Skip to main content.

Virginia Natural Gas fuels workforce development with $620,000 investment

Strategic contributions to forge a skilled, resilient Virginia workforce

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – June 6, 2024 – Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) has announced a $620,000 investment in workforce development across southeastern Virginia, underscoring its commitment to community growth and the future of the local workforce. The investment supports organizations recognized for impactful programs and innovative approaches to workforce development, with a special emphasis on young adults, veterans and students at Virginia Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The funding will allow seven specialized entities to enhance essential job readiness programs, including interview preparation, resume writing, networking and scholarships for technical training in high-demand industries, all critical for individual success in a rapidly evolving job market.

Robert Duvall, president and CEO of Virginia Natural Gas, outlined the investment’s broader goals: “We understand that workforce development is critical for the success of our region. These investments are intended to help veterans and the next generation of workers develop the technical and professional skills that will lead to great jobs and careers right here in Hampton Roads.”

Shawn Avery, president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, lauded the initiative: "Virginia Natural Gas's contribution has a significant impact on our youth workforce programs, addressing our region's workforce needs."

Notable contributions and their impact:

  • Hampton Roads Workforce Foundation - NextGen: This commitment readies youth and veterans for the workforce by teaching essential skills and aiding advancement into meaningful careers or further education.
  • Virginia Chamber Foundation - Various Programs: This funding supports the Virginia Chamber Workforce Center and veteran employment through hiring fairs and workforce development conferences, fostering a statewide dialogue on workforce issues. It also includes participation in "Hire Vets NOW" and Veterans Committee hiring fairs on military bases and supports the Military & Veterans Conference set for fall 2024.
  • Norfolk State University (NSU) - Spartan Promise to Persist with Purpose: A summer program to enhance NSU students' job readiness and prepare them for successful post-graduation careers.
  • Hampton University - Workforce Development Scholarship: Scholarships are provided for technical training courses in fields like welding and HVAC to promote technical proficiency among students and community members.
  • Bridging Communities Regional CTE Foundation - Regional Career and Technical Center: Prepares students for professional industries through career-focused education and work-based learning.
  • Neighborhood - General Programming: Focuses on personal and professional growth, providing technical training and facilitating employment connections in growing sectors.
  • Accelerating Change Together Grant - Grant Program: A collaborative grant enhancing the workforce development sector, awarded in partnership with Bayport, Huntington Ingalls and Ferguson.

Virginia Natural Gas' $620,000 investment in workforce development underscores the company's belief in the transformative power of education and job readiness. By fostering economic growth and improving quality of life, VNG is a leader in providing energy and community support, championing a skilled and resilient workforce for a thriving Virginia. To that end, last month VNG hosted its inaugural Workforce Development Summit, further highlighting this commitment by bringing together partners to address workforce needs through collaboration. Panelists discussed attracting, recruiting and employing talent; leadership development; workforce planning and knowledge transfer; impactful community models; and the benefits of open collaboration between academia and industry.

For more information on VNG's initiatives and contributions to workforce development, please visit



About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to more than 310,000 customers in southeast Virginia. Named a Top Workplace in 2023, Virginia Natural Gas also has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers and is consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit and connect with the company on FacebookXInstagram and LinkedIn.

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states and approximately 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit