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 Regional Partnership Names Stephanie Long as Director of Marketing

The Roanoke Regional Partnership welcomes Stephanie Long as its new director of marketing. She will lead the Partnership’s efforts in crafting the region’s story to show businesses and potential residents why they should call the Roanoke Region home.

“Stephanie is a skilled communicator and marketing professional who understands well the business and livability advantages that fuel the Roanoke Region’s economic success,” said John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “The region will be well-served by Stephanie’s creativity and her passion for making an impact on our region.”

As director of marketing, she will implement the marketing strategies prescribed in the Partnership’s five-year plan, Thrive 2027. Long will design fresh new marketing initiatives to raise the profile of the region when it comes to innovation and economic growth. Additionally, she will work with Roanoke Outside to foster the growth of the regional outdoor economy, while also helping to develop the talent attraction and retention brand Get2KnowNoke.  

Long comes to the Partnership with several years of marketing experience, most recently serving as the marketing coordinator with Roanoke Parks and Recreation (PLAY Roanoke) where she connected residents with their public spaces and one another while advocating for strong social infrastructure. Her role included managing their social media channels, coordinating design and printing of the quarterly PLAY Magazine, creating and placing print and digital collateral, managing, and more. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in English Education, both from Virginia Tech.

Long herself is a boomerang, making her uniquely positioned to tell the region’s narrative. “Roanoke’s story, positive momentum, and potential are what brought me back here from Charlotte eight years ago. Since then, it’s been my personal and professional mission to make people love it here as much as I do. I’ve spent the past several years telling the City of Roanoke’s story, and now I look forward to doing so on a regional scale.”

Long’s love of the region extends beyond her professional endeavors. She currently serves as the programs chair for American Advertising Federation (AAF) Roanoke where she works to bring relevant educational programs to creatives in the region. She also served as the vice president of the Square Society and is a graduate of Leadership Roanoke Valley.

Contact Stephanie: 540-655-9362 | | LinkedIn

Lowe’s Distribution Center Brings 70 Jobs and $11 Million Investment to Roanoke County

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. announced recently their plans to build an $11 million distribution center in Roanoke County. The new warehouse and distribution center is expected to generate 70 new jobs and contribute to the economic vitality of the county and the Roanoke Region.

The new warehouse and distribution site will position Lowe’s to more quickly and efficiently deliver products to consumers in the region as the 5G revolution takes hold and revolutionizes online commerce and delivery logistics. Lowe’s expects to fill the 70 jobs at the site from delivery drivers to warehouse staff.

“We’re on the cusp of great leaps in logistics and the delivery of consumer goods enabled by the roll-out of 5G and IOT technology,” says Jim Cherney, Founder and CEO of Cherney Development. “To realize the full benefits this provides, we need physical infrastructure in place and I’m proud to work with Samet Corporation and Roanoke County Economic Development who helped pave the way to make that possible right here in the Roanoke Valley.”

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Franklin, Botetourt, and Roanoke Counties Receive Industrial Site Development Funds

It’s a big day for industrial site development in the Roanoke Region of Virginia. The state announced $7 million in grants to develop industrial sites across the commonwealth. Three localities represented by the Roanoke Regional Partnership were selected for grant funding totaling $1.45 million in awards for the Roanoke Region.

Eldor Corp. building at Botetourt Center at Greenfield. A $75 million investment next door to Lot 3 which received the grant funds.
Aerial photo of Wood Haven Technology Park which is visible from I-81.

Sites that will receive funding include Botetourt Center at Greenfield in Botetourt County, Summit View Business Park in Franklin County, and Wood Haven Technology Park in Roanoke County.

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