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Connecting the Best and Brightest

The GWV Fellowship is a professional development initiative that helps retain and advance emerging West Virginians. This leadership development opportunity is designed to help high potential young professionals become more effective communicators, collaborators, and leaders both within and beyond their current positions. 

Your employee will:

  • Enhance and develop skills that will help them build confidence as a young professional in your company
  • Expand their network of professionals around the state  
  • Gain knowledge from other industries to become a more well rounded employee 
  • See how their contributions are building a brighter West Virginia
of business leaders said effective employee engagement programs help them attract and retain employees
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of the Class of 2023 reported growth in their professional network, relevant skills, and meaningful connections within West Virginia.
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Employer Commitment

  • Sponsorship Fee: The GWV Fellowship program tuition is $2,500, which covers the cost of speakers, lodging, food, and activities. 
  • Time Commitment: Sessions take place Thursday evening through Saturday morning, which means employees will be traveling for five Fridays throughout the duration of their Fellowship. It is expected that this out-of-office time is for professional development and not be subtracted from an employee’s allotted PTO.

Have you identified an employee who would be a good fit for this program?

The next steps are to assess the timeline, discuss the importance of professional development with your employee, and have them fill out an application. You may view the program timeline and requirements below.

Frequently Asked Questions

When you invest in your employees professional development, it shows you are eager to retain their talent and support them in their future career goals. According to a Gallup report on the millennial generation, 21% of millennials surveyed report changing jobs within the past year – more than three times the rate of other generations. However, research shows that young professionals are looking for opportunities to advance their skills and careers and build a sense of community, two key components of the Fellowship program.

There is no limit as to how many employees can apply from your organization. Please note that applicants are accepted based on their own individual qualifications and are not grouped by organization.

All full-time, entry- to mid-level employees who you believe show motivation and potential are welcome to apply. Participants are typically in their 20’s and early 30’s and/or within the first 2–4 years of their career. Applicants must have the ability to attend a minimum of 7 out of 9 development sessions.

In-person sessions take place Thursday evening through Saturday morning while virtual sessions take place on Friday mornings (roughly 2 hours long). View the 2024 session schedule here.

  • Acknowledgment and backing from their employer to fuel their professional advancement
  • Access to a robust professional development program
  • Increased confidence in their professional abilities
  • Development of a deeper appreciation for WV alongside a class of their peers
  • Mentorship from professionals across the state

The program fee of the GWV Fellowship is $2,500. Sessions, lodging, food, travel, and all other associated costs are covered in the program fee.

Payment is due prior to the first session date (May 3, 2024).

Email Melanie, the GWV Fellowship Director, at [email protected]. 

84 Agency
84 AgencySubmitted by Jen Susman, Co-Founder
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The GWV Fellowship has been a crucial tool for retention at my company. Team members who have participated benefit from rich community building experiences and develop a vibrant network of peers from across the state, as well as bring skills back to work that strengthen our ability to serve our clients. This fellowship is our secret ingredient when it comes to workforce retention.

Past Participating Companies