Latest discussion focuses on regional partnerships, wellbeing

NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion University’s Strome College of Business, in partnership with Dollar Bank, last week held the second in a series of problem-solving summits designed to address the regional shortage of workforce housing facing Hampton Roads. 

This session, held March 1, featured a presentation from the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), a regional organization representing this area's seventeen local governments. According to the HRPDC, its purpose, as set out in the Code of Virginia, is to encourage and facilitate local government and state-local cooperation in addressing, on a regional basis, problems of greater-than-local significance.

Workforce housing, an often-misunderstood term, generally means housing for professions such as some healthcare workers, hotel industry workers, military members, engineers, ship repair workers, some local governmental administrators and educators. With housing prices continuing to rise in Hampton Roads, driven in part due to a limited supply and sustained demand, these professionals are being priced out of the regions in which they work.

For Strome College of Business Dean Kenneth B. Kahn, “The Business of Problem Solving,” isn’t just the college’s mission – it’s a way of creating positive change in the Hampton Roads region and beyond. 

“We’re bringing multi-disciplinary expertise together to generate actionable solutions,” Kahn said. “This helps to cultivate partnerships that are invaluable in supporting Hampton Roads’ workforce and improving the quality of life for everyone who lives here.”

Representatives from the HRPDC shared with attendees information on pressing issues in housing today, as well as how housing relates to other aspects of human life and wellbeing. 

The first Workforce Housing Summit was held in October – a partnership between the Strome College of Business and Dollar Bank, designed to generate thought-provoking conversations and creative solutions among the region’s businesses; government, military and non-profit organizations; and universities. 

This session marked another successful conversation around this important topic,” said James Hinton Jr., Vice President - Community Development at Dollar Bank. “We’re thankful for our community partners who continue to deliver thoughtful discussions. We still encourage all stakeholders to meet us at the table to help deliver innovative solutions to help keep our region’s valued professions.”

Summit attendees included representatives from the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, Hampton Roads Realtors Association, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Lawson Companies, Virginia Housing, Old Dominion University and Dollar Bank.