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Open House event connects WVU Tech and community partners in Beckley

Representatives from Beckley area organizations gather on WVU Tech's Beckley campus.

On Friday, November 4, nearly 40 community and nonprofit representatives from the Beckley region gathered on WVU Tech’s Beckley campus for a community partner open house.

The event included a networking session and a meet-and-greet with staff from WVU Tech service and student life and representatives from the WVU Center for Service and Learning office. The open house also featured a panel discussion for best practices in working with college students as volunteers and community partners were introduced to iServe, WVU’s online community service management system. That system allows these organizations to register with WVU and posts service opportunities for students in the region.

The event is part of an ongoing effort to increase engagement with the regional community. Starting this month, WVU Tech will host an AmeriCorps VISTA whose mission will be to work with the local community, WVU Tech and the WVU Center for Service and Learning to create partnerships for service opportunities.

The open house was the first critical step in the process.

For Candice Stadler, director of Career Services at WVU Tech and a service learning coordinator, the endeavor is an important part of the university’s growing relationship with the region.

“WVU Tech is laying the groundwork to become an active member of the Raleigh County community. The community benefits by learning how the college and our students can assist them in their work in a variety of social and civic issues,” she said.

In all, 20 community agencies were represented at the gathering. Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central West Virginia’s Beckley office, the American Red Cross, the Piney Creek Watershed Association, the Beckley Arts Center, the Raleigh County Commission on Aging, One Voice, WV FREE and other community organizations were represented.

“In the long run, this will be an opportunity for WVU Tech to help students explore issues related to citizenship, civic duty, career development and character. We are so excited for the opportunities to work together in the future and many new partnerships are in the works,” said Stadler.

“One of our first big initiatives will be the Martin Luther King Day of Service in January. Students, faculty and staff should look for information on the event in the coming weeks.”

Stadler shared that the event was made possible by the support of WVU Tech Student Life, the WVU Center for Service and Learning and the Beckley non-profit community.