The Department of Human Resources has launched a new “closer than you think” advertising campaign to help recruit applicants from the Roanoke area. 

The campaign is part of a larger effort to increase the diversity of individuals applying for open positions at the university.

On average, the university has more than 250 open positions in dozens of different industries, including those traditionally associated with the university – teaching and research – and other lesser known fields – culinary arts, mechanics, painters, landscapers, nurses, doctors, and architects.

“Expanding the size and diversity of the applicant pool allows the university to hire the best and brightest employees possible,” explained Laura Rugless, executive director of equity and access.

“Over the past couple of years, the university has made significant strides in outreach and recruitment locally and around the region,” said Curtis Mabry, director of staffing and recruiting. “This has led to an increase in diversity of applicants for all job types.”

Between July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, Virginia Tech received 47,000 applications for employment – 20,000 more applications than were received just four years earlier.

About 20 percent of individuals applying for positions at Virginia Tech are underrepresented minorities. By comparison, 9.6 percent of individuals who live in the local recruiting area (Counties of Giles, Floyd, Pulaski, and Montgomery, and Radford City) are minorities, while 39 percent of Roanoke City residents are minorities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Currently, about 400 employees commute from the Roanoke area to Blacksburg. Virginia Tech offers several options for employees who commute, including carpools, vanpools, and discounted Smart Way bus passes for employees.

The “closer than you think” advertising campaign was launched during a Roanoke Recruitment Partnership outdoor event at Hotel Roanoke on April 25. More than 40 representatives from various civic and nonprofit organizations, businesses, churches, community colleges, the public school system, and state agencies came together.

All of the guests had the opportunity to see one of the two Valley Metro buses which now feature the “closer than you think” message.  In the weeks after the event, several other related advertisements have been running in The Roanoke Times.

The goal of the partnership is to ensure that Roanoke’s community leaders have the information they need to help prospective job seekers in their diverse communities identify positions at Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus that may be a good fit for them. The advertising campaign helps carry that message into various Roanoke communities, raising awareness about the variety of employment opportunities available at Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus.

Learn more about Virginia Tech’s commitment to growing and sustaining a diverse and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, and students.

As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech has more than 13,000 full and part-time employees and is the largest employer in Montgomery County, Virginia. The Department of Human Resources is committed to supporting a high quality of work life for staff and faculty located at the main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, as well as those at off-campus educational facilities in six regions, a study-abroad site in Switzerland, and a 1,700-acre agriculture research farm near the main campus.

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