The Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation's website ( now features success stories of individuals with disabilities training for and/or gaining employment. Six of them are consumers of DARS/Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center. 



  • Upcoming Events - CY 2018





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 WWRC was excited to attend a meeting at the headquarters of General Motors in Michigan for a Summit (June, 2018).  WWRC's participation was facilitated by the Council of State Administrators  of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), along with VR Training Centers in Arkansas, Tennessee, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Georgia, and Maryland.    Each of the VR Training Centers offered information on alignment with WIOA, partnerships with business, and the facilitation of apprenticeships and career pathways for VR consumers.   It was truly exciting to see our programs alongside many other states that are focusing on business engagement, skills gains and workforce credentials. This followed a DOL visit to WWRC on June 26th  to review the Valley 2 Virginia Grant and its impact on apprenticeships. Our students from the Manufacturing Technology Training (MTT) class offered a review of their experiences to the DOL staff who relayed they would like to showcase the work being done at WWRC for National Apprenticeship Week during October. This Federal DOL visit recognized WWRC for its collaboration with the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board and our local Hershey plant. Excerpt from June 11th WWRC Centerline


 The Hershey Plant in Stuarts Draft conducted a trial run of its new boot camp approach to orienting high school students to work at their plant, offering fundamentals of manufacturing. The first-ever camp was held at WWRC in the Switzer Building during the week of June 18th, and in addition to those participants from local high schools, five (5) WWRC students from the Manufacturing Technology Training Program attended. The program, facilitated by the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board (SVWDB), was conducted by former WWRC staff member, Jim Leech. This type of training strengthens our relationship with local industry and great partners like the SVWDB, and fully embraces the 6th core measure of WIOA in business engagement. In addition, it provided another opportunity for our students to be involved in an "integrated training environment" that involves Workforce Board-sponsored industry-level training alongside individuals who do not have disabilities. Click here for the Channel 29 newscast of the event.

June, 2018


The U.S. Department of Education, in its Weekly Digest Bulletin dated 12/1/2017, highlighted the link from VR Workforce Studio's CPID podcast recorded live at the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) Fall Conference in Greenville, South Carolina!   Its 'Voices from the Career Pathways' webpage contained links to the full length production including a transcript, listing of guest contacts, a photo gallery and more.   

December. 2017


On November 8th, Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center Director, Rick Sizemore, updated the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) on the programs, census, and outcomes at WWRC.  The Council was excited to learn that two WWRC students had what could only be described as a phenomenal opportunity to address a major industry forum.  Rose Hilderbrand and Spencer Clark, both Manufacturing Technology Training (MTT) students, gave presentations at the general opening session of the Virginia Industry Forum.  Rose talked about her experience at WWRC and reflected on the opportunities that have transformed her life.  It was amazing to hear her talk about the importance of "giving it your all" and "it being up to you, if you are to succeed."  While MTT is only one of WWRC's programs, the success-oriented attitude Rose projected represented all of our students to a significant gathering of industry leaders, educators, and partners.   Rick also showed the SRC the latest WWRC MTT Program Video and they provided extremely positive feedback about this new marketing tool.  During the meeting, Steve Wooderson, CEO of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR), addressed a joint meeting of the Skills for Leadership meeting and members of the SRC.  Steve offered some exceptional motivating comments as he outlined the four principles of CSAVR's Vision 2020; this in advance of the public VR program reaching its 100th anniversary in 2020.  The four principles included that: 1) VR is mission-focused and dual customer driver, meaning that while we focus on our consumers we certainly do the same for helping business and industry; 2) VR leads change through innovation and cutting edge programs; 3) VR customizes services for individuals and businesses, and 4) VR creates partnership and maximizes resource opportunities.  Steve has gotten to know WWRC over the past year through our success stories in CSAVR's Invest in America publication and through WWRC's feature stories on CSAVR's new website.  He went on to say that WWRC and DARS are leading the way in embracing the opportunities and challenges of WIOA, and that we should continue our focus on aligning ourselves with WIOA.  



 On Thursday, September 28th, Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center Director, Rick Sizemore, assisted Debby Hopkins, of the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, with a Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Webinar on registered apprenticeships.  Debby confirmed this week that WWRC's Manufacturing Technician Training program is compliant with the Federal Department of Labor's requirements for an approved Pre-Apprenticeship Program.  This follows last week's meeting between the Agency's Workforce Development Unit and the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Labor.  Patricia Morrison from the State Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), and Dale Batten of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, are implementing strategies that will help consumers with disabilities gain access to areas of the state with businesses that offer Registered Apprenticeships.  Following that meeting, the various regional representatives from DOLI were scheduled to tour WWRC with Agency Business Development Managers.  The Webinar conducted by ODEP featured Debby and Rick discussing individuals with disabilities as a population that is very suited to Registered Apprentices, and how the collaboration here in Virginia has resulted in recent graduates from WWRC accessing two plants that offer Registered Apprenticeship: Eastman Chemical and the Hershey Company. Stay tuned for more information.

October, 2017



Much attention has been focused on Executive Order 23 Establishing the New Virginia Economy and Workforce Initiative.  Over the past couple of years, WWRC has been embracing a vision of workforce driven curriculum and engaging business. WWRC has worked to be a key contributor to one of the key goals of E023 to help Virginia citizens obtain 50,000 workforce credentials.  Dr. Joe Ashley and Rick Sizemore were invited to an event at the Patrick Henry Building on Monday, September 11th, for the reading of a resolution by Governor McAuliffe celebrating this accomplishment.  Sarah Dunnigan, who now works as the key advisory to the Governor, commented that WWRC's impact was significant and the evolution of our programs was central to what the Administration was gathered to celebrate.

September, 2017 


Congratulations Odessa Johnson for winning the "Why I Love Team Teal" campaign! 

August, 2017 

 Americare.jpgGrand Prize Celebration.pdf