New River Valley, VA – Interns participating in Onward New River Valley’s second annual NRV Experience program spent the summer exploring Virginia’s New River Valley and learning the benefits of living and working in the region.
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. Through the program, interns are shown just a few of the amenities available to them if they choose to make the NRV home after they graduate. Onward NRV’s goal for the program is to attract and retain talent in the region by promoting Virginia’s New River Valley as a desirable place to live, work, and do business.
This is the second year that Onward NRV has led the NRV Experience. The program expanded from 17 enrolled interns in the inaugural 2020 cohort to 45 enrolled interns for 2021, which more than doubled the size of the NRV Experience. Students from nine universities across the country participated in the 2021 NRV Experience. Over three-fourths (77%) of participants attend Virginia Tech, and seven percent attend Radford University. Other universities represented in this year’s cohort include Georgia Tech, Liberty University, University of Houston, New York University, University of Connecticut, Texas A&M, and Louisiana State University.
The 2021 NRV Experience began with a Kick-Off Event at Sinkland Farms on June 3, 2021. Onward NRV Director of Marketing Katie Boswell and former Director of Business Engagement James Cabler presented the details of the program to the interns and discussed what to expect during the summer. Interns then received professional development training and practiced networking with the help of Amy Baldwin, Vice President of Partnerships at Exelaration.
Throughout the months of June and July, the interns explored the region by participating in five excursions. Each excursion was designed to highlight one of the five communities in the New River Valley. Onward NRV partnered with the local tourism directors from Floyd County, Giles County, Montgomery County, Pulaski County, and the City of Radford to organize and run the excursions for the interns. During each excursion, the local tourism director spoke to the group about the exciting and unique amenities available in their community.
In addition to experiencing each community during every excursion, the team at Exelaration provided professional development training for the interns. The trainings were designed to assist participants with their summer internships as well as give them for skills needed in their future careers. Prior to each excursion, the interns viewed a professional development video. They then participated in a discussion of the video during the excursion with Amy Baldwin. The videos covered topics including emotional intelligence, communication skills, problem solving with a team, leadership skills, and an introduction to Agile.
“The NRV Experience 2021 has been a great success,” said Onward NRV Director of Marketing Katie Boswell. “The interns participating in our program have had a fun-filled summer exploring Virginia’s New River Valley and experiencing the full benefits of living and working in our region. We hope that this summer’s participants will consider making the NRV home after they graduate.”
The NRV Experience 2021 will culminate with a Wrap-Up Event at Eastern Divide Brewing Company on Friday, July 30, 2021, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. There will be a ceremony celebrating the interns, and every intern who has graduated from the program will receive a certificate of completion. Interns from 15 local companies will graduate from the program. The employers include 1901 Group, Automation Creations Inc., Ameriprise Financial, Celanese, Gay & Neel, InMotion, Inorganic Ventures, Kollmorgen, Manufacturing Service Solutions, MELD Manufacturing, Moog, Ozmo, Radford University, TECHLAB, and Wolverine. After the ceremony, interns will have the opportunity to network with representatives from local alumni groups and young professional organizations as well as their employers.
To learn more about Onward New River Valley’s NRV Experience program, please visit TheNRV.org/nrvexperience.
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.