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The region’s economy is diverse with the largest employment concentrations related to the Department of Defense and health care. The 20 largest private-sector firms in Hampton Roads employ 12.3% of its workers while the 20 largest public sector institutions employ 16.1% of its workers. The Department of Defense employs more than 30,000 civilians in the region as the largest employer. Four hospitals appear among the top 20 private employers in Hampton Roads. – 2010 State of the Workforce

Norfolk Employment By Sector

Norfolk Employment by Sector BEA 2013v3

Jobs in High Demand

Shipbuilding and Advanced Manufacturing - The Skills to Succeed Inventory is a comprehensive study of the careers in the manufacturing sector on the Virginia Peninsula conducted with the top 14 employers. The Inventory resulted in 11 Career pathway profiles representing 11,150 jobs in advanced and precision manufacturing technologies on the Virginia Peninsula 2012-2016. The jobs and number of openings are as follows:

  • CNC and Robotic Operators - 350 openings
  • Coating Specialists - 1,300 openings
  • Electricians - 1,700 openings
  • Engineers/Engineering Technicians - 200 openings
  • Fabricators/Sheet Metal Workers - 950 openings
  • Fitters - 1,600 openings
  • Machinists - 1,200 openings
  • Managers - 150 openings
  • Pipefitters - 1,850 openings
  • Repair Technicians - 150 openings
  • Welders - 1,700 openings

Medical - LPNs are in high demand, and financial assistance is available for advanced healthcare training in our area. Opportunity Inc. is participating in a $5.0 million United States Department of Labor grant providing advanced healthcare training and placement assistance. Eligible individuals can receive up to $10,000 in grant funding towards a program of study in over 20 healthcare specialties.

Construction - Approximately $4 Billion in transportation and public building construction is in various stages in our region. Large transportation projects include:

Educational Collaboration

The Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education (VTC) is a consortium of thirteen institutions of higher education, including four community colleges, four public colleges and universities, four private and a National Defense University.

Opportunity Inc.

Opportunity Inc. is a workforce development organization formed to address the region’s needs for a workforce that is “second to none,” of sufficient quantity to meet employer demand and equipped with the skills that support the expansion of the region’s economy. It is a partnership between the elected leadership of the eight jurisdictions of South and Western Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Franklin, Isle of Wight County, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Southampton County, Suffolk and Virginia Beach) and a business-led Board of Directors that includes business executives, educators, economic development professionals, labor representatives, leaders of community-based organizations and representatives of the region’s political leadership. The organization has been tasked with providing the leadership necessary to deliver a sound workforce development strategy for our region.

Workforce Resources for Veterans

Industry Certifications

Tidewater Community College provides training and assessment services for over 30 industry certification and licensing classes and various programs in maritime, ship repair, health care, construction, retail, global studies, defense and homeland security.

Norfolk Developing Apprenticeships See how the city of Norfolk Development and BAE are building the local skilled workforce together.

Norfolk Department of Development Mission

Generate wealth for the City of Norfolk through business expansion, enhancement, and new business development complementary to our neighborhoods.

Contact Info

(757) 664-4338
500 East Main Street
Suite 1500
Norfolk, VA 23510

Staff Details

Peter Chapman
Deputy City Manager


Chuck Rigney
Director of Development

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