Onward NRV Wraps Up 4th Annual Talent Retention Program

Onward New River Valley, the regional economic development organization serving Virginia’s New River Valley, wrapped up their fourth annual NRV Experience internship program at Long Way Brewing in Radford on Thursday, August 3rd. This event brought participating interns, their employers, and other professionals from across the NRV to network and celebrate the completion of the program.

The NRV Experience is a talent retention program started by Onward NRV with regional collaboration to help employers build an effective talent pipeline in the NRV’s Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, Uncrewed Systems and Food Processing & Agribusiness industries. The goals of the program are to increase the number of young professionals living and working in the NRV post-graduation, expose participants to the wide variety of cultural, recreational, and outdoor amenities available in the region, and provide the interns with professional development opportunities.

The seven-week long program started on Thursday, June 15th with a Kick-Off Event designed to welcome interns enrolled in the program. The participating interns spent the next five weeks exploring Floyd County, Giles County, Pulaski County, Montgomery County, and the City of Radford. The Wrap-Up Event on August 3rd celebrated the conclusion of the program.

Eleven employers in Virginia’s New River Valley enrolled 51 of their college interns to participate in the fourth cohort of the NRV Experience. Each week, the interns explored the NRV through excursions designed to highlight one of the five unique communities in Virginia’s New River Valley. Onward NRV collaborated with local tourism directors and economic developers from each of the communities to showcase the region’s amenities to the interns.

Throughout the seven-week program, interns participated in presentations and discussions taught by professionals in the NRV. The professional development sessions utilized topics from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) competencies for career readiness that included diversity, equity, and inclusion; leadership; communication; career and self-development; and networking.


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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