Commonwealth of Virginia

Return to Earn Program


Are you a small business in need of new employees? The Return to Earn project, administered by the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board (WVWDB), is focused on assisting small businesses with providing new employees with hiring incentives to support their transition back into the workforce. This funding  is available for small businesses located in the Counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke or the Cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem. Funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Update: On August 30, 2021, the Governor’s Office issued new guidelines for the program that are detailed below.

Criteria for Eligibility

Small businesses with less than 100 employees in the Commonwealth of Virginia may be eligible to receive reimbursement for up to $500 per new hire. New hires must be a W-2 employee, must be offered a position that pays at least $15.00 per hour, and can be either part-time or full-time. In order to qualify, new hires must self-attest that they were unemployed for at least one month (30 calendar days) prior to starting new employment The WVWDB nor the employer is required to verify the length of unemployment. It is also strongly recommended that businesses do not provide funds to the new hire until the new hire has remained with the company for at least three months. The WVWDB nor the employer is required to verify the length of the employment of the new hire when receiving the incentive. New hires must be hired on no later than December 31, 2021.

A full project description can be found in PDF form here: Return to Earn – Project Description

How to Apply

The WVWDB has created an electronic application that will assist us in confirming eligibility and drafting a formal agreement for funding. All information must be provided in full to be considered. All information is considered confidential.



Any questions regarding the program can be directed to Morgan Romeo at

The Western Virginia Workforce Development Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aides and services and interpreters are available upon request. TDD-VA Relay: 711.

Morgan Romeo | EO Officer | | 540-562-8442

 This project is 100% funded by an award from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I grant (AA-34799-20-55-A-51) in the amount of $105,624. This award was made to the City of Roanoke on behalf of Local Workforce Development Area 3 – Blue Ridge by the pass-through entity, the Virginia Community College System. No costs of these programs are financed by non-governmental sources.

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