Virginia Capitol Connections Winter 2023



Winter 2023

Keswick Hall Charlottesville, Virginia

Tourism Works for Virginia. Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia. Dollars spent by travelers fuel the economy, provide jobs for Virginians, and improve communities across the Commonwealth.


Winter 2023

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5 To live in this historic place: An Interview with First Lady Suzanne Youngkin


6 Op-Ed: We can transform the workforce

7 The “People’s” Silver


8 The Myth of the 45-Day Session

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10 Marking a Milestone: The Library of Virginia Turns 200

12 Apprenticeships for High School Students is a Doable Option


16 FDA’s New OTC Hearing Aid Reality

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14 “Standing Tall and Proud” Mural Graces Tazewell County Courthouse Grounds

17 Commonwealth Steps Up Efforts to Prevent Suicides and Reduce Opioid Addiction Among Veterans and Their Families



18 DGS Ushers in New Era of E-Procurement with eVA Update

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19 He kept us safe

20 A Republic If You Can Keep It


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21 A Conversation with Senator Chuck Robb

22 Meeting Her Majesty

24 Notable Passings in 2022

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25 Barter Theatre Announces 90th Season!


On The Web

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26 Association and

Business Directory

Cover Thanks to the Library of Virginia— 200 years, 200 stories.


Volume 29 Number 1 • Editor-in-Chief –Bonnie Atwood • Managing Editor –McClain Moran • Assistant Editor –Cierra Park • Publisher –David Bailey • Art Director –John Sours School Distribution – • Advertising – • Printer –Wordsprint • Virginia Capitol Connections Magazine (ISSN 1076-4577) is published by: Virginia Capitol Connections • 1108 East Main Street • Suite 1200 • Richmond, Virginia 23219 • (804) 643-555 • Copyright 2023, Virginia Capitol Connections, Inc. All rights reserved. The views expressed in the articles of Virginia Capitol Connections Magazine , a non-partisan publication, are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher.

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Save the date to celebrate Virginians who have made extraordinary contributions to the welfare of our citizens and communities. Tuesday, April 11, 12-2 p.m. Richmond Marriott 500 E Broad St., Richmond, VA 23219

16 th Excellence in Virginia Government Awards

hosted by the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU

Learn more:

2022 honorees pose with 66 th Governor of Virginia, L. Douglas Wilder and Wilder School Dean Susan T. Gooden.

A New Season of Sisterhood Editor’s note: The life of a First Lady is a busy one, as you can see by events listed on Mrs. Youngkin’s newsletter: • ThroughWomen+girls (W+g), the First Lady will connect, celebrate and champion Virginia’s women and girls through two, primary pillars of focus: Wellbeing and Workforce. As part of Women+girls (W+g), the First Lady will prioritize resources and communications to encourage physical and mental wellbeing as women and girls strive to pursue and steward their work. • The First Lady greets students at The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding. • The First Lady joined Chesterfield County's Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc. (SAFE) Opioid and Heroin Prevention Task Force (OHPTF) for a roundtable discussion to hear from Education and Prevention, Law Enforcement, Treatment and Recovery and Medical subcommittee members. • First Lady joined a roundtable discussion with Chesterfield SAFE’s Opioid and Heroin Prevention Task Force. • The Governor and First Lady engaged in a REVIVE! Training at the Washington County Health Department. • “Fentanyl poisoning has become devastatingly prevalent in many areas of Virginia and this nation, and each of us must learn to recognize the signs and learn the tactics to potentially save a life," said the First Lady. • The First Lady joined ninth grade students at Warren County High School. • The First Lady observed the Warren County Community Health Coalition (Warren Coalition) Too Good for Drugs Program atWarren County High School for substance use and abuse prevention. • Winning in Women's Workforce Readiness: The First Lady joined Dr. Latitia McCane along with Secretary of Administration Lyn McDermid and Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade Chelsea Jenkins for a roundtable discussion at The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding. • The First Lady visits the James River Horse Foundation: Equines for Workforce Reentry! • The James River Horse Foundation, in partnership with the Virginia Department of corrections, runs an equine vocational program for selected inmates. • Lauding William King: Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin presented 2022's final Spirit of Virginia Award toWilliam King Museum of Art (WKMA) in Abingdon, VA, recognizing the female leaders who are championing the museum's impact across Southwest Virginia and beyond. • The Governor and First Lady visit the Virginia Division of Capitol Police K-9 Unit. Thank you to the women leading the Virginia Division of Capitol Police K-9 Unit and to our four-legged, bomb sniffing heroes. It was wonderful meeting canines Levi and Luca! • Virginia artist Antoinette Hale's The Curtsey: Antoinette Hale grew up in Roanoke and attended Virginia State University. Gathering inspiration for her paintings from her Virginian roots, The Curtsey is Hale's interpretation of an annual cotillion held since 1952: the Debutante Ball. • The First Lady cheers The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding's women's basketball team. Read more about the school's director of education, Dr. Latitia McCane, in the latest Sisterhood Spotlight. • Keep up with the Sisterhood Spotlight series! In the Sisterhood Spotlight series, the First Lady interviews women across the Commonwealth in areas of government, business and entrepreneurship, education, workforce development, nonprofits and more. To sign up for the First Lady’s newsletter, contact:

Shealah Craighead Photography

To live in this historic place: An interview with First Lady Suzanne Youngkin By BONNIE ATWOOD Meeting First Lady Suzanne Youngkin

reminds one of popping a bottle of champagne: You are acutely and pleasantly aware of a burst of bubbles. Delightfully personable and relaxed, she sat on a couch in the “Ladies Parlor” of the Executive Mansion, wearing a bright red blouse and matching shoes, and not deterred by a pink cast on her arm resulting from a pickleball mishap. She talked about her four children and four dogs. Born in Little Rock, Mrs. Youngkin

was the daughter of a dermatologist. Her father served as a medic in Vietnam in the late Sixties. The family relocated to Texas, where she loved animals, especially horses, and originally set her sights on being a veterinarian, but later switched to communications. Her first job was at a big firm in Houston, where, through a mutual friend, she met the athletic and bright Glenn Youngkin. Too tall to realize his ambition as an astronaut, Youngkin entered the field of science. At that time, politics was one of the farthest things from the young couple’s minds. In the early Nineties, as the romance turned into thoughts of marriage, Youngkin’s career took him to Harvard Business School in Boston, and the soon-to-be Mrs.Youngkin got an apartment nearby with a French student, found the old-fashioned way: “RoomateWanted” was torn off a posted flyer, just the way people used to find guitar teachers. The future Mrs. Youngkin got a job at the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources. So, when did politics enter the scenario? It was 2020. At that time the family lived in NorthernVirginia. Their first two children were born at Arlington Hospital. Youngkin worked for a private equity firm, and they spent a few years overseas. How does she feel now that she lives in Virginia’s most famous residence? “It’s a really humbling experience,” said Mrs. Youngkin. “I do pinch myself” to live in this historic place, at this historic moment. I pray each evening that I bring empathy to this job.” She has nothing but praise for her “team,” and they meet not only in the mansion, but in her office in the Patrick Henry Building.


See To live in this historic place , continued on page 6

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Op-Ed: We can transform the workforce By GEORGE “BRYAN” SLATER Since March 2020, over 120,000 Virginians have left the workforce and did not come back, reducing labor participation to a stunningly low 63%. Today, half of

Virginians and provide a single sign-on to access critical benefits as well as innovative and responsive workforce development programs focused on the customer. Standardized measures of success, focused on job placement and retention, will be used for all programs within the Workforce Development Ecosystem. Accurate analysis of program effectiveness will ensure limited resources are only used on programs that successfully place qualified talent in open positions acrossVirginia. By increasing accountability, streamlining services, and providing one single workforce development hub for all job seekers, employers, and service providers, we will reimagine and redefine the delivery of critical skill-building and workforce preparedness services. If approved by the legislature, our revampedworkforce development ecosystem will not only help advance a highly-skilled workforce, it will attract new industries to the Commonwealth and elevate the experience of becoming and remaining employed. We have the capability to increase the earning power of Virginia employees, enable employers to recruit people with the skills they need, and provide improved employment opportunities for marginalized communities. This will result in a transformed and transformational workforce development system that works for all Virginians. The Honorable George “Bryan” Slater is Virginia’s Secretary of Labor.

Virginia small businesses are struggling to find workers. According to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, states finding qualified employees is the number one issue raised by the Chamber’s members.While on the campaign trail, Governor Glenn Youngkin routinely pointed out more people were moving away fromVirginia than were moving to Virginia from the other 49 states. Whether you’re looking for a job, trying to fill a critical position, or simply want a strong Virginia economy, you need the Commonwealth’s workforce development system to work. While there are successful workforce development programs currently helping Virginians, the fragmented nature of the system is not working for everyone. The existingVirginia workforce development system is fragmented, spanning 12 agencies and six Secretariats. It relies on a decentralized approach to decision-making, preventing the Commonwealth from efficiently and effectively administering its workforce development programs. This puts Virginia’s economy at risk – preventing timely and effective responses to economic emergencies. There is also a lack of connection between industry demand and talent capabilities across our diverse sectors and regions. While Virginians are able to access over 40 workforce development-related websites, the multiple entry points result in inconsistent experiences for users, leaving unfilled jobs – and unsatisfied job-seekers and employers. However, with critical investment in organization and infrastructure, we have the opportunity to upgrade the Commonwealth’s workforce


B ERNIE H ENDERSON President Emeritus Funeral Celebrant

Phone: (804) 840-8586

services into an ecosystem that is agile and responsive to the changing needs of Virginians. We can provide best-in-class customer service that prioritizes gettingVirginians off the sidelines by helping them find careers that align with their skills. We can provide education and training to reskill and upskill those reentering the workforce, relocating to the Commonwealth, or looking to start a new career. We can help businesses grow and attract new industry investments by filling in-demand jobs. This is the opportunity to build a healthy, thriving Virginia economy that works for everyone. To accomplish this, we will propose to the General Assembly a plan to consolidate and transform key elements of today’s scattered workforce development system into an aligned ecosystem with a shared core mission. One agency, a centralized hub if you will, under the direction and oversight of the Secretary of Labor, will drive and direct all workforce development program services, policy direction, grants management, and data analytics. Imagine a single, dynamic, nation-leading workforce ecosystem hub that proactively connects job-seeking Virginians with industry demand. The centralized website, or hub, will be easily accessible for all To live in this historic place from page 5

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Square


• A ordable large and small meeting spaces • Accommodating groups from 5 to 200 • A/V technology – WIFI – hybrid meeting options • Food and beverage options

For more information contact our church o ce at 804.643.3598 or | 815 E. Grace Street, Richmond, VA (parking o of 8th Street)

“I’m living politics 100 percent for my husband,” she said. One of her greatest contributions is her desire to “shine a light on the good and the great that already exists in Virginia.” To that end, she gives the “Spirit ofVirginia” Award to six deserving winners every year.

Candidates, which can be individuals or nonprofits, are nominated by cabinet secretaries and department secretaries. Bonnie Atwood is an editor for Virginia Capitol Connections Magazine.


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Julia Marsden (left), and Kirsti Goodwin (right). Both are members of the Furnishing’s and Collection Committee. The piece on the table is a sterling silver epergne made in London by Jason Young in 1784. It is being restored..

The “People’s” Silver By BONNIE ATWOOD The citizens of Virginia own many beautiful things that we take for granted: parks, mountains, rivers, mansions, works of art, museums--the list is almost endless. One thing of which we may not be aware is a priceless collection of silver. Yes, you own silver. Well, you and eight million other people own it together. The “people’s” silver is currently being collected, researched, and preserved by the Citizens Advisory Council on Furnishing and

Left: Tutti Townes, Right: Martin Townes

Interpreting the Executive Mansion. This committee is established in the Virginia code, with members appointed by the governor. The First Lady (or Gentleman) is designated as the honorary chairperson. At this time, the council is working on collecting, restoring, and identifying the vast amount of this lustrous metal owned by the Commonwealth. Where does it come from? In Civil War days much of it was buried, and undoubtedly lost, below the Mason-Dixon Line, when Southerners feared the worst. The Council is working hard to gather this valuable silver for eternal preservation. The famous “gold rush” of the American 1800s was also a “silver rush.” The country was forever changed by the chasing of this brilliant metal. Julia Marsden, one of the very active members of the 30-member Council, showed this reporter the beautiful items she has found over the past several years. They include tea sets, trays, nut cups, tea kettles, bowls, and much more. Silver’s significance, both as a chemical element, a currency, and a decorative item was valued even as far back as ancient Egypt and was believed to have mystic powers. (Wikipedia gives you 29 pages on that.) Cleaning comes first. Silver is a relatively soft metal. Unlike some other precious metals, silver must be more carefully cleaned, because each cleaning removes a few of the silvery molecules. (Don’t even think about the word “dishwasher.”)When treated properly, silver can take on a high polish. Tutti Townes, the Senior Butler, and Martin Townes, the Deputy Butler of the Executive Mansion, are the caretakers of the silver collection. For each piece that is on display at the Executive Mansion, they clean themwith silver polish. For pieces that will be stored, they are cleaned first, placed in a protective bag that was specifically made at the Mansion. Then a silver strip is inserted in each bag that helps to prevent tarnishing while being stored. Identifying each piece is an important first step in determining which items of the silver collection are the most valuable historically and monetarily. All sterling silver items are marked

with a set of tiny—and I mean tiny—numbers and letters that comprise a code as to the year it was made, identifying that it is sterling silver, the manufacturer, and the location it was made. Marsden consults a book, and an expert, to interpret and catalog each item. One of the most valuable sets in the collection is the sterling silver service from the USS Virginia, which is on display in the dining room of the Mansion. Our fabulous collection is stored at the Executive Mansion, not to be used for eating and drinking, but for careful storage, brought out only when it will be displayed. When you think about our Commonwealth’s most valuable resources, be sure to include our lustrous silver collection. Bonnie Atwood is an editor for Virginia Capitol Connections Magazine.


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The Myth of the 45-Day Session BY B. SCOTT MADDREA AND JEFFREY A. FINCH

Everyone knows the odd-year Regular Session of the Virginia General Assembly is 45-days (wink wink). The mainstream media certainly tells us so. Last month, the state’s leading newspaper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published a story about delays in completing the new General Assembly Building in which they noted: “The delay means legislators and assembly employees will remain in the Pocahontas Building, a makeshift home next to Capitol Square on East Main Street, through the 45-day assembly session that will begin on Jan. 11.” Governors and administration officials say so. Members and former members of the legislature say so, and politicians wouldn’t lie. Lobbyists say so and where would the process be if you couldn’t trust the lobbyists? One of the state’s largest and most prestigious law firms wrote in its 2022 Virginia General Assembly Session Overview, “This year’s session was a so-called ’long session,’ and lasted 60 days instead of the 45 day ’short session,’ which occurs in odd-numbered years.” Academics teach their students that Virginia’s short session is 45 days in length. Blogger Richard Meagher, who has a PhD. in Political Science from the City University of New York (CUNY) and teaches politics at Randolph-Macon College, wrote in his political blog in 2021, “’The Virginia Constitution lays out the rules for this short session: 45 days in even years, when we do the full budget, and 30 days in odd years. Both are typically extended an extra 15 days by a vote, so 60 and 45.’” 1 And yet they are all incorrect, mistaken, erroneous, inaccurate, and wrong! So, why does the myth of the 45-day odd-year Regular Session persist? Usually, the answer is simple. People don’t bother to read, and people don’t take the time to count. One must only read and absorb Section 6 of Article IV of the Virginia Constitution which states that the General Assembly is to convene annually on the secondWednesday in January and continues, that in even-numbered years, Regular Sessions are limited to sixty days and in odd-numbered years, thirty days, with the added provision that by a two-thirds vote of the members of each house, either may be extended for a period not to exceed an additional 30 days. Note (with emphasis): The Virginia Constitution has contained this language since 1972. The Commonwealth’s first constitutions were silent on the length of the legislative session. Limits on the length of Regular Sessions first appeared in the Constitution of Virginia in 1851, which limited Regular Sessions to 90 days unless extended by a three-fifths vote for no more than an additional 30 days (120 total). At that time, sessions occurred biennially rather than annually so the total number of legislative days in a two-year period was not dramatically different than today. The Constitution of 1870 established annual sessions, but an 1876 amendment undid the change and restored Regular Sessions to every other year. The Constitutional Convention of 1901-02 seriously considered, but ultimately rejected by a single vote a proposal to move to quadrennial (every four years) sessions. In the end, biennial 60-day sessions were retained along with the provision that such session could be extended by an additional 30 days upon a three-fifths vote of each house. 1 Richard Meagher, “VA Politics Explainer: Why is VA legislative session so short?”, March 9, 2021 . blog/2021/3/9/va-politics-explainer-why-is-va-legislative-session-so short



The 1968-69 Virginia Commission on Constitutional Revision debated the issue extensively before recommending that biennial sessions be retained and lengthened to 90 days. In addition, the Commission recommended removing the ability of the General Assembly to extend a Regular Session beyond the authorized 90 calendar days. The General Assembly, meeting in Special Session in 1969, rejected the Commission's proposal and compromised on the language we see today—a 60-day Regular Session in even years, a 30-day Regular Session in odd years, and the ability to extend either for an additional 30 days by a two-thirds vote of each house. Ironically, in 1973 the General Assembly actually considered a proposal (HJR 266) which would have amended the Constitution to provide for 60-day, even-year Regular Sessions and 45-day odd year Regular Sessions, but it was defeated. That bears repeating, the idea of a 45-day, odd year Regular Session was considered and DEFEATED. Two years later, Speaker John Warren Cooke wrote in the University of Virginia newsletter, “Although the present arrangement of meeting annually—60 days in even-numbered years and 30 days in odd-numbered years—has existed only since 1972, there is already substantial sentiment that changes should be made to provide for greater efficiency. However, there is a great divergence of opinion over which changes to make. The Senate, for example, passed a resolution calling for a return to biennial sessions, but expanding those Regular Sessions to 90 days. On the other hand, the House adopted a resolution maintaining annual sessions and expanding the odd-year Regular Session to 60 days. In addition, the House proposal would have counted only days the legislature was in session rather than calendar days.” Many states utilize this counting of “legislative days” in lieu of calendar days or have a combined requirement of legislative days within a defined set of calendar days, but for now Virginia persists with a calendar day system. Of course, none of this history explains how we arrived at 46 day extended odd-year Regular Sessions. The document that best explains the evolution of the Virginia General Assembly’s 46-day, odd-year Regular Session is our friend, the Julian calendar. Let’s start with the area of most common agreement—the even-year Regular Session. Virtually no one (sorry Dr. Meagher) disputes the fact that the Constitution establishes a 60-day Regular Session in even years beginning on the second Wednesday in January. Start counting and you will find the 60th day ALWAYS falls on a Saturday. Take a look at the General Assembly’s annual procedural resolution which establishes a host of procedural, legislative deadlines throughout the Session. Virtually every day during the last two weeks is some sort of deadline.

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end on a Thursday it would just be the 44th day, not the 30th because 30 plus 14 equals 44. If you extend by 15 days, thus creating the mythical 45-day Session, then adjournment would fall on a Friday. Not necessarily a bad idea, folks could get home for the weekend, but it does create a ripple effect on a whole host of procedural deadlines. But if you extend by 16 days, then Session ends on a Saturday, the same as an even-year Session AND all of those pesky final week deadlines still fit within what we think of as normal for a final week of Session.

The bottom line is that a 46-day, odd-year Regular Session maintains the tradition of adjourning sine die on a Saturday, giving the shorter in length but not in substance, odd-year legislative session a comforting even-year feel. Use this bit of legislative procedural knowledge to update all your newsletters and factoids to reflect accurately that the Virginia General Assembly will convene on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, for the odd year Regular Session, which will be scheduled to adjourn sine die on Thursday, February 9, 2023, and if extended the usual 16 days, the then 46-day Session will adjourn sine die on Saturday, February 25, 2023. Finally, one more thing before we get off our soap box. It is the Reconvened Session, not the Veto Session. Scott Maddrea and Jeff Finch are both former Deputy Clerks with the House of Delegates with almost 75 years of legislative process knowledge between them. They both currently work as legislative process consultants for International Roll-Call Corporation.

Now look at an odd-year Regular Session—a 30-day constitutional odd-year session. Having trouble finding one? Not surprising. Since the 30-day, odd-year Session was adopted, the General Assembly has only held one 30-day, Regular session and that was a virtual session in 2021 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. And I think we can all agree it was anything but normal. But if you go back and look at the procedural resolution (HJR 575), there it is in Rule 12 (top of page 3), “This session of the General Assembly shall adjourn sine die no later than midnight on Thursday, February 11, 2021.” That’s right—THURSDAY! You probably didn’t notice, or maybe you did and amidst all the madness one more abnormality didn’t seem all that abnormal. But just as the 60th day after the second Wednesday in January is always a Saturday, the 30th day is always a Thursday. Per the Constitution, odd-year Regular Sessions always time out on a Thursday, unless extended. If you were to add two weeks (14 days) from the initially scheduled 30-day odd-year Session, the Regular Session would still



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Marking a Milestone: The Library of Virginia Turns 200 By SANDRA GIOIA TREADWAY “So many books, so little time.”We’ve

records of all of the Commonwealth’s governors, the General Assembly, and state agencies and commissions as well as personal and family correspondence, business papers, genealogical research files, and records of thousands of political, professional, and educational organizations. The Library’s holdings comprise the single most comprehensive collection of information about Virginia history, culture, and government available anywhere in the world. During 2023 the Library will offer a variety of experiences, activities, and events to engage Virginians of all ages in exploring Virginia’s rich and diverse history and culture. On January 24, we will open 200 Years, 200 Stories: An Anniversary Exhibition , a multimedia experience that celebrates 200 Virginians, both ordinary and extraordinary, whose stories are among the hundreds of thousands housed in our collections. Taken together, the stories of these men and women and the artifacts that illustrate them tell us much about Virginia’s collective past. When you visit the exhibition you will learn about two naturalized citizens of Virginia—the Marquis de Lafayette, a French-born general who fought alongside George Washington during the American Revolution, and Ow Chuck Sam, who emigrated from China and once gaining his citizenship served with American armed forces in World War II. You’ll see an original songbook containing pieces written and performed by country music pioneer Maybelle Carter and her family, the fanciful costume (complete with magic wand) worn by the Virginia Lottery’s “Lady Luck”—and much more. The exhibition will run through October 28, 2023. In late March the Library will launch LVA On The Go , a statewide outreach initiative that will continue beyond 2023. LVA On The Go is a custom-fitted vehicle that will transport staff, programs, workshops, genealogical expertise, historical resources, and more to Virginians in all corners of the Commonwealth. We are partnering with libraries and historical and cultural organizations across the state to share what the Library of Virginia offers even to those who may never travel to Richmond. The Library has been a leader in employing technology to capture and preserve government information and to digitize millions of images from our print, manuscript, and photographic collections to make them accessible through the Library’s Virginia Memory website

all heard that saying, and for book lovers, it expresses the ultimate frustration. Well, take heart. The Library of Virginia has, in fact, had time—two hundred years to be exact—to provide Virginians with an amazing collection of, not only books, but an unbelievable number of other resources as well. The Library is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2023. It is one of the oldest executive branch agencies in the Commonwealth, and it is among the oldest state libraries and archives in the United States. This milestone is a great year to learn about all that the Library of Virginia can offer. On January 24, 1823, the General Assembly established a library at the seat of state government to acquire works on law and a myriad of other subjects that the governor, legislators, and judges needed to be knowledgeable about in order to fulfill their responsibilities. Funding to purchase books for the Library was provided through the sale of William Waller Hening’s thirteen volume edition of early Virginia statutes. The first catalog of the Library’s holdings, published in 1828, listed 1,582 volumes of law, political economy, history, biography, and agriculture. Included in this collection were 70 books dating back to the Colonial Council library kept at Jamestown and later Williamsburg. These volumes, many bearing the distinctive bookplate of the Council, remain in the Library today. Needless to say, the Library’s collections have grown substantially over the years and now contain 2 million books, newspapers, maps, prints, and photographs as well as 130 million manuscript items. The archival collection contains the official

The first building constructed specifically to house the State Library opened in 1895 and included a wing added in 1908. Later known as the Finance Building, the structure was renamed the Oliver Hill Building.

All images courtesy of the Library of Virginia.

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( LVA On The Go will show people how to make the most of these resources to uncover their family’s story and the history of their locality and region of the state. We hope to forge new relationships with communities we have never visited before, relationships that we will continue to nurture in the years ahead. Please check the Library’s website for the schedule of LVA On The Go locations beginning in Spring 2023. Throughout the year we will hold a variety of programs that showcase other aspects of Virginia history found in our collections. In February, for example, we will pay tribute to the first Black members of the General Assembly who served between 1869 and 1902, whose contributions to Virginia history have been overlooked until recently. During Women’s History Month in March, we will feature a panel of current women legislators marking the 100th anniversary of women as members of the House of Delegates. Fun cultural events will also be part of our anniversary mix: a Virginia Food and Wine Celebration in May, a Virginia Folklife event in August, and quarterly First Fridays gatherings with storytelling, open mic, and craft making (in collaboration withVenture Richmond’s monthly tradition celebrating art, culture, and creativity in the downtown Richmond Arts District and beyond). For the past 25 years, the Library has honored Virginia authors and new works about Virginia at our annual Virginia Literary Awards Celebration. Virginia is home to many amazing writers who we have recognized through this program, among them John Grisham, Rita Dove, Lee Smith, David Baldacci, Earl Hamner, Margot Lee Shetterly, TomWolfe, Adriana Trigiani, Geraldine Brooks—and many, many more. In 2023 our signature Literary Awards event will be extra special, involving as many past awards finalist and winners as possible in a weeklong celebration ofVirginia’s literary goldmine. 2023 will not just be about the past but also about the future. The Library enters its third century committed to serving Virginians as a trusted information resource, to continuing to build our collections to reflect the stories and experiences of all people residing in the Commonwealth today, and to helping Virginians make sense of their past so that it empowers their future. As we look ahead toward our third century and strategize about what comes next, I hope you will join us and share your thoughts about what the future of libraries—and of your state library—should be. Sandra Gioia Treadway is the Librarian of Virginia.

Native American warrior Black Hawk, pictured at the center of this 1833 painting by James Westhall Ford, challenged federal policy that forcibly removed Native Peoples from their traditional lands.

Seventy books dating back to the Colonial Council library kept at Jamestown and later Williamsburg remain in the Library of Virginia today, many bearing this distinctive bookplate.


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Apprenticeships for High School Students is a Doable Option By DARLA MILLER We often associate the word apprenticeship as a program designed for an individual that has finished high school and works at either an entry level or intermediate type job in the skilled trades field. Often they are looking to perfect their skills while earning more money and advancing in the company. In the article Apprenticeships: Occupations and Outlook featured in the November 2017 of Career Outlook, Elka

credit toward graduation. YRA may be part-time or full-time at various times of the year. These are paid positions and are required to follow federal and state labor laws. Part-time employment and hours worked will be determined by the employer. Unlike other work-based learning opportunities the related technical instruction for a YRA must be occupation specific. High school seniors that follow their academic career plans, can finish graduation requirements before the end of their senior year. Students that finish all related coursework have the option of a Registered Apprenticeships (RA). As with YRA, RAs should be undertaken in consultation with DOLI’s Division of Registered Apprenticeship. RA is a career preparation HQWBL method that is industry-driven. It differs from a Youth Registered apprenticeship the following ways. Employers usually develop the high-quality career pathways to prepare their future workforce. Individuals can obtain paid work experience, occupation specific instruction, mentorship, and a portable, nationally recognized credential. Registered apprenticeships combine OJT with RTI which provides occupation specific knowledge relating to the profession. Unlike YRA programs that utilize high school CTE classes, registered apprentices training is based on national industry standards and can be customized to the needs of the employer. Training may be provided by technical schools, community colleges, online, or on-site by employer/sponsor. RTI requirements are determined by the sponsoring employer and based on a progressive wage schedule. Apprentices are paid employees of a company and receive pay increases as they meet benchmarks for skill attainment. Apprentices must be paid at least the state or federal minimum hourly wage (whichever is higher). Upon completion of a Registered Apprenticeship program, the apprentice receives a nationally recognized credential which consists of a completion certificate and journey worker card. The credential signifies to employers that journey worker(s) are fully qualified in that occupation. The student will: • gain employability and occupational skills • develop technical knowledge and skills necessary for a specific occupation through OJT and RTI • strengthen career awareness, workplace readiness skills, and personal development • receive employment experience and foster essential communication skills, workplace protocols, and etiquette • gain work experience • earn an industry-recognized, portable credential if an apprentice completes an adult registered apprenticeship program. Whether going the Youth Registered Apprenticeship or Registered Apprenticeship route, a student must be at least 16 years old and enrolled in a career and technical education program that lends itself to the specific occupational skills a student wants to learn. If you are an employer and the idea of hiring high school students or recent graduates may enable you to fill open positions in your company. Consider the benefits of a youth or registered apprenticeship program. Realize that you can develop and train your future workforce. How to get started, reach out to the Virginia Department of Labor’s (DOLI) Apprenticeship Division to learn about becoming a sponsor. Next work with the local school division. Often, they will have a work-based learning coordinator or adult education coordinator. Either one can help in identifying contacts or potential students looking for specific employment. DOLI says it best “Everybody Builds Virginia.” Darla Miller is Virginia ACTE’s new Executive Director. She started her new position on August 1. Miller recently retired after 17 years as Principal of Valley Career and Technical Center in Fishersville. In addition to her teaching experience, she served as Director of the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant for Augusta County Schools and an assistant principal for Valley Career and Technical Center. She has served in various leadership CTE roles during her career. Most recently, she has been a member-at-large on the VACTEA Board. V

Torpey defines “An apprenticeship is an arrangement in which you get hands-on training, technical instruction, and a paycheck—all at the same time. Apprentices work for a sponsor, such as an individual employer or a business-union partnership, who pays their wages and provides the training.” The article further states that formal apprenticeship programs usually last about 4 years, depending on the employer or occupation, although they may take as little as 12 months or as many as 6 years. Many of these programs are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). At the end of a registered apprenticeship program, apprentices get a nationally recognized certificate of completion as proof of their skills. In Virginia there are about 15,000 Registered Apprentices, compared to the over 300,000 jobs that remain unfilled. If we are to close this gap, employers need to rethink their hiring philosophy and look at the current class of high school students enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) concentrations. With the implementation of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate for the Class of 2022, the following graduation requirement is now in place -- Per Code of Virginia § 22.1-253.13:4, students are required to: (i) complete an Advanced Placement, honors, International Baccalaureate, or dual enrollment course; or (ii) complete a high-quality work-based learning experience, as defined by the Board; or (iii) earn a career and technical education credential that has been approved by the Board. For the Virginia Board of Education, this means that a youth registered apprenticeship (YRA) and registered apprenticeship training program as recognized by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry is considered a high-quality work-based learning experience and can be used by students to meet their graduation requirement. A YRA is a High-Quality Work-Based Learning method that integrates specific CTE curriculum and On-the-Job Training (OJT) to help students gain employability and occupational skills. The CTE programs provide Related Technical Instruction (RTI) based on the Virginia Department of Education’s statewide curriculum framework guidelines, endorsed by business and industry. Licensed and endorsed CTE teachers and journey worker experts instruct youth apprentices. Apprentices, usually in the 11th or 12th grade are simultaneously enrolled in CTE classes to meet high school graduation requirements and receive occupation specific RTI. Additionally, the participating sponsor/employer provides supervision as a skilled mentor. Upon completion of a high school diploma, apprentices are encouraged to continue in the occupation as adult apprentices at the discretion of the employer/sponsor and will be subject to all standard OJT and RTI requirements. There are no minimum or maximum work hour requirements for student apprentices, but students who complete at least 280 OJT hours per year of YRA will receive an additional

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“Standing Tall and Proud” Mural Graces Tazewell County Courthouse Grounds By A.J. ROBINSON A new public artwork is now permanently installed on Main Street, Tazewell, Virginia, representing more than a century of African American Heritage in Tazewell County. Life-size portraits of sixteen African American men and women are featured in the “Standing Tall and Proud” mural, whose name was taken from a line in a poem by George Murray Dickerson, one of the honorees. The project was commissioned by the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors who appointed and tasked The Citizens Courthouse Grounds Improvement Committee to pay tribute to notable African American natives of the County. Since their initial meeting in July 2021, the committee met monthly and was led by co-chairs Flora Sinkford and Mabel Horton, along with Board of Supervisor Shanna Plaster in dedicating themselves to researching, planning, and facilitating an inspiring mural to pay tribute to those born into slavery in the mid-1850s to those living into the 21st century. These men and women were business leaders, civil rights activists, educators, poets, and politicians. The portraits were drawn and designed in color by local muralist Ellen Elmes and the committee had coordinating narrative plaques made to tell the history of each subject. The project may be viewed at 101 Main Street in Tazewell, Virginia. AJ Robinson is the Director of Communications and Tourism for Tazewell County, Virginia where she oversees the County’s public relations, tourism industry, broadband initiatives, recreational development and community COVID-19 response. Previously, she worked in the United States Senate. A native of the Commonwealth, Robinson is passionate about serving her community and is on the board of the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority, the Crooked Road and Communities in Schools of Southwest Virginia.

Shanna Plaster, Supervision.


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The Virginia Capitol Connections team thanks Bonnie Atwood for her many years of service as our Editor in Chief Bonnie is a passionate journalist

FDA’s New OTC Hearing Aid Reality By KRISTIN KOCH For those of us who are hearing healthcare providers, our professions and industry are in the midst of a great deal of change. With the FDA’s final ruling regarding over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, new devices and companies have been flooding the market since mid-November. You will likely see OTC hearing aids on drugstore shelves, kiosks at electronics stores and all over the internet. Most of these devices and manufacturers will follow

whose career spans five decades. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including, but not limited to, The Journal Messenger, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond Boomer Magazine, The Student Lawyer, andVirginia Capitol Connections Quarterly Magazine for which she has been Editor-in-Chief for 5 years. She is the chief writer for Tall Poppies Freelance Writing LLC, a woman-owned writing and legislative consulting service. She is a strong advocate for human rights, economic empowerment, education, health, and politics poverty alleviation.

the FDA’s guidance, but there will always be some unscrupulous companies looking to make a buck. The elderly and those with a limited budget will be among the most vulnerable. The FDA has been working on this entirely new category of hearing aids for the past several years. These devices can be sold over the counter, without the guidance of a hearing healthcare professional and without a hearing test. OTC hearing aids are designed for adults with a “perceived” mild to moderate hearing loss. Despite not needing a hearing test, it is still highly recommended. In our clinical experience, most people often underestimate their level of hearing loss. OTC aids are not intended for children, adults with more severe hearing loss, someone who has experienced a sudden hearing loss, or a hearing loss in only one ear. There are also additional red flags for use of OTC aids, including suspicion of ear wax or a foreign object in one or both ears, drainage from an ear, or severe dizziness (vertigo) with hearing loss. These conditions should still be evaluated by a physician, preferably an Ear, Nose and Throat physician, and an Audiologist for a more thorough medical evaluation and hearing test. To be labeled as an “FDA Approved” OTC hearing aid, devices must meet acoustic and electronic standards published in the FDA’s recent ruling. These hearing aids are quite different from the personal-sound-amplification-products (PSAPs) that have been sold in drugstores for a few hundred dollars over the past decades. The OTC hearing aids must meet certain packaging requirements with warning labels and the red flag warnings. These OTC devices will need to be set up by the consumer, likely with the assistance of a smartphone app, or pre-programmed before OTC aids are sent through the mail to a specific person. This may work well for some Virginians, however this may not be the best option for some, especially those without access to smartphone technology, those with vision or dexterity issues or someone who needs additional support. Encourage people to be careful and understand the return policies and warranty details. There is no mandatory return policy, however the FDA has required that if a return policy is offered, it must be clearly stated on the box or label. The average pricing for these OTC hearing aids is still being determined, however most devices currently on the market seem to be ranging from about $600 to over $2,500 for a pair. As a positive, the new OTC hearing aids have increased awareness around hearing loss in general. The goal of any type of hearing aid, either OTCs or traditional hearing aids, is improved communication, better balance with less risk of falling, and maintaining cognitive health. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 37 million American adults report some trouble hearing and almost 29 million could benefit from using hearing aids. There is now a mountain of evidence that links untreated hearing loss with a higher likelihood of cognitive decline, a greater incidence of falls and more chronic health conditions. OTC hearing aids may be more accessible and more affordable for some Virginians, especially those in rural areas.

Bonnie served as a Public Relations Assistant and support staff for the 2012 Women Who Mean Business Summit. Bonnie is also a proud historian. Bonnie was the initiator of the historical marker honoring the great Chief Black Hawk (Sauk leader), 1767-1838, which stands in Richmond, Virginia, at 12th Street and Main. As the ancient one wrote, To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Bonnie submitted her resignation as our Editor. We hope it’s to have more time for writing, and we expect to see her stories in our magazine. V

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Commonwealth Steps Up Efforts To Prevent Suicides and Reduce Opioid Addiction Among Veterans And Their Family Members By ANGELA PORTER, PH.D.

Virginia is home to more than 690,000 military veterans – one of the largest percentages of veterans of any state. Governor Glenn Youngkin and the members of the Virginia General Assembly have made it clear that they want Virginia to be the #1 state in America for veterans and their families to live, work and thrive. The mission of theVirginia Department ofVeterans Services (DVS) is to assure that Virginia veterans are aware of and take advantage of the state and federal benefits they earned from their service and to help them find meaningful and fulfilling employment in the civilian workplace. While most veterans find the transition from active duty to civilian life is smooth and uneventful, for some the transition can create challenges with financial/housing stability, mental health, substance use, or family relationships. In extreme cases, these stressors can lead to crisis situations and even suicide if they are unable to connect with treatment and supportive services. In fact, suicide and addiction rates among veterans are considerably higher than the rates for the general population. In 2020, there were 6,146 veteran suicide deaths reported nationally. The suicide rate for veterans was 57% greater for veterans than non-veterans that year. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that over half of the veterans we lose to suicide were not connected with the VA for healthcare prior to their deaths. Community service providers are critical partners in the suicide prevention mission. In 2020, 181 veterans died by suicide in Virginia (1,154 total suicide deaths). The use of a firearm is the lethal means in most veteran suicide deaths with 80% dying by firearm compared to approximately 58% for civilians. Secure storage of firearms and ammunition (also called lethal means safety) can save lives. Approximately 1 in 10 veterans have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder, slightly higher than the civilian population. Veterans may face unique issues that require pain management with over 60% reporting they cope with pain. This can put veterans at higher risk for accidental opioid overdoses. The overall opioid overdose rates (primarily heroin or synthetic opioids compared to medication for pain relief) among veterans increased to 21% in 2016 from 14% in 2010. Opioid overdose is a critical concern for all Virginians. The Virginia Department of Health reported a 33% increase in Emergency Department visits for opioid overdoses from 2019 to 2020. The number of deaths associated with an opioid overdose increased 17 percent from 2019 to 2020 yielding four deaths per day. While theVirginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS) program at the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) has been working diligently with our partners to prevent veteran suicides and addiction through peer support and care coordination services since 2008, the Board of Veterans Services, Joint Leadership Council, and legislators recognized that additional resources were needed. Legislation was introduced and passed in the 2022 GeneralAssembly session to establish FDA’s New OTC Hearing Aid Reality from previous page The gold-standard will always be a thorough hearing test by an Audiologist, now including speech testing in background noise, and best practices when fitting hearing aids. Newer testing equipment can measure the response of any hearing aid, while the device is in someone’s ear. This testing documents the sound levels in that individual’s ear canal and verifies how the device is programmed to match someone’s hearing loss. Traditional hearing aids can also be tested to ensure the aid meets the manufacturer’s specifications for output and other electronic functioning. These tests are most often provided by Audiologists, who are now required to have a doctorate

and fund a Director of Suicide Prevention and Opioid Addiction Services within DVS. I was honored to be named to this position in September and am pleased to announce that currently, I am in the process of building a staff of four persons who will be solely dedicated to promoting veteran suicide prevention and opioid addiction services. Our

goal is to design a community grant to enhance best practices in suicide prevention and opioid addiction services across Virginia. We will begin awarding these grants in spring 2023. DVS is also working closely with the Governor’s Challenge To Prevent Suicides Among Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF) to expand military culture, suicide prevention, suicide risk screening, and safety planning in community settings to build a safety net for military-connected individuals and families. The acronym for this overall suicide prevention program isVISR, which stands for Virginia’s Identify SMVF, Screen for Suicide Risk and Refer to Services. As part of VISR, DVS Benefits and VVFS team members – all of whom are trained in suicide prevention – have screened approximately 10,000 Virginia veterans and family members for suicide risk and connected them to community resources for support and counseling. They have also trained over 1,300 persons at our community partners statewide in military cultural competency and suicide prevention so they are prepared to understand, reach out and serve veterans and their families in need. Launched as a pilot program in 2020,VISR provides free education and training for community agencies to increase outreach and services to SMVF. DVS has partnered with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and George Mason University to launch VISR 2.0 in January 2023 and all community agencies are encouraged to enroll. Simply visit to enroll in the VISR 2.0 program. I look forward to continuing the agency’s focus on suicide prevention and opioid addiction services amongVirginia’s veterans and their families over the next year and beyond. I truly believe that together with our partners throughout the Commonwealth, we can be the leader in this nationwide effort. Angela Porter, Ph. D. is the Director of Suicide Prevention and Opioid Addiction Services at the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS). Before joining DVS in September 2022, she served as Chief Operating Office and President of Behavioral Health Alternatives and was Director of Counseling Services at Virginia Union University. She earned her B.S. in Administration fromVirginia Commonwealth University, a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a Ph.D. from Capella University. She can be contacted at degree. Patient outcomes are documented, using evidence-based practices and recommendations, ensuring the highest level of care and patient benefit. If this doesn’t appeal to some or isn’t an option for a particular person, a new option now exists for those who are interested. Kristin Koch, AuD, is an Audiologist with a private practice in Charlottesville. She currently serves the Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia as the Vice President for Audiology. Dr. Koch is also an adjunct faculty member at James Madison University. For additional information, email to V V

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