6580 Valley Center Dr. • Ste 124 • Radford, VA 24141 • 540-639-9313

The Early Childhood Workforce Crisis

Early childhood powerfully impacts life trajectories, including educational, employment, economic, and health outcomes. Early childhood professionals aren’t babysitters. They nurture the healthy development of young children. They encourage exploration, discovery, and a love of learning. They set children on a positive trajectory and promote school readiness. Early childhood professionals can positively impact hundreds of children throughout their careers. The NRV has an early childhood workforce crisis – a severe shortage of qualified early educators, harmful levels of stress and teacher turnover primarily due to poverty-level pay. The workforce crisis is negatively impacting the quality of our early childhood programs and therefore the children they serve. Excellent early educators are the foundation of quality early childhood programs, which yield immediate and lifelong benefits. We need to keep excellent early educators in the classroom inspiring lifelong learners, not leaving for better pay in restaurants and retail. The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) awarded Smart Beginnings NRV a 2019 Data Initiative Grant to collect and analyze early childhood workforce data, including data on credentials, education, early childhood experience, participation in professional development, compensation and benefits, future career plans, and more. The NRV Early Childhood Workforce Report will be released in September 2019. Some initial findings include: • Despite the importance of their work to the current and future workforce, the national average hourly wage of an early childhood educator is $12.93. The average wage is even lower in the NRV — $9.94 per hour. ● On average, NRV early educators with a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential earn $11.01 per hour. The national average is $12.80. ● Almost 60% of NRV early...

Multi-Regions Alternative Transportation Social

Transportation planners, engineers, program managers, and local cyclists met on August 23, 2019 for a Multi-Regions Alternative Transportation Social.  The purpose of the event was to share best practices in planning, highlight local success stories, and provide networking opportunities for those interested in alternative transportation.  This year the event was held in Stonebridge Park, located just outside of Vinton.  Nearly 50 people attended the event this year! Since 2011, the New River Valley Regional Commission has partnered with the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission and the Virginia Department of Transportation to coordinate and facilitate this social learning event.  Many of those who attended the social are pictured above.  The Commission would like to extend a special thank you to all those who participated this year! For further information contact Elijah Sharp (esharp@nrvrc.org) or  (540) 639-9313, ext. 210. Share...

NRVRC to pursue SolSmart Regional Organizations Designation

SolSmart is a national solar designation and technical assistance program which is led by the Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and is funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) through its Solar Energy Technology Office (SETO). SolSmart helps communities go solar and realize associated economic benefits, and awards communities that are taking actions to go solar faster.

Broadband Plan for Montgomery County and Radford

Montgomery County, Virginia – In partnership with the New River Valley Regional Commission, Montgomery County and City of Radford are seeking feedback from citizens regarding the current status of broadband in our communities. Please visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BroadbandSurvey to share your feedback.

Kevin Byrd testified before U.S. House Committee

Kevin Byrd testified before U.S. House Committee

On April 9, 2019 Kevin Byrd, executive director of the New River Valley Regional Commission, provided testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.

New River Valley Trail Guide

The Regional Commission and local Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) recently completed the New River Valley Trail Guide, a resource showcasing outdoor recreation assets across the region.