STABLE Workplaces Aims to Create a Healthier Workforce

Posted By: Megan Biddix Chamber News,

Health begins where we live, learn, work and play and starts long before any illness. The opportunity to improve health begins in our families, neighborhoods, schools and jobs. These areas can be viewed as building blocks to create a society where everyone can thrive. Each block is important, and we need them all in the right place. 

The STABLE Workplaces initiative officially launched on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. STABLE stands for Staff Training and Business Leadership for Evolving Workplaces and is an initiative focused on filling in some of the gaps to create a healthier workforce and community. If a need arises from a local business, STABLE’s goal is to be a one stop shop and connection point to resources, training and opportunities to address the need.  

There are many groups and organizations within Watauga County that can help connect resources and opportunities for the local workforce. STABLE Workplaces seeks to bring those resources together and offers them to local businesses based on their unique needs. Examples of resources include offering Naloxone training to recognize signs of an overdose, providing assistance to navigate the healthcare system and/or filing taxes, offering bystander training for bartenders to recognize and react to instances of sexual harassment and assault and efforts to create Recovery Friendly Workplaces.   

“We recognize the challenges, particularly in an area with a large tourism and service industry that follows nontraditional hours. Small business owners in particular hold many hats - one minute they are working on the ground with their staff, the next they are acting as Human Resources and the next they are navigating finances. Not every employer can take advantage of training and resources in the traditional way so we have to go even further than content; we have to know the barriers for employers to engage in that content and to implement it. This is the focus of STABLE - removing those barriers,” stated Lindsey Sullivan, Health Strategist, AppHealthCare.  

The creation of this initiative is the product of over 16-months of community conversation, committee work, and focus groups that included local business leaders, non-profit agencies, local government employees, and other stakeholders.   

“Watauga County and the High Country community have proven to be resilient time and time again. STABLE was built to provide a robust collection of resources for businesses, where day-to-day needs for training and development can be met with efficiency in mind. Employers continue to list workforce recruitment and retention as some of the lead issues for their own business stability. We are hopeful that by centralizing resources, providing relevant training and consulting opportunities, and working with businesses to prioritize staff leadership development, employers will find they are able to retain and recruit because of the supportive workplaces they’ve created,” stated David Jackson, President/CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Lead organizations that have worked on this effort include AppHealthCare, OASIS, Inc, Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, NC Works, Mediation and Restorative Justice Center, Watauga Economic Development Commission, High Country Workforce Development Board, Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative, and numerous local businesses and practitioners.  

A healthier community where everyone can thrive is possible. STABLE Workplaces is working to make that happen. 

To learn more about STABLE Workplaces, go to or reach out to Lindsey Sullivan at