The Developing a Destination for Talent program is a grant funded opportunity that connects with regional employers to bring them the best talent at Virginia Tech through internships and classroom-based projects.

One of our current partners, Card Isle, has taken advantage of this opportunity by doubling their number of internships. Adam Donato, Co- Founder and CEO explains, “When recruiting, Card Isle can’t afford to compete with the tech giants on salaries. Instead, we compete with our company’s culture, opportunities for rapid learning and personal growth, and plenty of new and exciting challenges. But it’s hard to convey that story in a job posting. Instead, internships are–by far–the best way that we’ve found to demonstrate the benefits of working for Card Isle. The support from the Go Virginia program meant that we could offer more internships than we would have otherwise.”

The Developing a Destination for Talent Initiative is working with local employers in participating localities and Virginia Tech to retain emerging talent in the region. Supported by a GO Virginia Region 2 grant awarded to the Office of the Vice Provost for Learning Systems Innovation and Effectiveness, the program creates hubs for interactions between local employers, students, and faculty at Virginia Tech and local government agencies involved in economic development activities.

Efforts are focused on the GO Virginia Region 2 economic priority clusters including Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Health Care, Food and Beverage Processing, and Emerging Technologies and IT. Through partnerships with Virginia Tech’s Career and Professional Development, Onward New River Valley, the Roanoke Regional Partnership we are exposing young talent to the live, work, and play opportunities in the local area and providing them with hands-on early career experiences with local businesses.

There are funds available for both project-based work and internship programs. If you feel your company could benefit from this funding and/or you are interested in working with a Virginia Tech faculty member to create a project for students, please contact Melanie McIntire, Project Manager, at mmmcintire@vt.edu or Catherine Amelink, Associate Vice Provost, at amelink@vt.edu.

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