Young professionals urged to consider area opportunities

FOUNDATION INTERN PROGRAM — Participants in this year’s Community Leader Internship Program include, from left, front: Brooke McArdle, Matthew Porter, Ateria Walker, Julie Carey, Madison McCormick, Shae Reinbeau, Sydney West and Hannah Callahan. Back: Caroline Humphrey, Madison Taylor, Maxwell Moffo, Andrew McGlynn and Rhyanna Wiethe. The program is facilitated by the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley. -- Contributed

WHEELING — Retention efforts in the Ohio Valley continue to be the subject of conversation within government, business and community circles. The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley and its Community Leader Internship Program aims to combat the ongoing out-migration issue by showcasing the area’s potential to those likely to start professional journeys elsewhere with the goal of keeping local talent here.

The internship program is a community leadership initiative of the foundation. Now in its seventh year, the program matches selected students with participating host organizations and creates an internship paired with personal and professional development programming.

Students apply to participate and are chosen through a competitive process that includes an independent selection committee. The program is designed to enhance personal skills, expose opportunities to find employment in the Ohio Valley after graduation and to expand networking connections with peers, employers and local professionals.

“This program increases the chance of these young people returning to our region after they graduate by providing them with the chance to network with people doing exactly what they want to do. It also helps them realize what job opportunities in their field are right here in the Ohio Valley. Those things, combined with the emphasis of the benefits of living in the Ohio Valley, make this program truly unique,” shared Susie Nelson, executive director of the foundation.

“We are committed to the idea of creating an environment that supports the next generation, in all areas. Seeing story after story about population loss, poor job prospects, limited growth opportunities and quality of life concerns has really driven the philanthropic sector, of which CFOV is a part, to do more to change the outcome,” Nelson continued.

The 2019 class of participants includes 15 students from communities throughout the valley.

Of those participating, 13 students are first-year program participants and two are participating for a second year. Students work Monday through Thursday at their host sites and spend each Friday at the CFOV office for personal and professional development programming and team-building activities. This program provides a collaborative way for employers, nonprofits, community partners and foundations to work collectively to strengthen the region’s future work force. This year’s program started Monday and will conclude July 26.

First-year progam participants and placement include: Hannah Callahan, Belmont County — Belmont County Health Department; Julie Carey, Ohio County – Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department; Jamie Fogle, Ohio County – City of Wheeling; Brooke McArdle, Ohio County – U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of West Virginia; Madison McCormick, Marshall County – YWCA, Wheeling; Andrew McGlynn, Marshall County – Marshall County Animal Shelter; Maxwell Moffo, Jefferson County – Touchstone Research Laboratory; Matthew Porter, Ohio County – Regional Economic Development Partnership; Sarah Powell, Belmont County – Legal Aid of West Virginia; Shae Reinbeau, Marshall County – Wheeling Health Right; Ateria Walker, Ohio County – Wheeling Hospital; Sydney West, Marshall County – Ryan Ferns Healthplex; and Rhyanna Wiethe, Belmont County – Appalachian Power.

Second-year students include: Caroline Humphrey, Ohio County – Dr. Daniel W. Wilson; and Madison Taylor, Ohio County – Wheeling Nailers.

Sponsors of the program include: Chevron, EQT, Huntington Bank, James B. Chambers Memorial Foundation, Orrick, Regional Economic Development Partnership, the Charles M. and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation, WesBanco, Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wheeling Heritage and XTO Energy.

To learn about the foundation and this program, visit cfov.org and click the “projects” tab.

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