Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., and The Big Event at Virginia Tech have partnered to introduce a pilot program designed to give virtual, remote support to DBI member-businesses while offering VT students professional development opportunities.
This pilot program, although conceived before the traditional Big Event was modified, now takes an even greater spotlight as students will continue to have the opportunity to give back to the business community in a new way.
“This is a great new partnership to form with Virginia Tech students by building a more robust talent pipeline while simultaneously strengthening the connection between students and the downtown business community,” said Casey Jenkins, the Executive Director of DBI. “We are very fortunate and thankful to partner with Big Event executive staff.”
The Big Event at Virginia Tech is a student-run community service effort that has grown into the second largest event of its kind in the nation. Every spring, thousands of students, faculty, and staff come together to complete hundreds of community service projects throughout Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and the New River Valley.
Starting in 2002, The Big Event at Virginia Tech has grown exponentially. Rooted in Virginia Tech’s motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), The Big Event has provided an opportunity for the entire Virginia Tech community to join together and thank the surrounding communities of Virginia Tech.
The 2002 Big Event saw about 475 volunteers with 60 projects. This past year, The Big Event 2019 saw 7,820 volunteers complete 1,180 projects.
“We, The Big Event, are very excited to be able to extend our mission of service into the local business community,” said Rissa McGill, fundraising executive of The Big Event. “It is essential that we not only thank our homeowners that allow us to take over Blacksburg for eight months out of the year, but also our businesses that provide us with everything we need as well.”
This pilot program pairs 10 DBI merchants and organizations with 27 Virginia Tech students with multi-disciplinary backgrounds. “We hope this is the first of many fall and spring semesters where we will offer this program to merchants and Virginia Tech students,” said Jenkins.
Between now and the end of the spring semester, select Virginia Tech students will help downtown merchants with projects related to marketing and social media, website and graphic design, business accounting, website platform migration and software development, and much more. Offering their time and expertise, students will assist DBI businesses for up to 40 hours pro bono for the remainder of the spring semester.
For more information or questions about this pilot program, contact Casey Jenkins at email@example.com, Rissa McGill at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ryan Adcock at email@example.com.