Generation West Virginia launches year three of Impact Fellowship

December 26, 2018
Kinsey Walker, fellowship director of Generation West Virginia, speaks during a press conference in Charleston about the organization's Impact Fellowship program, which is growing in its third year.

CHARLESTON — According to Census data, West Virginia loses 41 people every day. Companies struggle to find qualified candidates with the skills they need, and young people struggle to find good, quality jobs to allow them to stay in the Mountain State.

“This declining population threatens the state’s tax base, and without sufficient access to a qualified workforce, the state is limited in its ability to attract new employers,” Generation West Virginia said in a news release.

Generation West Virginia’s Impact Fellowship program is working to solve this problem from both sides of the equation, connecting West Virginians with quality jobs and connecting West Virginia employers with quality talent.

On Wednesday morning, Generation West Virginia announced in a press conference in Charleston that the program is growing in its third year to offer 26 jobs with 15 host employers across the state.

“Since launching in 2017, the Impact Fellowship has generated a total of 43 jobs in the Mountain State and received nearly 500 applications from across the state and world,” said Natalie Roper, executive director of Generation West Virginia. “The interest in this program is proof that there is demand among talented young people for access to great jobs like those offered by the fellowship.”

Host companies participating in year three of the Impact Fellowship are American Benefit Corp., Alpha Technology, CAMC, Core10, Just Transition Fund, McKinley Architecture and Engineering, Motion Masters, NGK, Quality Insights, Service Pump & Supply, Solar Holler, Terradon, Unlimited Future, West Virginia Community & Technical College System and West Virginia University.

“The Impact Fellowship has connected Alpha Technologies with talented employees that support our company’s growth and success in West Virginia,” said Charlie Dennie, director of government relations at Alpha Technologies, a business technology company in Hurricane in Putnam County that is returning as a host company in year three of the program.

Officials said during the course of the fellowship year, Impact Fellows work four days a week for their host company and spend each Friday volunteering at local nonprofit organizations around the state.

“By the end of the program’s second year, Impact Fellows will have donated 4,896 community service hours; that’s equivalent to over $118,000 in-kind services and time,” said Kinsey Walker, fellowship director of Generation West Virginia. “In addition to the value they bring to their employers, Impact Fellows are enriching the communities they call home and expanding the reach and capacity of local nonprofits to create meaningful change.”

“I’ve traveled all over the country, but I truly believe there’s no place like West Virginia. Through the Impact Fellowship, I’ve been able to get a head start on my career and give back to my home state,” said Courtney Law, a 2018 Impact Fellow working at Quality Insights in Charleston.

Wednesday’s press conference marked the launch of the application period for year three of the Impact Fellowship. The program’s recruitment period runs Dec. 19 through Feb. 3 with outreach support from Jobcase, a Boston-based tech company focused on improving jobseeker access to work opportunities, connections and community support. Prospective applicants can learn more and must apply by Feb. 3 online at WeImpactWV.org.

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