The LEAD 757 Class of 2021 has continued their LEAD experience.
The Class met in September for the Government Framework Session and a tour of the Port. A big thank you to all who contributed for taking the time out of your busy day to meet with the Class!
The goal of this session is to provide information and insight into government at the local and state level.
Chesapeake City Councilman, Stephen Best, Sr., City Manager, Christopher Price and Economic Development Director, Steven Wright hosted the Class in City Council Chambers for a discussion on government operations at the local level. The city’s vision is to make Chesapeake an exceptional place to live, learn, work, farm, and play. They also discussed regionalism and how our 757 localities collaborate on regional issues.
The class also met with members of the Hampton Roads General Assembly Delegation who provided insight on the legislative process and how to get involved at the state level. Delegate Jay Leftwich, Delegate Cliff Hayes Jr. and Senator John Cosgrove explained the Commonwealth’s legislative process from the introduction of a bill until it crosses the Governor’s desk. They emphasized the value they place communication received from their constituents on pending legislation.
A discussion on Government Framework would not be complete without discussing how citizens and businesses can help build strong communities through effective action, advocacy and leadership. Cathie Vick LHR ’09, Chief Public Affairs Officer, The Port of Virginia; Tom Cosgrove, Manager Corporate Citizenship & Government Relations, Newport News Shipbuilding and Andy Stephenson LHR ’15, Director Government and Community Relations, Sentara Healthcare led the advocacy and leadership discussion. They emphasized the importance of relationships in the process.
The LEAD 757 Class of 2021 ended the September session with a tour of the Norfolk International Terminals where they were able to observe first-hand how the Port of Virginia operates and its economic importance to this region.
In October, the class met to discuss Workforce Development and Education in the 757. The goal of this session it to gain an understanding of the region’s workforce needs and programs in place to address those needs.
Michele Woodhouse, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer with Tidewater Community College hosted the class at the TCC Skill Trades Academy. Shawn Avery, President & CEO of the Hampton Roads Workforce Council(HRWC), discussed the role of HRWC and the services it provides both employers and potential employees. Dr. Woodhouse and Tamara Williams, Vice President Workforce Development for TCC and a member of the Class of 2021 added to the workforce discussion with an overview of TCC’s workforce development programs. TCC offers program from dual enrollment for high school students and associate degrees to skill trades training.
As part of their day, they attended the State of the Region to gain an understanding of the current economic climate in the 757. They were treated to a private Q&A session with Dr. Agarwal after the event.
The Class ended the day with a tour of Assembly which is located in Norfolk’s Innovation Corridor and a discussion on education, talent attraction and entrepreneurship. Monique Adams, Executive Director – 757 Angels, explained her organizations programs and how it invests in the entrepreneur community. Dr. Nancy Grden, Associate Vice President, ODU Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship talked about the Hampton Roads Maritime Collaborative and how it is contributing to the maritime industry in Hampton Roads. Whitney Lester, Senior Director of Talent Development HRWC, led a discussion on efforts to attract new talent to the region.
These sessions are great examples of how LEAD 757 builds and strengthens regional leadership through education, partnerships and networking across traditional boundaries for the purpose of improving the quality of life in greater Hampton Roads.