Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce -

(Charlottesville, Virginia – May 29)  The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce and Piedmont Virginia Community College today formally announced its newly-established and already underway partnership in support of the innovative Charlottesville Works Initiative program. 

“Our Chamber is pleased to join our Charlottesville Works Initiative in partnership with PVCC,” said Adrian Felts, Chief Operations Officer of Centridian who currently serves as 2016 Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors.  “This partnership is another solid step in helping to build and sustain this inventive jobs program to assist our neighbors seeking quality middle-skills level, good-paying jobs.”

“PVCC plans to build the Charlottesville Works Initiative beyond its successful start in a ‘scaling-up’ to help serve many more citizens,” said Dr. Frank Friedman, President of Piedmont Virginia Community College, who served on the Chamber Board including as Chamber Board Chairman (2014).  “Together, hopefully we can help more of our neighbors gain a fuller degree of self-sufficiency through better jobs.”

Ridge Schuyler, who has served as Vice President of the Chamber affiliate Greater Charlottesville Area Development Corporation and will continue in that role on a non-salaried basis, has recently been hired as PVCC “Dean of Community Self Sufficiency Programs.”  In that role, he will continue to manage the Charlottesville Works Initiative.  His office is located at the PVCC office in the Jefferson School City Center.

The Chamber and its affiliate GCADC, having created the Charlottesville Works Initiative (2013) and facilitated the Orange Dot Reports (2011), will continue in its guiding role.  The Chamber will also continue promoting enterprises that create competitive-paying jobs not requiring a college degree; collect information from enterprises of those jobs within reach and enabling identification of quality job-seekers; seek, administer & provide some funding to the Piedmont Virginia Community College Educational Foundation; continue to develop and maintain the Charlottesville Works Initiative website (; develop and maintain a web-based platform to facilitate collection and dissemination of job information, coordinate services needed by job-seekers, and track the progress of job-seekers as they progress to work; and, otherwise assist the Charlottesville Works Initiative through various third-party funding mechanisms.

Piedmont Virginia Community College now provides leadership & management of the Charlottesville Works Initiative.  Under the leadership of the PVCC Dean of Community Self Sufficiency Programs, working with the other parties, in concert with the Charlottesville Works Initiative, identify a “peer network” of individuals & programs who have direct and trusted contact with a those individuals left behind in our economy and provide training on the use the web-based platform to match job-seekers to jobs within reach; train the peer network to use an assessment and the web-based platform to identify and coordinate services needed by job-seekers to help them get and keep jobs; support the peer network by helping them access services needed by job-seekers they are assisting, including but not limited to advocating for the expansion of services; and, expand the number of individuals served and the Charlottesville Works Initiative throughout Central Virginia to ensure the program’s sustainability.

The Orange Dot Report, privately-funded through the Chamber & GCADC, initially released in 2011 and updated in 2015, has reported that 5,661 families in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville are not independently financially self-sufficient. 

Piedmont Virginia Community College, established in 1972, is an accredited, nonresidential two-year institution of higher education that serves Central Virginia from facilities in Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville and Greene County.  PVCC is committed to providing access to a college education for all who can benefit, an opportunity for each student to reach his or her potential and excellence in our programs and services.

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, established in 1913, is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in the Greater Charlottesville communities.  Today the 1,200 Chamber member and affiliate member enterprises employ more than 45,000 people in the Greater Charlottesville region, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.75 billion a year.