Onward NRV Successfully Completes Inaugural NRV Experience

Onward New River Valley successfully completed the organization’s inaugural NRV Experience Internship Program during the summer of 2020. The NRV Experience is a seven-week-long summer curriculum designed to support employer internship programs by helping their interns grow professionally while also experiencing the full benefits of living and working in Virginia’s New River Valley.

The program is an initiative through Onward NRVs five-year economic development strategy for the region. The goals of the NRV Experience are to support employers’ summer internship programs, increase the number of young professionals living and working in the NRV post-graduation, and expose participants to the wide variety of cultural, recreation, and outdoor amenities available in the region.

Local employers throughout the New River Valley signed their summer interns up to participate in the 2020 NRV Experience. During the program, interns explored the five communities of the NRV through outdoor excursions; networked with other participating interns and young professional groups in the region; and participated in professional development sessions to improve skills needed when launching their careers.


Watch the video below to learn more about the NRV Experience Internship Program.


17 interns participated in the 2020 NRV Experience. The students completed internships at ACI, Celanese, Gay and Neel, Kollmorgen, and Pulaski County. See the graphs below for more demographic information about the first cohort of interns.

NRV Experience 2020 Demographics Graphs  

Onward New River Valley was successful at improving interns’ opinions of living in Virginia’s New River Valley post-graduation during the NRV Experience. Prior to the program, only 50% of interns answered yes to the question, “Would you consider living in the New River Valley post-graduation?” After the NRV Experience was completed, 69% of interns answered yes to the same question.NRV Experience 2020 Graphs Living in the NRVEmployer registration for the 2021 NRV Experience will begin in February 2021. For more information about participating in the NRV Experience,

  • Browse the NRV Experience website,
  • Read Onward NRV’s blogs about the 2020 cohort, or
  • Contact James Cabler, Onward NRV’s Director of Business Engagement, at 540-267-0007.

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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