2022 Experience Works
A Convening of Business Leaders and Educators
View Exhibitor Videos
Wednesday, June 22
INTRODUCTION OF STUDENT TRAILBLAZERS
Sharon W. Acuff, Work-Based Learning Coordinator
Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Virginia Department of Education
INTRODUCTION OF KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Dr. David Eshelman, Director
Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Virginia Department of Education
Deputy Secretary of Education
Commonwealth of Virginia
SESSION I WORKSHOPS
I.1 Panel Discussion: Getting Started as a Work-Based Learning (WBL) Coordinator
Aaron Arnold, WBL Specialist, Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Jess Truax, WBL Coordinator, Roanoke City Public Schools/Roanoke Technical Education Center
Lori Martin, STEAM/CTE Coordinator, Chesapeake Public Schools
Are you a new high-quality work-based learning (HQWBL) coordinator? Do you want some direction on best practices for HQWBL opportunities? Join this session to help find out where to start or where to take your HQWBL program. Panelists will share information important to establishing a great program in your division.
I.2 HQWBL Solar Energy Programs: Innovative Renewable Energy Pre-Apprenticeships/Internships
Dr. Jason M. Williams Sr., Coordinator, Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning, Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Shared Services Center
Matthew Rose, Dean of Industrial Technology, Mountain Empire Community College
Duke West, Solar Workforce Associate, Secure Future
Learn innovative ways to incorporate solar power programs into community colleges stemming from existing high school CTE solar energy programs, classes, and courses. VCCS offers six colleges throughout the state that have robust renewable energy programs. In partnership with Secure Futures, a solar power innovative solutions business company, we are looking to expand VCCS’ solar and renewable energy programs by piloting an innovative program at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) by having high school students involved in high school solar energy programs become pre-apprentices and interns with Secure Future during the summer while transitioning into MECC and learning the related technical instruction in the classroom/virtual/hybrid.
I.3 Overcoming HQWBL Challenges in a Small, Rural Regional Technical Center
Roger Gross, Principal/Director, Northern Neck Technical Center
Samantha Dixon, Career Director, Northern Neck Technical Center
HQWBL can be challenging in small, rural school divisions. This presentation will share some of the progress made and challenges faced by a small regional technical center in the rural Northern Neck region of Virginia.
SESSION II WORKSHOPS
II.1 Let’s Chat: Learn the Truth About Registered Apprenticeship
Kathleen Eddington, Assistant Director, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
Crystal Thrower, Registered Apprenticeship High School Work-Based Learning Specialist, Registered Apprenticeship Consultant, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
IYKYK, but if you don’t know you will know. We are the new kids on the block—the block that was built in 1938 in a beautiful state called Virginia. Join us and explore today’s Registered Apprenticeship.
II.2 Student-Centered Experiences with SBEs and Internships
Christina Underwood, Marketing Teacher, DECA Advisor, WBL Coordinator, Pulaski County Career and Technical Education Center
Laura Norris, Culinary Arts Teacher, Pulaski County High School
This session will illustrate how educators are building a strong HQWBL program in Pulaski County. Christy Underwood will discuss her school-based enterprise, The Cougar Store. Laura Norris will review her program and the school-based enterprise, The Cougar Den. We will be discussing internships at the school and outside-the-box thinking to make the experience student-centered, offering the elementary and high school student the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning.
II.3 Tools to Teach Skills: Virginia Wizard in the Classroom
Rachel Angel, Coordinator, Student Support Technologies, VCCS
Did you know that you can use the Virginia Wizard to teach communication, conflict resolution, soft skills, job skills, budgeting, and more? The Wizard is designed to meet career Standards of Learning (SOL) requirements, but there are many tools teachers can use in the classroom that help students now, not just for a future career. Whether you teach career exploration, personal finance, CTE, language arts, there’s something in the Wizard to help. Participants will learn how to use the Wizard in the classroom or one-on-one, including the login procedure and ways to track what your students have learned. Timed, data-driven lesson plans are provided for all grade levels.
SESSION III WORKSHOPS
III.1 Plans of Study and Graduating With A Purpose
Brittany Everett, Postsecondary Access and Success Specialist, VDOE/SCHEV
Postsecondary access and support, academic and career plans, the effect on enrollment rates from the special education perspective and various resources to support your work.
III.2 Virginia Child Labor Laws and Regulations
Robert Armstrong, Assistant Director of Labor and Employment Law, Department of Labor and Industry–Child Labor
What is the age requirement to send our students out? Where do I find the regulations for students working in their chosen career path? If you have questions, this session will address the new legislation regarding child labor laws. The presentation will review any changes to existing laws as well as existing regulations. The changes to minimum wage and what that means for CTE will also be covered.
III.3 Rockingham County’s HQWBL Program: Established 2021
Robert Eric Baylor, WBL Facilitator, Rockingham County Public Schools
Eric Fitzgerald, CTE Director, Rockingham County Public Schools
Rockingham County Public Schools has revamped its entire HQWBL program by dropping cooperative education and focusing on mentorships, internships, and Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE). In one year, this program has expanded from 60 students (2020-2021) to over 300 (2021-2022).
SESSION IV WORKSHOPS
IV.1 Safe and Successful Placements for Students: Evaluating HQWBL Sites
Missy Spielman, WBL Coordinator, Frederick County Public Schools
Sue Boyce, Transition Specialist, Frederick County Public Schools
What makes an employer a great workplace for students? This presentation will highlight best practices to evaluate sites and opportunities to ensure they are safe and appropriate for students.
IV.2 Teacher Externships and Government Partnerships
Dana Wilson, WBL Program Coordinator II, The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR)
This presentation will describe HQWBL programs currently in place through IALR, including how we partner with local governments to provide HQWBL opportunities. We want all students to be able to explore industries and discover their passions. Teachers and counselors can also benefit from externships and job shadowing in local businesses. Learn more about our teacher externship program, EXCITE: Exploring Careers through Industry Teacher Externships.
IV.3 Establishing Meaningful Business Partnerships: A Handshake Not a Handout
Mac Beaton, Director of Workforce and Career Development, Henrico County Public Schools
Learn about the techniques used in Henrico County to grow effective partnerships. Partnerships should be much more than a one-time request. They have to grow. When thinking about meaningful partnerships, consider the value, outcomes, goals, and look of the partnership.
ALL ATTENDEES SESSION: REGIONAL MEETINGS
Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to connect with your region and a neighboring region to learn about HQWBL best practices. Share how your students participate in HQWBL and promote your program to parents. If you are just getting a program started, take away tips from those who have an established program. This session will be facilitated by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Regional Work-Based Learning Specialist Team.
If you don't know your region, find it here.
Regions 1 and 3: Erika Temple
Regions 2 and 8: Dr. Nikki Finley
Regions 4 and 5: Susan McNamara and Amy Pultz
Regions 6 and 7: Kim Radford and Dr. Jan Huffman
Thursday, June 23
ALL ATTENDEES SESSION: LISTENING TO BUSINESS
Start off Day 2 of Experience Works 2022 - Trailblazing Together with a dynamic, interactive panel discussion. Business partners will provide current examples of high-quality work-based learning (HQWBL) experiences they are offering students now. Moderator Danny Rubin will lead the discussion on how several Virginia business partners have structured the right program for students.
Danny Rubin, Founder, Rubin, Former CBS TV Journalist
Michael Altizer, Fleet/Apprentice Coordinator, Western Virginia Water Authority
Michelle Nealey, Chief Financial Officer, 1st Advantage Credit Union
Zuzana Steen, Academic and Community Relations Director, Micron Inc.
SESSION V WORKSHOPS
V.1 Three Best Employability Activities for Inclusion, Access, Opportunity, and Diversity
Danny Rubin, Founder, Rubin, Former CBS TV Journalist
Across the country, we see a push for more instruction that incorporates what’s become known as inclusion, access, opportunity, and diversity. We want all CTE students to be welcome in the classroom and, in turn, equip students with the skills to make others feel accepted. How do we move from proclamations that inclusion matters to actionable lessons and activities that help students? Danny Rubin, an experienced communications professional, will guide the group through three classroom activities that drive home critical lessons.
V.2 Next Generation of Work: Teamship
Jessie Vernon, Program Manager, The Institute for Advanced Learning & Research (IALR)
Mandy Flowers, Halifax County High School
“Teamship” is a novel internship experience where teams of students solve real problems for real businesses. Learn about IALR’s implementation of the teamship model and our partnership with District C. See how this unique work-based model can help overcome challenges around limited business partners, working with small businesses, providing equitable access to high-quality workbased learning (HQWBL) opportunities for all students, and providing HQWBL at scale.
V.3 Marketing Healthcare Programs through Clinicals
Charles Watson, Careers Outreach Facilitator, Richmond Public Schools
Crystal Fordham, CTE Instructional Specialist, Richmond Public Schools
Carolyn Williams, Nurse Aide Instructor, Richmond Public Schools
Shania Jefferson, Nurse Aide Student, Richmond Technical Center
Jennifer Johnson, Vice President of Quality and Operations, Beth Sholom Senior Living
This presentation addresses how to develop and prepare the next generation of healthcare workers through clinicals and HQWBL experiences. Hands-on learning helps to reinforce the instruction from the classroom to the clinical setting. Healthcare is constantly evolving, and HQWBL experiences are a great way to keep student learning relevant in a fast-changing environment. Healthcare is a protected and recession-proof profession that will not see a decline in employment. It is one of the top three hiring needs in Virginia.
SESSION VI WORKSHOPS
VI.1 Blaze Your HQWBL Trail with VAVoyager
Allison Grenney, Vice President of Customer Success, PAIRIN Inc.
Are you looking for a way to manage your HQWBL program better? Would you like to have it all in one place? Do you want to know what HQWBL opportunities are available across the Commonwealth? Have you heard about VAVoyager? Learn more about the new virtual platform VDOE is launching this fall to serve all schools in the Commonwealth. Included in this session will be a platform demonstration along with upcoming training session dates.
VI.2 Junior Achievement Pathways
Katherin Elam, President, Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia
Autumn Waish, Education Director, Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia
Junior Achievement (JA) of Southwest Virginia will highlight our programs for grades 6-12 that are based upon three pathways: financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. The blended program offerings for the 2022-23 school year start with JA It’s My Future (soft skills) and JA Inspire Virtual Career Fair, which includes business booths that represent 17 career clusters. JA Job Shadow (a half-day experience) promotes self-confidence and being introduced to the work culture. The newest program, JA Company Pop-Up, promotes innovation, entrepreneurial traits, and profitability. Each of the pathways has 10 competencies that end with self-guided assessments. The four programs are a peek into the world of work and money management. JA, working with the HQWBL specialist, demonstrates the importance of a high school diploma, transferable skills, and career mapping to the military, advancing students’ education or self-employment.
VI.3 Building Regional HQWBL Collaboration
Quina Weber-Shirk, Project Coordinator, Regional Internship Collaborative
Dr. Catherine Amelink, Associate Vice Provost, Virginia Tech
Dr. Brian Payne, Vice Provost, Old Dominion University
Christina Brooks, Senior Director, NextGen and Special Projects, Hampton Roads Workforce Council
Jaedda Hall, Director, Campus 757, Hampton Roads Workforce Council
This presentation will emphasize the strategies and lessons learned when engaging with local employers and developing regional collaboration. In 2020-2021, the Developing a Destination for Talent program connected local employers to faculty and undergraduate students at Virginia Tech through funding, training, and opportunities for direct connection. Old Dominion University and the Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC) recently announced the 757 Regional Internship Collaborative, a new effort to strengthen the talent pipeline through HQWBL opportunities. Learn more about these regional internship collaboratives, a partnership of educators, economic developers, and employers that seeks to continue these efforts on a regional scale to increase HQWBL opportunities for secondary and postsecondary students with local employers.
ALL ATTENDEES SESSION: USING FREE TOOLS TO MANAGE WBL PROGRAMS
Jason Van Nus, Director of Work-Based Learning and Youth Apprenticeship Programs
This session will examine creative ways to move your HQWBL programs into the digital world. These digital techniques will help slay your “year-end reports” by learning how to collect all necessary data more efficiently and become more organized, detailed, and productive in managing WBL programs. This session has something for everyone: valuable for both system- and school-level coordinators, as well as supervising administrators. It will cover topics useful for participants regardless of their proficiency with technology.
SESSION VII WORKSHOPS
VII.1 Ignite in Southwest Virginia-United Way of Southwest Virginia Youth Success Program
Melinda Leland, Director of Youth Success, United Way of Southwest Virginia
United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life. The Youth Success team supports United Way of Southwest Virginia’s cradle-to-career approach. We innovate for positive, lasting social change by creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce and through collaboration with government, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. We do this by working with local business partners to create HQWBL opportunities for students, connecting schools and students to employers and employees for career exploration, and by increasing the availability of and access to internship opportunities across the region. The Youth Success department is the hub that strengthens the network of providers working together to improve youth’s access to career-building opportunities. Join us in this session to learn about the core services offered by the Youth Success team.
VII.2 Wage and Hour and Youth Employment Protections Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Cindy C. Maish, Community Outreach Resource Planning Specialist, CORPS, Richmond District Office
Child labor violations are found in many industries, such as the food services industry, grocery stores, and amusement parks. The federal child labor provisions, authorized by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, also known as the child labor laws, were enacted to ensure that when young people work, the environment is safe and does not jeopardize their health, well-being, or educational opportunities. We will talk about trends, standards, resources, and guidance materials geared toward teens, parents, educators, and employers. Let’s promote a positive and safe work experience that will help prepare our young workforce.
RECORDING NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME
VII.3 Instruction 2 Industry Regional Career Expo Model
Matthew Bechtel, WBL Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools
Danielle Meyer, WBL Specialist, Loudoun County Public Schools
Learn how seven Northern Virginia school divisions partnered to plan and deliver a virtual career expo event, Instruction 2 Industry, for high school students across Region 4. Employers and industry experts were represented from highly sought-after career clusters that aligned with students’ career interests. The presenters will share the planning process involved in hosting a collaborative event where students can learn about potential career paths and postsecondary options that will prepare them for the next chapter of their educational journey.
SESSION VIII WORKSHOPS
VIII.1 Organizing a Registered Apprenticeship Timeline for Schools and Sponsor Businesses
Jason Suhr, CTE Director, Roanoke County Public Schools
Mark Jones, Supervisor of CTE, Roanoke County Public Schools
Martha Hooker, WBL Coordinator, Roanoke County Public Schools
In 2017, Roanoke County Public Schools (RCPS) pioneered the resurgence of Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in the Roanoke Valley. Currently, RCPS collaborates with two other school divisions to coordinate a host of details surrounding the Roanoke Valley Regional Registered Apprenticeship program. In this session, discover how Roanoke City and Salem City speak the same HQWBL “language” to sponsor businesses. Session topics will also include a starting point and a timeline of important events to consider as you build your Registered Apprenticeship program.
VIII.2 Engaging All Students in HQWBL
Marianne Moore, Secondary Transition Specialist, Virginia Department of Education
Judy Averill, Director for Center on Transition Innovations, VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center
Are you engaging your special education population in HQWBL? Let us help you prepare your students for entering the workforce. During this presentation, we will share two state initiatives that prepare students with disabilities for the workforce: Project Search and Start on Success. We will provide tips on preparing students for HQWBL experiences who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or 504 plans. This session will also provide many resources such as the IMD program All About Me and The Good Day Plan available to all teachers and their students. These free resources have been designed using the principles of Universal Design and can be used by students independently, within groups, or in a classroom.
VIII.3 Successful Mentoring: Strategies and Preparation
Jim Egenrieder, Research Professor and Director, Thinkabit Labs STEM Education and Workforce Development Programs
Learn about organization, interpersonal strategies, and tips and tricks for successful mentoring of individuals or groups of HQWBL participants. This session is helpful for those who are often in their first role of responsibility outside school or their families.
VDOE HQWBL UPDATES
Sharon W. Acuff
Work-Based Learning Coordinator
Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Virginia Department of Education
Dr. David Eshelman
Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Virginia Department of Education
Dalton Echard, Apprenticeship Program Manager
Anton Paar is a scientific instrumentation company with a U.S. headquarters in Ashland, Virginia. Anton Paar produces, sells, supports, and services highly accurate tools needed for scientific measurements and characterization that are found anywhere from quality control lines to government agencies to universities. The knowledge required to service, support, or sell this technology calls for academic knowledge and hands-on skills. To develop skills required for this field, students have the opportunity to join a three-year apprenticeship through Anton Paar that offers workplace learning, a free associate degree in science, engineering, or mechatronics, and a guaranteed job in the company as an introductory engineer or scientist.
Bryant & Stratton College
Carolene Goodwyn-Harris, Hampton Roads Market High School Coordinator
Patricia White, Associate Director of Admissions, Richmond Campus
Bryant & Stratton College (BSC) is a regionally accredited private career institution providing students with a strong, career-focused education for over 165 years. BSC offers personalized training, education, and experience leading to high-demand professions so graduates are prepared for their careers and life pursuits. BSC offers academic programs of various degree types, including the diploma, associate, and bachelor’s degree levels. Covering areas of study that include business, technology, criminal justice studies, legal and human services, healthcare, and hospitality, our academic programs will help you take the next step toward career success.
Nathaniel P. Douthit, STEM Presenter
ECPI University is a proprietary school based in Virginia Beach, with campuses all over the nation and online students from around the world. We offer associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees on an accelerated schedule. We emphasize hands-on, skills-based learning for in-demand career fields. ECPI has redefined collegiate programs to give students the greatest possible outcome in the career world. This includes using accelerated schedules (students complete the entire undergraduate program in just two-and-a-half years), hands-on learning, instructors from the industries, externships, certification vouchers, career services, and free re-audits for life. To learn more about ECPI University and its commitment to excellence, please visit www.ecpi.edu.
Teagan Seeley, Director, District Relationships Erin Dlott, K-12 Implementation Specialist, Virginia and District of Columbia
EVERFI works with regional and national partners (including the Washington Capitals, the Washington Commanders, Principal Financial Group, Truist, the MassMutual Foundation, UBS, Zelle and more) to provide digital resources and engagement opportunities to Virginia schools at no cost. EVERFI’s digital resources cover a wide range of topics, including STEM career exploration, soft-skill development, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, marketing, and investing. These courses align to state and national standards and provide students with the skills needed to succeed in their post-high school endeavors. Additionally, EVERFI provides opportunities for students to engage with industry partners through virtual events, career roundtables and panels, and certification ceremonies.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Jessica Wilson, Senior Stakeholder Relationship Tax Consultant, IRS W&I:CARE:SPEC The Growth Initiative Employee Team
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free basic tax preparation services to some of the most vulnerable populations in America who cannot prepare their own tax returns, including low- to moderate-income families, the elderly, the disabled, and limited English proficient. It is an IRS-sponsored program that mobilizes and leverages community volunteers to serve others within their own communities, who believe in this social cause and become certified in IRS tax law training. High schools can offer VITA through school-based enterprises, which maximize student engagement with an ongoing, student-managed VITA site within the school setting. VITA schoolbased enterprises teach students entrepreneurial and planning skills while greatly enhancing a school’s reputation. VITA school-based enterprises create a connection to its local community ecosystem beyond residents with school-aged children and participates in a larger antipoverty movement, creating positive community change. VITA school-based enterprises can also become eligible to apply for the IRS VITA grant, which awards millions of dollars nationwide each year to support the growth of the VITA program. For more information about the VITA program or VITA grant, contact Jessica Wilson at Jessica.I.Wilson@irs.gov.
Junior Achievement of Central Virginia
Cynthia Pantaleo, Director of Programs
Junior Achievement (JA) has over 100 local areas across the nation, and together we are the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA’s programs—in the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy—ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century. Programs vary in length, location, and content, but all connect a volunteer with your students to bring learning to life.
Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia
Katherin Elam, President
Junior Achievement (JA) of Southwest Virginia has inspired grades K-12 to own their economic success for 65 years. This is accomplished with JA-trained volunteers from the business community and retirees sharing their career paths related to one of our 20 programs. All JA programs are based on three pathways: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. The goal is to help students obtain self-sufficiency by developing transferable skills. All JA programs introduce students to sequential hands-on activities to help them retain lifelong skills. JA’s Work and Career Readiness Pathway competencies provide a measurable way to ensure students have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be career– and workforce–ready. As JA students master the competencies, they will obtain certifications that provide a competitive advantage in school and life.
Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE)
Jennie Romero, Vice President, Resource Development
VCEE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been a driving force behind getting economic and personal finance education into the Commonwealth’s K-12 classrooms since 1970. Our unique public/ private partnership means state funds help ensure VCEE training, instructional resources, and ongoing support is provided free to teachers, schools, and school communities for the benefit of Virginia’s 1.2 million K-12 students and their families. We secure private donations to fund our other missioncentric programs: student enrichment (i.e., Stock Market Game [https://vcee.org/stock-market-gameprogram/current-stock-market-game/], Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance [https://vcee.org/high-school/governors-challenge/]). Sign up for a free professional development program today and invest in your own human capital. View the training schedule at https://vcee. org/teacher-workshops/. Enhance your students’ learning with our free instructional resources. All materials are aligned to Virginia Standards of Learning. Search today at https://vcee.org/teacherresources/.
Virginia Credit Union
Tori Filas, Senior Financial Education Specialist
Virginia Credit Union (VACU) is a not-for-profit organization that serves our members, the owners of our financial cooperative. Beyond everyday personal and business banking needs, we offer loans and mortgages, insurance, investments, and education through VACU and our affiliated partners. VACU’s award-winning financial education programs serve learners from kindergarten to college and beyond. Last year, Virginia Credit Union reached over 200 educators through teacher training programs and presented to 77 CTE teachers across the state as part of the Finance Career Cluster. Over 30,000 Virginia students participated in our financial education programs in 2021. Our team of financial educators focuses on banking basics: setting up accounts, direct deposit, the costs of being unbanked, and other personal finance topics. We also discuss the importance of investing in one’s earning potential through education and credentialing, and learn about the effects of credit history on employment opportunities. Through our HQWBL lessons, we expose students to potential careers in the finance industry and assist with workforce readiness.
Virginia Department of Labor & Industry
Crystal Thrower, Registered Youth Apprenticeship Work-Based Learning Specialist
The Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program is an employment training model that produces highly skilled workers to meet the demands of employers competing in a global economy, through a combination of on-the-job training and related technical instruction. It is a “win-win” approach to workforce development for apprentices (employees) throughout the Commonwealth. View Exhibitor Presentation Virginia Department of Transportation Syndra Yancey, Talent Outreach Specialist The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is responsible for building, maintaining, and operating the state’s roads, bridges, and tunnels. And, through the Commonwealth Transportation Board, it provides funding for airports, seaports, rail, and public transportation. Virginia has the third-largest state-maintained highway system in the country, behind Texas and North Carolina. To maintain a highly skilled workforce, the department provides apprenticeships and training programs to employees. The department offers lessons and outreach activities to K-12 students to share what its workers do and gives students a look at real-life applications of the subjects they are learning about.
Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association
Jim Wilson, Vice President, Education and Workforce Development
The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA) is the only unified voice for the restaurant, lodging, travel, and hospitality suppliers associations. VRLTA creates value for members by promoting the legislative interests of the industry, networking, educational opportunities, and protecting free enterprise. Virginia ProStart is a career and technical education program that unites the foodservice industry and the classroom to teach high school students culinary skills and restaurant management principles, as well as employability skills such as communication, teamwork, professionalism, and time management.