Over 1200 IT/software jobs expected for Roanoke and New River Valley

Published: Oct. 22, 2019 at 10:43 PM EDT
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In the next 18 months, we could see over 1,200 jobs come to the Roanoke and New River Valley areas, all focused in the IT and software fields.

The announcement was made Tuesday after folks at the Valley’s Innovation Council, VIC, surveyed employers in the region. Their research shows an upward trajectory specifically at mid-level experience.

VIC spokespeople say the majority of software development happens in big, metropolitan areas, but they believe once people see what our region has to offer for living and schools, people are more likely to stay.

Wendi Pannell moved to the NRV in January and has moved her family here recently. Now, she’s the director of digital content production at Ozmo. She said she was looking to do something different with her career, but if she wanted to move up, she had to move to states or locations she didn’t want to take her family to.

When a recruiter called Pannell and said there were opportunities in this area, she and her family decided they wanted to move to the NRV, she said because of the companies, schools, athletics for schools and the outdoors, it was an easy transition for them.

“It just seems like everyone that’s doing business around here or has started business around here is incredibly passionate about what they do, and you’re not just a number,” Pannell said. “You are part of a bigger something that is happening here, and I think that should be compelling for anyone looking to grow in their career.”

Moving forward, companies are planning to work on their recruitment efforts to bring those people to our area.

Blacksburg Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith said she is constantly meeting and talking with community leaders about the job growth in the region.

“This group of IT professionals is making an intentional effort to get together to think regionally and to address their mutual problems with recruitment,” she said. “Retention is not so much a problem.”

She and leaders at Tuesday’s announcement are working to attract these people to Roanoke and the New River Valley.

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