The Southern Virginia Region has a strong mixture of regional hospitals, university hospitals with research and care, and trauma centers throughout the region. University hospitals provide residency and outreach to the surrounding regional hospitals. The Virginia Department of Health maintains a strong data base of physicians and their capacity for disciplines.
Healthcare support is strong across the region. The region is proactive in addressing the changes in culture that support a healthy lifestyle and reduces medical challenges to the population. Strong regional programs in partnership with hospitals, the Dan River Region Health Collaborative, and Parks and Recreation department include areas of focus, such as increasing workers in the health care system and improving health care education.
Additionally, there is a state translation service which can be found at Virginia Board of Medicine Practitioner Information – Advanced Search (vahealthprovider.com). The online search system provides details on whether an office has language services available or doctors on staff who can speak the same language.
You can also search for physicians in Virginia and North Carolina at the following:
For further information, please refer to the healthcare tab of our website.
In the U.S., attending school (public or private) is required for children under 18. Public schools are not allowed to deny education based on documentation or immigration status. All children, regardless of immigration status or documentation, are entitled to free education through the public school system. You can go to https://www.greatschools.org/school-district-boundaries-map/ to find your local school and https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/school-enrollment-requirements/ for a list of what is needed to enroll a child. Children may also qualify for free and reduced-price lunch and breakfast programs while attending public school.
Public schools also provide bus transportation for students living inside the district. Approximately 70% of students elect to ride the bus, and the remainder drive or are driven to school by family members. The average commute time to a school for locals is 15 minutes. Students living outside Pittsylvania County may apply to attend.
While only about 5% of students in the micropolitan area select private school options, there is a strong private sector cohort that includes schools that attract students from across the nation and internationally like Hargrave Military Academy and Chatham Hall. Two popular examples are Sacred Heart School for K-8th grade in Danville and Carlisle in Martinsville for K-12th which also has campuses in the surrounding area.
The Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) is the organization that has recognition granted through the state statute 22.1-19 of the Code of Virginia, under the authority of the Virginia Board of Education to oversee the accreditation of private schools in Virginia. They provide a list of accredited private schools in the region along with direct links to their sites at https://www.vcpe.org/SCHOOL-LOCATOR. It includes special needs schools as well as international baccalaureate schools like Carlisle who have a myriad of international and cultural programs. Currently, this list is down for maintenance, but is scheduled to be up-and-running by October 2023.
There are numerous daycare options in the region from private certified day care operators in the region from private certified in-home offerings to public facilities. The Center for Early Success – formerly called Smart Beginnings, works with centers across the region on training regulations and resources. The Virginia Department of Social Services has offices in every locality and provide assistance to citizens and childcare facilities. They maintain a listing of all registered childcare providers at https://dss.virginia.gov/facility/search/cc2.cgi on the Center for Early Success can be found on their website at Quality Childcare – The Center for Early Success and at DanvillePitts_2022.pdf (centerforearlysuccess.org) and Halifax_2022.pdf (centerforearlysuccess.org).
Southern Virginia is closely located to five of the most recognized universities in the USA. These include the University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, North Carolina State University, and Duke University. Local industries do various continuous education training inclusive of Goodyear managerial training at Averett University, mechatronics and electronics with Danville Community College, and many other examples of customized training. In addition, the area is rich in both traditional and career and technical schools at all levels of the educational spectrum with numerous on and offramps for students of all ages and levels of skills and expertise. There are multiple community colleges and programs available throughout the counties such as the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Southside Virginia Community College, New College Institute, Pittsylvania County Career Technical Center, and Patrick Henry Community College.
There are many non-profits that provide English and other courses for free in local communities. Contact 211 to find free classes and other support for recent immigrants. There are also free online English and Citizenship lessons available through https://www.usalearns.org/.
For further information, please refer to the education tab of our website.
It is common to live in restored urban loft apartments, multifamily townhouses and an abundance of single-family options. There are a number of gated communities at Hyco Lake, Smith Mountain Lake, Providence @ South Point Raleigh, Brian Chapel Town Homes Durham, Weddington Glenn, Greensboro, Beechwood Carolinas, and Chapel Hill. There are also established neighborhoods in the downtown area and university districts, suburban neighborhoods, lakeside executive and casual living options, farm housing, and historical homes from which to choose.
No matter where you choose to live, the region’s housing costs are 15-30% below the national average with very agreeable property tax rates. Additionally, the cost of healthcare, utilities and transportation averages 10-20% below the national average across the region.
Job Search Support
There is an organized network of services through Danville Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Virginia Career Works, and the Virginia Employment Commission all provide assistance in these areas, assisting with job postings, resume development, interview skills training, finding apprenticeships as well as job fairs, organized meetings with workforce service providers and employers. In addition, there is an AspHire program for high school students where they are matched with employers for in-depth training and do mock interviews that are often transitioned to real-time job offers.
Typical Non-Technical Industry Positions
Clerical, administrative, educational, managerial, health care and finance positions are available full-time or part time and available year-round. Tobacco, retail, and special events like Virginia International Raceway and NASCAR in Martinsville and South Boston also offer seasonal and part-time opportunities. Below is a link to resources that can be shared with employees: https://www.discoverdanville.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/SVRA-Recruiting-and-Onboarding-Employees.pdf
Social Security Number
Social Security Number: Social Security Numbers are given to U.S. citizens born in the U.S. at the time of birth and are used for identification and tax paying purposes. Immigrants entering the U.S. legally can request a Social Security Number when applying for a Visa. If you are already lawfully present in the United States and your visa status allows you to work, then you must visit a social security office in person to apply.
For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website.
Applying for a driver’s license and car registration
VA SB 34, as amended by HB 2163 (March 30, 2021) April 22, 2020, January 1, 2021, Driver privilege card (DPC) for individuals who do not submit the proof of citizenship or immigration status required for a REAL ID license. Applicants must have reported income from a VA source or have been claimed as a dependent on a VA tax return in the preceding 12 months. DPC confers the same privileges as other driver’s licenses unless otherwise indicated. The front will be identical to other non–REAL ID licenses; the back will be identical in appearance to the restriction on the back of a limited-duration license, permit, or special identification card. Includes confidentiality protections.
State-Issued IDs: Each state has its own laws about how someone can obtain an official photo ID and what documents they are required to present to do so. Start by looking at your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for information about non-driver identification cards. Click here to learn about each state’s law.
There is a diverse group of nonprofits in our region with a wonderful network to find the perfect fit for volunteering and making a positive impact. The United Way maintains a listing of all non-profits with links to go directly to their site and volunteer or participate in their activities at https://danrivernonprofits.org/member-directory/. Expatriates often work as court translators, in schools as adjuncts and with economic developers and businesses as translators.
Foreign Community Support Programs
Americans by Choice (ABC) Club – The Southern Virginia Region was established on furniture, textiles, and tobacco manufacturing, which attracted individuals from around the globe to live and conduct business. The region continues to be home to a broad array of global companies and residents whose culture is woven into the fabric of our community. Beginning in the 1960s, an organization named Americans by Choice was established as a social and cultural network for residents who have moved to the Southern Virginia region from abroad. This organization continues to meet monthly, and its members represent over twenty countries. There are also strong cultural organizations in the neighboring regions within Greensboro and Raleigh/Durham.
In startups, a local group can be formed by consultants and internal human resources. For example, in areas like the Triad in North Carolina, German American Associations have formed. In the BMW start up, such an organization helped to integrate expatriates and families.
Residents use both public and private modes of transportation, including Danville Mass Transit, public school bus transportation system, private automobile, RideShare, Mega Bus and (https://us.megabus.com/route-guides/danville-to-washington-bus). Additionally, the region’s location sets us near major highways US460, US 58, US 29, and I-81.
Details on and future plans surrounding U.S. 58 and U.S. 29 can be found here:
Telephone and internet providers
AT&T, Verizon, Century Link, T-Mobile, Comcast, Spectrum, RiverStreet, N-Danville, most any national carrier is located in the region.
Most national banks and financial services are available in the region as well as a myriad of community banks, credit unions and financial services. Key banks include Wells Fargo, Truist, American National Bank, Movement Bank, Carter Bank, and First Citizens. Financial services extend from CIT Group, Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Davenport, Wells Fargo, and others. While the region has a robust network of banks and financial services, the surrounding areas of Raleigh Durham and Greensboro host an extended portfolio of service providers.
Most national insurance carriers are available in the region, inclusive of Geico, State Farm, Progressive, Erie, Allstate, AAA, Liberty Mutual, AFLAC, Nationwide, and others. Cost of living in general is lower in the region, but insurance is also based on risk factors and driving records which can drive variation in that market. Generally, you can anticipate 7-10% lower costs in our region for miscellaneous items inclusive of insurance and health and life insurance generally is 19% lower than the national average.
Access to Virginia International Raceway brings in automobile enthusiasts from across the country with car clubs and dealers from brands such as Corvette, Porsche, Maserati, Ferrari, BMW, Audi and others. Foreign Cars Italia does events with VIR both at their Greensboro Showroom as well as at the track, making car selections for exotic brands enticing to the car novice. TMI’s Arial Atom, Ginetta and Overfinch retrofits of Land Rovers are all local to the area.
To find additional local resources, please refer to 211virginia.org.