Natalie Foster joined Virginia Ready’s leadership team as the Executive Director in January 2022. As a strategic nonprofit executive passionate about workforce readiness, she has a proven success record in business development and strategic partnerships with corporate and industry partners, community colleges, and board members throughout Virginia. Her career in the nonprofit sector has been as a funding raising executive for several organizations to include the YMCA of Greater Richmond, Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, Junior League of Richmond, and MENTOR Virginia.
Her role at Virginia Ready is to provide leadership, expertise, management and coordination to Virginia Ready’s strategic programmatic and funding relationships. Her focus, along with her team, is to support Virginians for in-demand jobs with leading businesses in healthcare, cybersecurity/technology, and manufacturing/trades skills through offering them a $1,000 Credential Achievement Award for completion of their credential, career readiness support and training, and the opportunity to interview at many of Virginia’s best companies.
Before joining the VA Ready team, Natalie served as the Executive Director of MENTOR Virginia promoting effective mentoring in Virginia by increasing the capacity of mentoring programs, developing new programs, and advocating for resources to support the mentoring field. As a former trainer in corporate mentorship, she led training for leading businesses such as Capital One, Genentech, LinkedIN, Dominion Energy and EAB. Natalie is committed to helping corporations to retain talent and individuals to expand their networks for additional growth opportunities within their field.
Currently, she serves on the Virginia Infrastructure Academy Steering Committee tasked with developing a program to recruit and train workers who will support road, bridge, and tunnel construction; the expansion of broadband services; on-and off-shore wind generation; and solar infrastructure and energy distribution.
Natalie holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Richmond and a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.