New Initiative Seeks to Better Connect Job-Seekers With Local Employers

Flying man statue

(Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

The University of Virginia’s Dual Career Program has launched a new community resource aimed at connecting talented job candidates with local employers, in collaboration with the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, UVA Licensing and Ventures Group and the UVA Research Park.

The online initiative, called Embark, offers an innovative solution to support the region’s collective talent recruitment and retention efforts.

UVA Today recently caught up with Maïté Brandt-Pearce, vice provost for faculty affairs, to learn more about the site and how it is designed to benefit employees and employers alike.

Q. What need does Embark address?

A. Hundreds of highly skilled professionals relocate to the Charlottesville area each year. They – and our existing local job seekers – are eager to connect with local businesses.

Meanwhile, we have scores of new and growing businesses that need to hire specialized talent and are seeking direct ways to connect to this pool of potential new hires.

Embark is designed as a community solution, poised to highlight the broad range of employers and employment opportunities that our region offers.

Q.  How do you anticipate people will use Embark?

A. Newcomers and local job seekers will use Embark’s Employer Network, a searchable tool allowing job seekers to find local employers, follow them on social media, or contact them directly. Anyone considering moving to Charlottesville – or those recently arrived – will find helpful job resources on Embark’s community pages, where they can explore activities and events that support networking across sectors and industries.

We anticipate that area employers will use Embark to increase the visibility of their growing businesses.  Employers interested in joining the Employer Network are encouraged to connect with the Dual Career Program.

Q. What motivated UVA to support this initiative?

A. A few years ago, UVA created the Dual Career Program, a dedicated collaborative effort between the Provost’s Office and Human Resources to assist spouses and partners of UVA recruits seeking Charlottesville-area employment. Through our work and community collaborations, we know that local businesses face many of the same recruiting challenges as the University. Embark addresses the need to connect job seekers and local employers by serving as a point of entry and resource for both – tailored to our area.

Q. Why now?

A. Embark’s goals are consistent with President Jim Ryan’s mission for the University to serve as a good neighbor to the greater Charlottesville region and the commonwealth. Embark will serve the community, foster connections and improve the talent recruitment experience for area professionals and employers. 

Q. What are the next steps?

A. The next steps are to reach out to increase awareness. To date, more than 60 employers have joined the Employer Network and we are seeking to bring on the next 50 employers in the coming months.

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