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Work Here, Live Here, Be Here – CFOV’s Community Leader Internship Program Seeks to Combat Out-Migration

Program Encourages Emerging Young Professionals to Consider Opportunities in the Ohio Valley

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 (CFOV) 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 Community Leader Internship Program is a community leadership initiative of the CFOV.  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 Community Leader Internship 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 CFOV.

“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-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 workforce.

Program Participants and Placements
First-Year Students
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 – US 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 (RED)
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 – Wheeling Health Right
Rhyanna Wiethe, Belmont County – Appalachian Power

Second-Year Students
Caroline Humphrey, Ohio County – Daniel W. Wilson, M.D.
Madison Taylor, Ohio County – Wheeling Nailers

The Community Leader Internship Program is supported by sponsors who share a common interest in improving the Ohio Valley.  In addition to friends of CFOV, sponsors include: Chevron, EQT, Huntington Bank, James B. Chambers Memorial Foundation, Orrick, Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED),
The Charles M. Pugliese & Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation, WesBanco, Wheeling Convention & Visitors Bureau, Wheeling Heritage and XTO Energy.

To learn more about CFOV and this program, please visit and click the Projects tab.