UVA students involved in Tech Talen Retention Initiative

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Governor Glenn Youngkin recently announced $1.2 million in growth and opportunity scholarships for Virginia. One of the funded projects, the Tech Talent Retention Initiative, is already underway.

TTRI involves the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development and works with various partners to inspire college graduates to begin their careers in Region 9.

“It’s really about making sure students know what’s going on, knowing what businesses are out there, what opportunities are out there, and making sure businesses have a way to connect with those students and build this relationship so we can stop this gap,” said Mary Kay Campbell, director of technical talent retention.

The team is currently composed of three UVA work-study students. They hope to expand to include students from Germanna and Piedmont Virginia community colleges.

“They come out with these technical degrees, and a lot of them leave the region, and what we call a brain drain. And so this is a grant to help retain those students in entry-level positions in the companies that are here in our area,” Campbell said.

The initiative began on September 14, and since then they have already held multiple individual and collaborative meetings.

“It was really an opportunity to get together and talk about what it looks like? Where are we coming from? What is the best way to reach students? I developed a strategic communications plan on how to reach businesses,” Campbell said.

She says they are working to create a bridge between businesses and students.

“We’re going through the planning and strategy phase of how we might plan certain events and how we can reach our target audience, which is, you know, college students looking for full-time opportunities,” said l. UVA Student Affairs Ambassador, Jagjit Singh.

Jagjit says he didn’t know what to expect when he moved from New Jersey to Charlottesville.

“I just wanted to create more impact where I might like to see the effects of my work,” he said. “I felt it would be a good opportunity.”

They want to involve the school’s career center, teachers, clubs and organizations for better student awareness.

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