Total Action for Progress (TAP) is a non-profit organization located in Roanoke, VA that provides over 30 programs to help families and individuals in Roanoke and Alleghany counties obtain and maintain economic stability. Services offered focus on education, employment, affordable housing, and safe and healthy environments.
General About the Organization/Mission
TAP operates in the spirit of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which aims to create a “society in which everyone has the opportunity for education and training, the opportunity to work, and the opportunity to live in decency and dignity.” The organization runs over thirty programs designed to help individuals access opportunities to reach the full extent of his or her capabilities and achieve social and economic fulfillment. TAP has a staff of over 300 and serves eleven localities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem, Botetourt County, Craig County and Bath County, Covington, Rockbridge County, Lexington, Buena Vista, and the Alleghany Highlands.
programs that promote economic self-sufficiency amongst individuals and families, small-business growth, and educational opportunities. TAP also offers a variety of professional services, including real estate development, energy audits, property management and maintenance, and non-profit program consulting.
Type of Organization
Issues of Focus
TAP’s three programmatic focus areas are:
- Education and Career Development
- Housing and Community Solutions
- Business and Economic Development
History of Organization
Total Action for Progress, originally called Total Action Against Poverty, was founded in January 1965 by Cabell Brand and incorporated on April 28, 1965. Brand specifically organized TAP to take advantage of the Urban and Rural Community Action Program piece of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, passed by President Johnson as a key arm of his War on Poverty. Brand successfully convinced the governing bodies of Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Botetourt County to apply for federal grant money through the Act to fund a private non-profit community action agency to serve low-income families and individuals living in those communities. TAP’s first accomplishment was opening a Head-Start classroom in October of 1965, which was notably the first school program in the Roanoke Valley to be integrated at the time of its inception. Annette Lewis, the current CEO, was appointed in April of 2015 following the retirement of Ted Edlich, who had held the position for the previous 40 years.
Programs and Projects
TAP offers over thirty programs, focused on personal and municipal economic empowerment and overcoming barriers to personal stability. This Valley Works is a job-training program for the un- and under- employed that reaches more than 1,000 people each year in program areas such as education, job placement, ex-offender services and domestic violence services. TAP’s Virginia CARES program reduces re-offending rates among recently released prisoners by providing newly released ex-offenders with a variety of supportive services, including job placement and training resources. Through its Head-Start program, TAP helps prepare children for success in the public educational system by providing preschool education to over 1,300 children across Roanoke, the Alleghany Highlands, and the Rockbridge areas. TAP also provides weatherization and emergency home repair services free of charge to low-income families, as well as free tax clinics that assist low-income workers file their taxes and claim Earned-Income Tax Credits.
The full list of programs TAP offers is listed bellowed. Please see TAP’s website for more information about these programs:
Education and Career Development
AACCI: African-American Culture and Contemporary Issues Class
CNA program: Certified Nursing Assistant Program
SVREC: Southwestern Virginia Regional Employment Coalition
VA CARES: Virginia Community Action Re-entry System
Business and Economic Development
Housing and Community Solutions
Partners and Frequent Collaborators
- United Way of Roanoke Valley
- The City of Roanoke
- Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority
- Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley
- Money Management International, Inc. (MMI)
- Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Roanoke County Department of Social Services
- Freedom First Credit Union
- Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, Inc
- the Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley
- Blue Ridge Continuum of Care
- Wells Fargo
- First Citizens Bank
- Valley Bank.
- Virginia State Department of Education
- Carilion Clinic
- US Department of Health and Human Services
- US Department of Veterans Affairs