Onward NRV Represents the NRV at Economic Development Conferences

Onward NRV staff recently had the opportunity to attend several different conferences during the month of November.

From November 13th-15th, Senior Director of Business Engagement Samantha Livesay and Talent Strategies Coordinator Max Davenport attended the Young, Smart, & Local (YSL) conference held in New Orleans. YSL is a network of more than 50 cities working to build diverse young talent through the engagement, inclusion and retention of college students and young professionals. Spanning from small towns to sprawling metropolises, a variety of diverse strategies are being employed to develop robust talent pipelines to recruit and retain talent. Samantha and Max were able to make connections and gain insight on how to retain the talent coming out of the higher education institutions in Virginia’s New River Valley.

On November 30th, Samantha represented the Onward NRV at the Virginia Economic Development Association’s Annual Business and Winter Membership Meeting in Richmond. The focal point of the event was discussion on Artificial Intelligence and its impact on economic development, coupled with insights on navigating the legal landscape. The conference served as an opportunity for Samantha to strengthen connections with Onward NRV’s partners from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and around the Commonwealth. She also was able to have discussions around potential opportunities for Onward NRV’s four targeted industries.

Attending these conferences helps Onward NRV further its mission to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. Onward NRV markets the region as a premier destination to live, work, and do business and builds collaborative partnerships that support the economic vitality of the region.

Learn more about Young, Smart, & Local here.

Learn more about the Virginia Economic Development Association here.

To connect with Onward NRV’s mission and help strengthen the region’s economic development, contact Senior Director of Business Engagement Samantha Livesay at samantha@onwardnrv.org.


Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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