, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. DuVall’s presentation included favorable comments about electric co-ops and their work to improve the quality of life in rural areas.

A panel discussion followed, during which the conversation focused heavily on workforce training and development, especially at the community college level. The goal is to introduce more training related to infrastructure, fiber and renewable energy. The lack of qualified instructors remains a challenge. Virginia’s Community Colleges representative Cyndi Finley suggested recruiting industry retirees and made a plea to those in attendance to spread the word.

A key takeaway from the meeting was the need to become more engaged with high school students and influence them to consider pursuing careers in the energy industry. Jim Robertson represented the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives at the event.

–Report by VMD Association