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. 

This investment in your employee:

  • Develops skills that will accelerate their professional track
  • Provides needed support through a cohort of other young professionals
  • Helps them see how their contributions are building a brighter West Virginia
0 %
of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invests in their careers

Source: LinkedIn

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of business leaders said effective employee engagement programs help them attract and retain employees

Ready to sponsor an employee?

We are looking for young professionals (recommended age 25-30) who live or work in West Virginia. To submit an application for the GWV Fellowship Class of 2023, have your employee visit this link.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that West Virginia needs help retaining its young talent—that’s where the GWV Fellowship comes in. Research shows that exciting professional development opportunities can help companies attract, retain, and advance their workforce. This program is designed to help high potential young West Virginians become more effective communicators, collaborators, and leaders in their current roles, all while building a vibrant network of peers throughout the state. Sponsoring an employee for the GWV Fellowship is a recognition from your business of their accomplishments and potential.

When you sponsor an employee for the GWV Fellowship, your business becomes a Next Generation Employer. Next Generation Employers receive a seal which they are encouraged to place on their website, in marketing materials, and in recruitment content. This seal signals your organization’s dedication to helping young professionals grow, develop, and thrive right here in the Mountain State.

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 25–30 years old 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.

Sessions take place Thursday evening through Saturday morning, which means employees will need time-off for roughly one Friday each month throughout the duration of their fellowship. It is expected that time out-of-the-office for professional development not be subtracted from an employee’s allotted PTO. Virtual sessions will take place on Friday mornings for approximately two hours. View the 2023 session schedule here.

An investment in young talent is an investment in West Virginia’s future. Aside from our comprehensive professional development curriculum, employees will explore and grow a deeper appreciation for WV alongside a class of their peers. We believe that building a sense of community and exposing young professionals to the history and beauty of Almost Heaven will result in a desire to plant their roots—and build their dreams—here.

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 4, 2023).

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

Become a Next Generation Employer

The GWV Fellowship is a symbol of support for an employee’s potential. By sponsoring an employee, Next Generation Employers help to identify and cultivate the next generation of leaders, while positively impacting their ability to attract and retain top talent in West Virginia. Download our guide to learn more.

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