Job Listing: Director of Talent Attraction

The Roanoke Regional Partnership is looking for someone to enhance and grow their program focused on talent outreach strategies, partnerships, communications, and marketing to attract talent for our region and its employers. The Partnership has already changed the region’s narrative to that of an active, outdoor mecca through the work of the Roanoke Outside Foundation. This is an opportunity to leverage that narrative to attract and retain top talent in the Roanoke region. 

This position calls for someone who is good at creating connections with academic institutions, employers, public sector partners, students, and other stakeholders. Best candidate relishes the challenge of building a program from the ground up, is a creative yet strategic thinker, and a self-motivator who won’t shy away from constructing plans and setting goals.

REPORTS TO:  Executive Director 

EDUCATION:  Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in Business Administration, Marketing, Human Resources, or a related field.

EXPERIENCE:  This is a full-time position with benefits and requires related experience in talent programs and services, workforce development, talent recruitment, project management, economic development, communications, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


  • Work with the Director of Marketing to produce digital marketing content (blogs, social posts, newsletters) focused on career opportunities, livability advantages, etc. in the Roanoke Region of Virginia.
  • Interface with Partnership investors and highlight career opportunities to benefit investor companies.
  • Maintain and create content for Get2KnowNoke social media and website.
  • Serve as a member of the Roanoke Regional Partnership business investment team working in conjunction with business attraction staff.
  • Assist with connecting prospective companies with talent and workforce services to ensure competitiveness when attracting new business.
  • Maintain working relationships with talent and workforce divisions of local, regional, and state partners including community colleges, colleges/universities, VEDP Talent Accelerator, Virginia Career Works Blue Ridge, and others.
  • Organize annual Experience conference and summer internship program for regional businesses.
  • Represent the Roanoke Regional Partnership at conferences and events targeted to specific occupations/geographies where there is opportunity to attract talent.
  • Maintain connections with academic departments in the larger region’s 25 colleges and universities that have programs in demand among regional employers.
  • Identify and utilize marketing channels that reach audiences such as boomerang talent, college students, remote workers, and others.
  • Maintain files on interactions with businesses in a customer relations management platform.
  • Work with partners in Virginia Career Works on developing a cohesive talent attraction, talent retention, and talent development strategy to strengthen the regional economy.
  • Provide private employers, partners in local government and workforce development informational tools and resources towards the goals of talent attraction and retention.
  • Serve as a part of the regional business resource team involving partners in economic development at the local, state, and regional levels as well as partners in workforce development.
  • Identify and engage young professionals who have chosen Roanoke to build a talent ambassador network.
  • Engage with relevant stakeholders, such as academic institutions, employers, business associations, and work-force preparation entities to identify and implement opportunities for enhanced collaboration and information sharing.
  • Determine benchmarks for assessing success of the talent attraction and retention plan and establish data collection processes to monitor progress towards clearly articulated, measurable goals.


  • Experience in leading/convening projects and developing/designing talent management strategies with stakeholders, business leaders, business organizations or associations.
  • Current knowledge of workforce strategies including talent attraction and retention.
  • Current knowledge of economic development and business retention and expansion practices.
  • In depth-problem solving and creative ability including technology expertise.
  • Ability to analyze data and communicate its impact on the local/regional economy.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to summarize problems and to think creatively regarding potential solutions.
  • Understanding of the mission and goals of the Roanoke Regional Partnership.


  • Send cover letter and resume to
  • Deadline to apply is July 30, 2021.

Eshelman and Marston Roanoke Region Ironman Success Story Featured in Roanoke Times Op-Ed

Photo Credit: David Hungate for the Roanoke Times.

Pete Eshelman, the director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership, and Brett Marston, the current president for the Partnership, joined forces on an opinion piece that was published by the Roanoke Times following the June 6, 2021 Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 event. The story was written to highlight the decade-long effort led by the Partnership and Roanoke Outside to change Roanoke Region’s brand identity to an outdoor mecca. This narrative created a culture which now attracts world-class events like Ironman and will continue to spur economic success, business investment, talent attraction, healthier lifestyles, and tourism.

Click to view the full Roanoke Times article.

Below is the story as originally written by Pete Eshelman and Brett Marston.
Published by Roanoke Times on June 12, 2021.

Roanoke Valley Ironman 70.3 Shows Region’s Success

THEORY: If you build it (and maintain it), they will come.


The wildly successful Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 with 1,600 participants and just as many volunteers, is the latest evidence that what’s been building for the last decade in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is bringing rewards.

Think back to 2010 and a region that hung its reputation on railroad history. Government and business leaders had a better idea. Let’s take our natural assets–the mountains, water, and trails—and turn them into a new image and an economic engine.

The movement started in 2010 with cataloging the region’s trails, waterways, and events to connect people not only with the outdoors but to the bold idea that Virginia’s Blue Ridge is one of the best outdoor destinations on the East Coast. Roanoke Outside was the bellwether but, through strategic actions, the region has crafted a new image that helped attract one of the world’s most well-known endurance events. The mountains, rivers, and trails everyone treated as wallpaper, have become an economic engine fueling business investment, talent attraction, healthier lifestyles (yes, that contributes to economic benefit) and, of course, tourism.

Many hands make light work and it has taken a region working together to bring us from rail town to trail town. Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon and Anthem Go Outside Festival, created by Roanoke Outside and the City of Roanoke Parks and Recreation Department, were early indicators that the public and private sectors would work together to make the outdoors an economic focus for the region and attract people from across the country and around the world. The Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3, with kudos also to the Western Virginia Water Authority, local governments, and Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, is the latest achievement of the coalitions building this new economy.

There’s little doubt we’ve built it. And people are coming. The Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 has a projected $5-9 million economic impact this year and the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon has created $6.9 million in impact. The challenge is to continue to enhance and grow the reputation and economic impact. The Roanoke Regional Partnership’s Roanoke Outside Foundation has been recognized by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership as a “best practice” on how to make outdoor recreation an economic sector and leverage it for livability and talent attraction.

When more people come to visit or live (Did you see the story in The Washington Post?), they bring more users and put stress on the very outdoor assets that brought us to this point of our success. Roanoke Outside’s successful crowdfunding for projects such as lake and river access points, the dock at Carvins Cove, a bike skills park, and the more recent Project Outside (which funded 14 regional outdoor projects) are micro examples of responses to a macro challenge: How to keep our assets competitive in the battle to attract tourists, residents, and business. The region’s outdoor assets are the basis of an economic development strategy that recognizes 21st century economies run on talent and livability as much as utility costs and interstate access.

Join the Roanoke Outside Foundation in encouraging the local public and private sectors to work together to treat our trails and waterways as essential infrastructure, and to fund their maintenance and improvement. It is the only way this region can remain competitive and continue to create and attract world-class events.

We can take a deep breath and congratulate ourselves on a job well done on the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3. But by no means is our race as a region finished.

Munters Group AB Breaks Ground in Botetourt County

Munters Group AB broke ground May 20, 2021 on a $36 million state-of-the-art facility in Botetourt Center at Greenfield. The 365,000 square-foot facility replaces an existing plant in Buena Vista, Virginia and all 200 employees will be retained to work in the new Botetourt location.

Munters Group AB is a global leader in innovative, energy-efficient and sustainable climate solutions for mission-critical processes. The expansive Botetourt facility will house manufacturing, research and development, and sales in the data center cooling systems and high-temperature industrial process systems industry. 

“Today marks a milestone in the development of a new facility which will allow for the expansion needed to service the data centers market in the U.S.,” said Michael Gantert, president of the data center division. “Building in the Roanoke Region allows the company to continue caring for our workers while opening doors to attract additional team members.”

“Botetourt County welcomes Munters Group AB to our corporate community at Greenfield,” said Dr. Mac Scothorn, chairman of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors. “The past several years has seen substantial growth as Botetourt continues to develop into one of the most competitive locations for companies looking to do business in Virginia. We are proud to add Munters Group and excited to see progress on the site.”

“Much of Botetourt’s success has been built on the investments we’ve made in Botetourt Center at Greenfield, which continues to be a preferred location for companies considering the Roanoke Region,” said Gary Larrowe, Botetourt County administrator. 

“The Roanoke metropolitan area has the highest level of economic diversity in Virginia, and the region’s economic diversity is matched by the depth and breadth of its talent pool and workforce training resources,” said John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “This combination of strengths will serve Munters Group AB now and into the future.”

The 365,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to be move in ready by September 2022.

Munters Group AB, headquartered in Kista, Stockholm, Sweden, represents the 13th nation in the Botetourt County manufacturing community. The company, founded in 1955, has 17 manufacturing facilities worldwide with five in the United States.

Using JobsEQ economic modeling software, the Roanoke Regional Partnership projects a $93.5 million annual economic impact on the Roanoke region from the project which also will add 161 indirect and induced jobs.

Munters worked with Botetourt County and the Roanoke Regional Partnership in support of the project. The company will receive local considerations on land and site prep. Graham & Company of Birmingham, Alabama, is serving as developer for Munters.  ARCO will manage construction of the new facility.

Roanoke Outside Hosts Region’s First Large-Scale Event Since COVID

April 17 was a beautiful weekend, not only for the runners in the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon or the music lovers at the Freedom First Down by Downtown Music Festival, but for the Roanoke region as a whole. 

The Roanoke Regional Partnership started the race in 2010 as a “bucket list” event that attracts tourists but more importantly enhances the region’s national image. Our community shined this year as 2,800 runners from 40 states and five countries toed the start line for the first time since the pandemic.

“You are lucky to have a beautiful and friendly city to call home. My new favorite tree is the red bud, and your early American architecture and sole proprietor businesses were very cultural compared to the Targets, Applebees and Walmarts that I am stuck with in Colorado,” said Eric, a runner from Fort Collins. “The people cheering from porches and homemade aide stations were very endearing. What a fabulous city filled with warm and lively personalities. I will absolutely be back.”


Blue Ridge Marathon Runners 2021
2021 Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon

Roanoke Outside staff worked tirelessly with the Virginia Department of Health, Governor Northam’s office and multiple Roanoke City departments to create endurance sport guidelines that will be used for future events throughout the state.  

“We are proud to have pulled off the first big event in the Roanoke Region since the pandemic. We wanted to make sure we set the gold standard for how in-person events can be done in a low-risk way so we can finally start economic recovery as a community. We had to reinvent the wheel in a lot of ways, but it was worth the extra work to show others the way forward,” said Julia Boas, events director at the Roanoke Outside Foundation.

Businesses in downtown Roanoke, and throughout the metro-area, noticed the surge of restaurant goers and shoppers throughout the weekend. Hotels also saw their first big uptick since the pandemic, with many hotels showing as sold out on their websites.

“It was great to see the Blue Ridge Marathon and Down by Downtown return to Downtown Roanoke for 2021,” said Tina Workman, president and CEO of Downtown Roanoke, Inc. “The influx of visitors to our farmers market and our locally-owned businesses provided much needed foot traffic and gave us the opportunity to show off our amazing city after a challenging year.”

The Blue Ridge Marathon is but one example of leveraging the outdoors to attract people and economic benefit. The Roanoke Regional Partnership created the nonprofit Roanoke Outside Foundation to better connect our economy to the outdoors, create brand building events such as the Blue Ridge Marathon, Down by Downtown, and GO Fest, and improve outdoor infrastructure.

The Blue Ridge Marathon is more than a foot race. And our mountains, rivers and lakes are more than wall paper. They are part of the Roanoke Regional Partnership’s modern economic development strategy.

A full economic impact report of the 2021 Blue Ridge Marathon will be released in the coming weeks.