Workforce Development Services
Introduction to Workforce Development
The goal of the DBVI Workforce Specialist Team is to support employers with their hiring needs.
The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) is pleased to announce the addition of the new DBVI Workforce Unit. The unit will have a statewide impact on individuals with vision impairments in reaching their career goal of sustainable employment. The Workforce Specialists will work with employers in recruiting a highly skilled, pre-screened pipeline of talent. The team is well versed in services for employers including, federal contractor hiring (503c), corporate initiatives, workforce diversity and inclusion, worksite consultations, job retention and the many incentives for hiring individuals with abilities.
Western Regional Workforce Specialist:
Ray Williams (540) 492-5993
Northern Regional Workforce Specialist:
Diane McBride (540) 692-3816
Workforce Development Coordinator:
Cindy Roberts(540) 649-4448
Central Regional Workforce Specialist:
Brett Tavel (804) 539-6702
Eastern Regional Workforce Specialist:
DeAngelo White (757) 466-4165
Cindy Roberts, Workforce Development Coordinator
Cindy Roberts, known across the state for her high energy and innovative thinking, is a seasoned veteran in the world of workforce development. With well over 20 years' experience in this arena, she brings to DBVI, knowledge of corporate initiatives, rules and regulations surrounding federal contractor hiring (503C), expertise in the utilization of work experiences and paid internships and training in Disability Awareness. Ms. Roberts is well connected with economic development, Workforce Investment Boards, Chamber of Commerce and has held board seats on several non-profit organizations. Ms. Roberts has provided training in many areas surrounding the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities, in state as well as out of state. She was honored by the Virginia Rehabilitation Counseling Association, with the "Counselor of the Year" Award and given the "Emerging Leader" Award, given by the Virginia Rehabilitation Association. She was honored most recently with the MVP Award for the Northern Virginia Area. You can reach Cindy at Cindy.Roberts@dbvi.virginia.gov or (540) 649-4448.
Diane McBride, Northern Region Workforce Specialist
Prior to joining DBVI, Diane McBride worked as an Employment Placement Counselor with DARS where she developed business and community partnerships to facilitate employment for people with disabilities. She also worked with local employers to give transition and graduating high school students with disabilities, the opportunity to gain valuable work experiences. She also has experience working with federal contractors in assisting them to meet portions of their 503c obligations.
Drawing on her many years of sales and marketing experience with companies such as ParaMed and Allergan Inc, she now utilizes this experience to develop new opportunities and partnerships for employment opportunities for DBVI clients.
She has a passion for wanting to share information about services and the many benefits of hiring veterans and people with disabilities. She enjoys giving Disability Awareness presentations and participating in business and community events that include career fairs and conferences. You can reach Diane at Diane.McBride@dbvi.virginia.gov or (540) 692-3816.
Brett Tavel, Central Region Workforce Specialist
Brett Tavel graduated from James Madison University with his Masters of Public Administration. He has been involved with Workforce Development since the start of his career and has worked for a local Workforce Development Board and at a Community College prior to joining DBVI. He brings experience in assisting businesses with their workforce recruitment needs and training. You can reach Brett at Brett.Tavel@dbvi.virginia.gov or (804) 539-6702.
DeAngelo White, Eastern Region Workforce Specialist
DeAngelo is a career developer and coach who believes clients who prepare will overcome barriers to employment. He founded a full service Employment and Resource Center serving 350 prisoners at St. Brides Correctional Center. Additionally, he often drives around Hampton Roads ambushing local businesses requesting to speak to someone in Human Resources and then asks them, "May I help you hire some great people?" He enjoys collecting photos of his clients at work on their new jobs. DeAngelo currently lives in Norfolk, Virginia with his smoking, hot wife and their 6 year old Chihuahua son, "Mr. Bentley Fonzworth White." You can reach DeAngelo at DeAngelo.White@dbvi.virginia.gov or (757) 466-4162.
Ray Williams, Southwestern Region Workforce Specialist
Ray Williams comes to DBVI with 6 years of experience with Disability Services Agencies. Beginning his tenure as a support tech with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Ray has excelled to hold positions such as Job Placement Specialist with DBVI; Placement Counselor for DARS, and is now excited for his role as Workforce Specialist at DBVI. He is committed to the highest standards of service delivery to the clients he serves. Ray, also, brings with him 20 years of business-to-business direct sales including, cold calling, employer presentations and business contract writing. He has worked for both the for-profit and non-profit arenas in his roles as Development Manager for the United Way and Regional Sales Manager for Coca-Cola. It is Ray's mission to bring awareness and education to all employers to demonstrate the value of working with individuals with disabilities and assist agency clients in becoming gainfully employed and successful in their career paths. You can reach Ray at Ray.Williams@dbvi.virginia.gov or (540) 492-5993.
Work Experience (WE):
Through a work experience program, a business agrees to assist the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired consumer in learning about a career first hand. DBVI provides the consumer with maintenance that can be in the form of gasoline or meal allocation, while they train with the employer. The agency provides medical insurance for the consumer, as well as liability insurance in case of an on-the-job accident. Employers get a free, first-hand look at potential future employees. Consumers are not guaranteed a job, but will hopefully meet and work with one or more persons who may agree to serve as a reference.
On-The-Job Training (OJT) Reimbursement:
Employers who hire consumers of the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, may be reimbursed for on-the-job training costs. In such cases where employers provide on-the-job training, DBVI reimburses employers for up to 100 percent of the consumer's earnings for the training period.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC):
A tax credit is available to employers who hire persons with disabilities. The tax credit amounts to 40 percent of the first $6,000, or up to $2,400 in wages paid during the first twelve months for each new hire. WOTC is subject to reauthorization by Congress each year.
These programs are available to employers separately, or in any combination which best suits the needs of the business involved, and the client. For further information on any or all of these programs please contact:
Cindy Roberts, Coordinator of Workforce Services,
(540) 649-4448, Cindy.Roberts@dbvi.virginia.gov