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Creating a 21st Century Workforce


Moderator:  Elizabeth Creamer, Advisor for Workforce Development


Elizabeth Creamer is Advisor for Workforce Development, Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Governor Terence R. McAuliffe.  In that role, she acts as a liaison to four Secretariats, eight state agencies, and 24 state and federally funded programs charged with administration of Virginia’s Workforce System.  Elizabeth also acts as a staff member to the Virginia Board of Workforce Development. 

Elizabeth previously served as the Director of Education and Workforce Development for the Office of Governor Bob McDonnell.  Prior to that role, she was an Assistant Vice Chancellor of Career Pathways and Workforce Development for the Virginia Community College System where she led a team charged with statewide programs such as non-credit workforce training, Career Readiness Certificate, Career Coaches, Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Postsecondary Perkins, and more.   

Ms. Creamer has previously held administrative positions at Thomas Nelson and Paul D. Camp Community Colleges.  She has served as a member of the National Career Pathways Network Board, the Southern Region Education Board’s Career and Technical Education Commission, and the Virginia Board of Workforce Development.  Ms. Creamer holds degrees from Christopher Newport and Old Dominion Universities. 



Sharon Johnson, CEO, Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board


Sharon Johnson is CEO for the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board with a service region covering over 5,000 square miles and 16 jurisdictions.  Sharon has 25 years of experience working with the private sector, the public workforce system, economic development, and community colleges. Sharon has written state and federal grants awarding over $22M for workforce development initiatives for the Shenandoah Valley.


Sharon is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) with the American Society for Training and Development, a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) with the International Society for Performance Improvement and a Certified Workforce Development Professional (CWDP) with endorsements in Business and Employer Services and Workforce Management through the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals. Sharon has her Master’s in Adult Education and Human Resource Development from James Madison University and is currently working on her dissertation to complete her Ph.D. in Human Capital Development through the University of Southern Mississippi.



Gary Larrowe, County Administrator and Chief Economic Development Officer, Carrol County


Gary Larrowe (LaRue) has been the County Administrator and Chief Economic Development Officer for  Carroll County since the fall of 2005 and has led efforts to to fill the Carroll County Industrial Park and worked in partnership on the Wildwood Commerce Park .  Gary is also the Director of the Carroll Public Service Authorty and the Carroll Industrial Development Authority.    

Prior to being the County Administrator, Gary worked with VA Cooperative Extension and was on faculty at VA Tech for 18 years.  While working with Extension, Gary was an Agricultural Extension Agen and an Extenion Specialist in Community Initiatives fwhere he focused his work on Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial business development as well as other traditional Economic Development activities.

Gary has lectured at more than 25 Universities across the country teaching Entrepreneurial curriculum through the Kauffman Foundation.  He is also the co-Author of Be the “E”, which is the national 4-H Curriculum being used across the country and around the world for entrepreneurial development in youth.

Gary is also a Kellogg Fellow in International Community Development and has worked in 12 Latin American Countries and is a former Congressional Intern.  Gary holds a BS from VA Tech and a MS from Radford Univistery.

He is a passionate traveler and plans to spend  this Thanksgiving in the Amazon Jungles of Peru with his son Austin.


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