What is the general timeline?
The Impact Fellowship runs for one year—from the end of August to the following August. Host Employers are encouraged to sign up in the fall and early winter, and official Impact Fellowship job descriptions are posted in January. Applications for Fellows are open from that point until the end of February. Host Employers select finalists from the application pool to invite to Interview Day in early April. Host Employers make final selections, and then the cohort is announced in May. The Fellowship officially begins with Orientation the last weekend of August, and Fellows beginning work with their Host Employers on the following Monday, unless an earlier start date has been established between both parties.
What makes the Impact Fellowship different?
By participating in the Impact Fellowship, Fellows get to make a difference in West Virginia. This program is designed not only to give Fellows the professional experience and connections they need to take their career to the next level, but also to provide them with opportunities to give back to their community, develop as a strong leader, and connect with peers throughout the state.
What kinds of positions are available through the program?
Unlike many fellowship programs, the Impact Fellowship is not limited to a certain sector or field of study. In previous years, this program has offered professional opportunities to qualified designers, architects, marketers, analysts, developers, engineers, artists, managers, bankers, and more. The positions change every year! We announce new positions and applications each January.
HOST EMPLOYER FAQS
What requirements do I need to meet as a Host Employer?
Our Host Employers agree to:
- Provide, at minimum, an annual compensation of $31,000 and benefits to your Fellow(s);
- Permit your Fellow(s) to be out of office every Friday (or another mutually decided day of the week) for the duration of the year so that they may dedicate their time to volunteer projects in the community and attend the program’s quarterly retreats;
- Provide a direct supervisor to the Fellow, who will serve as a contact person for Generation WV;
- Determine appropriate positions, job description(s), work plan, and team placement within the company for the year;
- Value and recognize the importance of investing in the next generation of West Virginia’s workforce; and
- Provide a program fee paid to Generation WV to support recruitment and professional development costs. If you are an employer with fewer than 60 employees or a nonprofit organization, the program fee is $3,000. If you are an employer with 60 or more employees, the program fee is $6,000.
What are the benefits to serving as a Host Employer in this program?
We are all well aware of West Virginia’s shrinking population and its effect on our tax base and local economies. We also know that it doesn’t have to be this way. Like us, you believe in West Virginia’s potential, or you wouldn’t be here. We are committed to keeping and bringing people here to improve our economy and way of life. By partnering with Generation West Virginia, you are signaling an investment in your employee, your community, and the growth of West Virginia. When West Virginia grows, so does your business.
Plus, we take care of all of the recruiting efforts and provide extra professional development to your Fellow(s) throughout the year, making them even better employees for you. And, although our ultimate goal is to create lasting partnerships, at the end of the year, you’re not obligated to continue on with your Fellow if you’re not completely satisfied. We have a feeling you will be, though!
Can my Fellow(s) start before the official program start date at the end of August?
Yes, you can work with your Fellow to coordinate an earlier start date. But if they start earlier, the program still runs through the following August—not a year from your earlier start date.
Can I hire more than one Fellow?
Yes! We’ve had multiple Host Employers hire more than one Fellow. Sometimes they have multiple Fellows doing similar jobs and sometimes they use the program to hire multiple Fellows across different departments or skillset needs within the organization.
What if I’d be interested in having one of our existing employees become a Fellow as a professional development experience?
You can totally do this! There are two tracks within the Fellowship: the Enrichment Track and the Expansion Track. The Enrichment Track exists for employers who wish to enable a current employee to take part in the program activities (e.g. Volunteer Fridays, retreats, mentoring). Click here to learn more about this option.
Is there a fee to participate as a Host Employer?
Yes. The program fee is paid to Generation WV to support recruitment and professional development costs. If you are an employer with fewer than 60 employees or are a nonprofit organization, the program fee is $3,000. If you are an employer with 60 or more employees, the program fee is $6,000. This fee is paid to Generation West Virginia for each Fellow you hire. If, after our recruiting efforts, you choose to not hire through the program, you do not owe us a program fee.
Does my company or organization have to be located in West Virginia to take part in the Fellowship?
You, as an employer, don’t have to have a physical location in West Virginia, but your Fellow and the work they will be doing, including Volunteer Fridays, must be in West Virginia. We welcome remote work opportunities through our Fellowship positions, and Host Employers have used this program in the past to expand their presence into West Virginia by basing a new remote workforce here.
What happens after the Fellowship year is over?
Before the year ends, you and your Fellow(s) will decide next steps. While you are committed to one year with the Fellowship, you are not obligated to keep your Fellow(s) after the conclusion of the year, although the ultimate goal is that you do. Our hope is that the needs of both parties are met and that we’ve created a mutually beneficial, long-lasting relationship between you and your Fellow(s).
What happens after the Fellowship year is over?
Sometime before the year ends, you and your Host Employer will have to decide next steps. While you are committed to one year with the Fellowship, you are not obligated to stay with your Employer after the conclusion of the year, although the ultimate goal is that you do. Our hope is that the needs of both parties are met and that we’ve created a mutually beneficial, long-lasting relationship between you and your Host Employer.
Where are the Host Employers located?
Host Employers are located in different areas all around the state. Each year there are different Employers, so the locations are always different. Not all positions have specific required locations, but all work will be within West Virginia, and all Fellows must be located in West Virginia for the duration of the program—even if you’re hired as a remote employee.
Is there an age limit to apply?
No, the Impact Fellowship welcomes applicants of all ages!
I applied previously and was not selected. Can I reapply?
Every year there are new Host Employers with new positions, meaning every year your application would be reviewed by a new set of employers and hiring teams. So yes! Please feel free to reapply!
Can I be a Fellow if I’m currently in grad school?
Yes. However, as a Fellow you will be a full-time employee, so you must be available to work for your Host Employer and participate in all mandatory aspects of the Fellowship around your schooling. We have had many Fellows successfully balance this in the past!
Do I get to choose which employer I’m placed with?
In your application, you will select positions that you are interested in/qualified for. However, if an employer you did not select chooses you as a Finalist, Generation West Virginia will reach out to you to see if you would like to interview. In the event that more than one employer selects you after your interviews, you will have the opportunity to choose which Employer you would like to work for.
Do I get to choose where I volunteer?
Yes. We can help you get started, but the goal is for you to become meaningfully connected to your community, and, to do that, it’s important that you’re genuinely interested in what you’re doing.
Will I get to interact with the other Fellows in my cohort?
Yes, you will spend time together every quarter at the program retreats, taking part in various collaborative activities and projects. Some Host Employers also hire more than one Fellow, so you might actually work together on a daily basis! There is also an opportunity for Fellows to engage with our local Generation network—groups in individual communities throughout the state working to engage and connect young people.
Who should apply?
Generation WV is looking for early- to mid-career professionals across wide-ranging sectors who are driven to get engaged and make a difference in West Virginia. Despite coming from different professional and educational backgrounds, what all Impact Fellows have in common is a drive to make an impact. Impact Fellows are doers. They are change agents in their professional workplaces and in their communities. They don’t back down from complex challenges—in fact, they are motivated to help find new solutions. And they are eager to dive into this work in West Virginia. If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you!
How much work experience do I need to apply?
This depends on the position. While some positions require 1-5 years of experience, most of them can be acquired fresh out of school.
Do I need to have a college degree to apply?
As with work experience, this depends on the position. While some positions may require a college degree, many do not, and we still encourage you to apply in case new opportunities arise.
Do all Fellows receive the same compensation?
No. The Host Employers choose the compensation rate and method they want to offer their Fellow(s). However, they all must meet the minimum of $31,000 annual compensation plus benefits.
What can I expect from the retreats?
Retreats are a chance to:
- connect with other Fellows,
- create opportunities for peer support,
- increase skills and knowledge—professionally and personally,
- troubleshoot and problem solve,
- learn from and converse with changemakers and thought leaders in West Virginia,
- contribute to the mission of Generation WV as a whole,
- enjoy and get to know West Virginia.
While our retreats are currently being held virtually due to COVID-19, it is our hope to return to in-person retreats as soon as we are safely able so that Fellows can experience more of West Virginia.
What are the benefits of being an Impact Fellow?
There are many benefits to being an Impact Fellow! Starting a new (or your first!) career often poses many difficulties, but, by participating in the Fellowship, you gain the support of an entire community of people going through and adjusting to the same things you are. Plus, you gain access to mentoring and have opportunities to explore what West Virginia has to offer. You also get the potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to set aside protected time to work on volunteer projects that matter to you. Through the Fellowship, you have a seat at the table to help create change in West Virginia.
If this sounds like a fit for you, click here to apply now!
Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply to be an Impact Fellow?
No! Non-citizens are welcome to apply for the Impact Fellowship. Please note, however, that you will be required to obtain a work visa or U.S. citizenship in order to accept employment.
Will Host Employers sponsor my work visa?
This is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the Employer and the position. While we have had Employers in the past who have sponsored work visas, this is not always a guarantee.
What does the application process look like, when are interviews and when are positions offered?
You can expect applications to open in mid-to-late January 2021 and remain open until the end of February. When applying, you will need to fill out a basic application, respond to an essay question, and submit your resume and a one-minute video about yourself. You can find helpful application tips here. After employers have a chance to look at everyone’s applications, they will select 3-5 finalists to interview. These finalists will join the Host Employers, Generation WV staff and Impact Fellowship alumni for an in-person* Interview Day in early April. Here, finalists will complete their interview(s), take part in programming, and start to learn more about the Fellowship and West Virginia. Once Interview Day is over, Host Employers will select individuals they wish to make offers to. This usually happens in early May. Although you may receive an offer in May, the program itself does not begin until the end of August. You and your Host Employer may work out an earlier start date, but the features of the Fellowship program (e.g. Volunteer Fridays, retreats, mentoring, etc.) do not begin until the end of August and run through the following August.
*depending on the status of COVID-19
How much money will I make? Will I receive benefits?
Because of the variations in sectors and qualifications, there is a range of compensation within the positions available. At minimum, you can expect to make $31,000 annual compensation. You will also either receive the benefits your Employer offers or receive a stipend to cover the cost of these benefits.
Fellow: any individual selected by an employer to take part in the Impact Fellowship
Host Employer: the company or organization that employs you during the Fellowship
Cohort: the group of Fellows for the given year
Expansion Track: this track is for any employer wishing to grow their workforce and hire someone new who will take part in the Fellowship program
Enrichment Track: this track is for any employer wishing to invest in any individuals already employed within their company/organization to take part in the Fellowship program
Volunteer Friday: every Friday for the duration of the Fellowship year where Fellows will dedicate their time to completing volunteer projects in their communities