Generation West Virginia: Recruiting and Retaining Young Leaders

Generation West Virginia is working to make the Mountain State a place where young people can thrive. Their commitment to providing the tools, resources, and connections needed to make a West Virginia home is giving “ex-pats a path” back and attracting new state residents. 

To retain, advance, and attract the next generation, Generation West Virginia offers remote work training, a career connector hub, networking events, and an Impact Fellowship.  The Impact Fellowship addresses generational effects of coal decline by partnering with innovative employers to recruit young workers.  

In March 2022, Generation West Virginia received a $523,253 ARC POWER grant to expand and enhance this incredible program. The “High POWER Impact Project” will fill gaps for early career leadership programs by providing “matchmaking” services to quality employers and jobseekers via the new GWV Career Connector and professional devlopment programming with the Impact Fellowship. 

Through the three-year Career Connector project, Generation West Virginia expects to serve 90 early-career workers in the fellowship program and improve 60 local businesses. Prior to POWER funding, the Impact Fellowship has seen much success. After the conclusion of their fellowships, 87% of fellows received offers to stay with their employers and 80% of fellows remained in West Virginia.  

ARC is excited to support this innovative approach to building a strong workforce, particularly by providing the supports young workers need, in coal-impacted communities.  

ARC’s POWER Initiative is awarding approximately $25 million in grants to projects that help diversify economies in Appalachian communities affected by the downturn of the coal industry. Applications will be accepted through April 29, 2022. Learn more and apply today.