CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Governor Glenn Youngkin recently announced $1.2 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia grant awards. One of the projects receiving funding, the Tech Talent Retention Initiative, is already underway.
TTRI involves the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, and is in concert with various partners in order to get college graduates to begin their careers within Region 9.
“It’s really about making sure that the students know what’s going on, know what companies are there, what opportunities are there, and making sure that the businesses have a way of getting in touch with those students and building that relationship so that we can stop that gap,” Tech Talent Retention Director Mary Kay Campbell said.
The team is currently made up of three UVA Work Study students. They hope to expand to include students from Germanna and Piedmont Virginia community colleges.
“They come out with these tech degrees, and a lot of them leave the area, and what we call a brain drain. And so this is a grant to help retain those students in entry-level positions with the companies that are here in our region,” Campbell said.
The initiative started September 14, and since then, they have already held multiple individual and collaborative meetings.
“It was really an opportunity to come together and talk about what does this look like? Where do we want to go with it? What is the best way to reach the students? I developed a strategic communication plan for how to reach out to the businesses,” Campbell said.
She says they are working to create a bridge between companies and students.
“We’re going through the planning and strategy phase of how we could plan certain events and how we can get to our target audience, which is, you know, students looking for full time opportunities,” UVA Student Business Ambassador Jagjit Singh said.
Jagjit says he didn’t know what to expect when he moved to Charlottesville from New Jersey.
“I just wanted to create more of an impact where I could like see the effects of my work,” he said. “I felt like this would be a good opportunity.”
They want to involve the school’s career center, professors, clubs, and organizations for better student outreach.
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