Creating a pipeline for career success in the region.

Hats off to all the students graduating from higher-education institutions, especially the 43,000 within 60 miles of the Roanoke Region! They say it takes a village to raise a child, especially to the point of graduating college. The same adage applies to our region. This “village” works together toward greater economic prosperity by producing top-tier talent, recognizing educational and economic needs, and attracting and supporting business and talent.

Talent Pipeline for Business Investment

Our region graduates 43,000 students annually. Did you know that the 25 institutions in the region produce one graduate for every 25 people each year? In fact, the Roanoke Region has the most favorable graduation ratio among peer cities, producing more graduates per-capita than Raleigh-Durham, Boston, Atlanta, and Palo Alto (Source: Emsi/Burning Glass). That is a pool of 43,000 educated, qualified candidates for the regional work force. For current and prospective businesses considering expanding or relocating, that means the Roanoke Region has a dedicated pipeline of talent in our backyard.

Evolving Institutions that Adapt to Regional Needs

The Roanoke Region is fortunate to have many higher-education institutions that are poised to grow and adapt with employer and workforce needs. Healthcare is the largest sector in the region, and institutions that are leaders in the area recognized a need and reacted by forging strong educational partnerships. Carilion hospitals joined forces with Virginia Tech and Radford University to offer more healthcare-degree programs and certifications in Roanoke. Recently, Virginia Western Community College (VWCC) created a new biotechnology degree program. With the rise in healthcare-related jobs in the region, VWCC saw an opportunity to keep students in the region with a new degree option and to help supply the local demand for qualified talent in the field. This coincides with the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, “one of the nation’s fastest-growing academic biomedical research enterprises and a destination for world-class researchers.”

Continued Support for Employers and Work Force

While a high-paying job and a healthy business climate are certainly the basis of choosing this region, the local workforce and employers have resources available to support their needs. Get2KnowNoke, the Partnership’s talent-attraction arm, is a valuable resource for talent and businesses. Professionals can join the Roanoke Regional Partnership Network to make connections, network, and attend professional development events such as the Experience Conference. Get2KnowNoke also hosts an internship program that takes fledgling professionals under its wing and provides networking and recreation opportunities to help them meet people and get comfortable in the region. And an exciting benefit that is in the works is a new Employer Toolkit to help businesses recruit and retain top-tier talent.

Now that they have walked across the stage, it is time for these graduates to trade their caps and gowns for a steady paycheck. Through strategic planning and partnerships, the Roanoke Region is in an advantageous position to provide the jobs, support, and livability that high-quality candidates require.

Roanoke Region Well-Positioned for Talent Attraction, Get2KnowNoke Ready to Help

Residents of the Roanoke Region know that it’s an ideal place to set up shop and put down roots, and now, word is spreading. Several recent studies confirm that the Roanoke Region is well suited to attract business and a talented workforce, and the Partnership’s Talent Attraction arm, Get2KnowNoke, is ensuring the region is poised to welcome and develop its workforce.

A leading labor market analysis company, EMSI/Burning Glass recently updated a study on talent attraction which scores each city and county in the nation based on five factors:

  • migration
  • job growth
  • education
  • competitiveness
  • job openings

Four localities in the Roanoke metro area are ranked in the top 25 percent nationally based on talent attraction. Simply put, we are doing much better developing our talent pool when compared to other localities and regions. A 2021 study by the Pew Research Center found that the preference for suburbs is increasing, which is also reflected by positive in-migration data for the Roanoke Region. Real estate data from Zillow shows that quality-of-life and cost-of-living factors are becoming more important as people look towards mid-size regions and re-evaluating their lives in a post-COVID-19 era.  In fact, we can attribute recent population growth in the region to people moving to the suburban areas in the region. With birth rates slowing nationally, compounded by an aging and retiring population, it is more important than ever to continue making the region attractive to talent.

How Are We Supporting This Influx of Talent?

Get2KnowNoke Talent Ambassadors (John Park, Bonnie Chavez, Courtney Proffitt)

That’s where Get2KnowNoke comes in. We are increasing our workforce development and talent-attraction efforts with a new talent-ambassador program, professional development and networking opportunities, and a brand revamp for better outreach to current employers and professionals. We have recently established a group of talent ambassadors to tell their stories of coming to and working in the region. These residents can relate to new and existing professionals and can connect them with the necessary people and resources to be successful.

In addition, Get2KnowNoke has created the Roanoke Regional Professionals Network, the first professionals’ network in the region for all career levels. The network aims to provide quarterly social engagements for professionals as well as professional development and learning opportunities. One of those is the annual Experience Conference. It is slated to take place in June and will focus on aspects of leadership and tenacity within our small-business community.

Get2KnowNoke is also concentrating its efforts on a re-branding campaign to attract talent to the region’s growing workforce. This includes enhancements on the website like a regional job board to help college-enrolled students as well as talent external to our market (boomerangs, remote workers, etc.) find careers within the region’s job market. The site will also house a widely anticipated Employer Toolkit to help regional employers attract the best talent for business. The Partnership is focused on ensuring our employers and talent feel they have all the resources possible to be successful and supported in the Roanoke Region.

Our region is clearly attractive for prospective businesses and professionals, and we’re poised to welcome and support them as they call the Roanoke Region home. To stay up to date about Get2KnowNoke’s efforts, click here to sign up for the monthly newsletter. To learn more about the Roanoke Region itself, click here.

Würth Revcar Fasteners Expands in the Roanoke Region of Virginia

Würth Revcar Fasteners, Inc., a Würth Industry North America company and part of the worldwide Würth Group, has announced an expansion in the Roanoke Region. Würth Revcar Fasteners is adding 50 jobs and investing $5 million in renovations to an existing facility on Avery Row in Roanoke County.  The facility on Avery Row will serve as the company’s new headquarters and its primary distribution center for the East Coast. It will be used to ship directly to customers throughout North America and distribute inventory to eight regional branch locations.  The building will be the single largest Würth facility in North America and is expected to open in the third quarter of 2022.

Würth Revcar Fasteners is a full line/full-service assembly component supplier and an approved level one fastener distributor to many US Navy and military accounts worldwide. Revcar Fasteners was founded in Roanoke in 1969 and has been headquartered in the Roanoke Valley since that time. The Würth Group, the world’s largest industrial distributor and leader of innovative supply chain solutions, acquired the company in 1996 as part of the Würth Industry North America network of companies. Würth Revcar Fasteners has enjoyed steady growth over the years and has expanded its primary service area to include the East Coast and Gulf Regions of the United States.

“We are excited to relocate Würth Revcar to a new, larger headquarters in Roanoke,” shared Dan Hill, chief executive officer of Würth Industry North America, “This move represents another significant milestone for our fast-growing organization. The new facility supports our customer-centric distribution strategy in North America while accommodating our growing team. The additional space will also help drive innovation and provide the opportunity for further expansion.”

“We are excited about the opportunity for a world class headquarters that will allow us to attract, retain, and develop top talent in the same location as a highly efficient, large scale distribution facility,” said Chapman Revercomb, managing director of Wurth Revcar Fasteners. “We expect to add 50 office and warehousing positions as we ramp up operations in the new facility,” he added.

Würth Revcar Fasteners’ deep ties to the region guided the company as they conducted a thorough location search. “We are excited that 1 Avery Row will allow us to remain in the Roanoke Valley, where we’ve been headquartered for more than 50 years.”

According to Revercomb, their initial investment is expected to be in excess of $5 million in office renovations, sustainable energy solutions and warehouse infrastructure, with subsequent investments in warehouse automation and equipment to far exceed this first phase of investment.

The parties to the transaction express their appreciation to the Roanoke Regional Partnership and Roanoke County Economic Development for their role the project and for fostering a business environment that attracts new development and retention of Roanoke-based businesses.  Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented Würth Revcar Fasteners.  Binswanger represented the property owner, Blue Ridge Partners, L.L.C.

“As a family-owned company with a 75-year history, we place the utmost importance on positively impacting the communities we operate in, and we are thrilled to play a role in the growth of the Roanoke area through our new building,” says Dan Hill.

Virginia’s Talent Accelerator: A Leading Workforce Program

In 2019, the Commonwealth of Virginia realized that recruiting skilled talent and workforce development were crucial factors when it comes to location selection for businesses evaluating expansion and relocation projects.

That was the genesis of the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program.

Foundry at Kroehling Advanced Materials Foundry, Virginia Tech

Since the program’s inception, state and regional partners have created a world-class, turn-key custom recruitment and training incentive program that marries the community college system and workforce partners with public and private entities. The state made a significant investment into this program, and it’s paying big dividends for businesses operating in Virginia.

In its second year of operation, the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program ranked second nationally by Business Facilities magazine.

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