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© 2023 by City of Bristol Virginia, Office of Economic Development

Workforce and development

Our region’s premier talent base makes for a world-class workforce pool ready to meet business needs in all key employee profiles.

Bristol Virginia’s extraordinary talent pipeline begins at an early age. The
Commonwealth has 103 public high schools ranked among U.S. News &
World Report "Best High Schools in 2018” including 11 gold medal high
schools.


Bristol Virginia has shown its commitment to further workforce development at the K-12 level with a dual enrollment partnership with Virginia Highlands Community College providing college course options for high schools juniors and seniors.


Bristol’s location allows access to six states and a world-class post-secondary
education system that provides a robust pipeline of new graduates from local
and regional universities. A network of public comprehensive colleges and
universities, many of which are doctoral institutions, private and public
accredited four-year institutions and a vast array of public community
colleges are within an easy commute to Bristol Virginia.


And most of our talent stays local with 60% staying in the region
after graduation, compared to the national average of 54%.


Our region's decline in Coal required a strategy that put quality
jobs at the heart of the recovery. Our region made a commitment to implementing a plan that supported decent work, preserved existing employment, provided new
skills development and prioritized job growth. This has provided us with a strong
regional workforce ready to adapt to the changing market demands and to benefit
the companies that are innovative and investing in new technologies, clean energy, the environment, health and infrastructure.


Bristol is in the process of becoming an ACT® Work Ready Community, a
national workforce credentialing initiative to ensure a ready workforce. The
region has a 91.9% on-time graduation rate with 85.3% of those graduates
continuing their education. Top employment sectors include manufacturing,
retail, transportation and warehousing, healthcare, and
accommodation and food services.