Workforce Development

A Well-Trained Workforce


With an estimated population of 67,800 (2016), York County provides businesses with a solid employment and retail base. The County's central location allows it to draw the Hampton Roads regional labor force of over 800,000. Additionally, Virginia is the northern-most Right-to-Work state (non-compulsory union membership laws). Diversification is the key to our success. In addition to the region's stable labor pool of over 800,000, local colleges house over 92,000 students in our area.

While unemployment is relatively low in York County, only 4.3% in 2015, the downsizing of the U.S. military provides a continuous flow of skilled labor. As a result of the large military presence in the region, Virginia's Hampton Roads has a skilled pool of potential workers that few other metropolitan areas have to offer. Each year, nearly 14,000 trained and disciplined personnel exit the military in Virginia, of which over 8,000 reside in the Hampton Roads Region. Many of these individuals elect to stay in the area and look for private sector employment. In addition, there are approximately 30,000 military spouses available to work.

Competitive Labor Costs


  • Labor costs are 5-10% below national average
  • Virginia Workers Compensation among the lowest in the U.S.
  • Virginia unemployment tax rate 2nd lowest in U.S.
  • Health care costs 3% to 4% below national average
  • York County's labor force is well-educated. York leads the Peninsula with both the highest graduation rates and the high percentage (94%) of its adult population holding at least a high school diploma. Additionally, 41% of York's population over age 25 has a Bachelor's Degree or higher.

World Class Resources


Based on the belief there’s nothing more important to a region’s economic vitality than a highly skilled workforce, York County partners with the Peninsula Council for Workforce Development (PCWD) to identify the workforce needs of local employers, job seekers and youth. PCWD partners with economic development entities, educational institutions, local governments and employers to devise innovative strategies to help develop workforce talent that benefits businesses across the board and helps establish or advance careers for people of all ages.

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC), in conjunction with the Cities of Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, and Poquoson, York and James City Counties, entered into a partnership to develop two regional Workforce Development Centers. The Peninsula Workforce Development Center and the Thomas Nelson Workforce Center (Williamsburg) serve as the cornerstone of a systematic approach to the economic expansion of the Greater Peninsula.

Area employers use the facilities of these centers for their training purposes and can contract with TNCC for customized training programs. Workers and potential employees can receive training that will sustain them at all levels of their professional and career development.
The Center addresses the needs of the emerging workforce, the current workforce, the transitional workforce, and the entrepreneurial workforce in the manufacturing and service sectors. The goal is to provide a workforce capable of functioning at the entry level, the semi-skilled level, the high performance level and, ultimately, as a self-sustained worker.

More than 36,000 enrollments and participants served in credit and non-credit workforce classes, industry credential testing, career search and job placement services through Thomas Nelson Community College's Workforce Development offices in Hampton, Williamsburg, and on local military bases.

In addition to programs and services provided by TNCC, the Center currently houses the Peninsula Work-Keys Program, Innovative Community Technology Services, the Regional Manufacturing Excellence Center, and VQI, Inc.

Workforce Development Resources



Peninsula Workforce Development Center