The Experiential Learning in Tech Employment (ELITE) Grant

The Software You Need, Funded and Built

Virginia’s Region 2 employers have hundreds of open hiring needs for experienced software developers, yet most companies don’t have the bandwidth or resources to launch and administer their own internship program. Simultaneously, Region 2’s universities produce skilled software engineering graduates who depart the area for employers who either have robust internship programs or can hire non-experienced developers.

The ELITE Grant bridges the gap by funding a partnership between GoVirginia, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC), regional employers, and local professional internship organizations like Exelaration.

Innovative Region 2 companies are already engaging Exelaration and the ELITE Grant to build their mission critical software without the capacity and budgetary challenges.

The ELITE Grant seeks to:

  • Provide emerging software developers with the power of experiential learning through a world-class internship experience.
  • Give our region’s tech employers access to world-class software engineering by providing a professionally-managed hometown internship program on par with leading tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Capital One.
  • Launch 57 new high-wage software development careers within Region 2’s rapidly-growing technology community.
  • Give Region 2’s tech-driven employers the capacity to build and complete their most critical software development projects, which are currently delayed for lack of tech workforce.


Contact Us to Learn More About the ELITE Grant

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is eligible to take advantage of the ELITE Grant?

Any Region 2 company is eligible for up to $25,000 of matched funds when engaging a software engineering team at a managed internship program like Exelaration to complete their IT projects.

What universities does the ELITE Grant work with?

Our Blacksburg Exelaration Center currently hosts undergraduate students from Virginia Tech and Radford University. The ELITE Grant is designed to engage emerging software developers from every local college including Virginia Western Community College, Liberty University, Hollins University, Roanoke College, Sweet Briar College, the University of Lynchburg, and Central Virginia Community College.


How does the funding work?

Regional businesses contract with a Region 2 professional internship organization (PIO) to deliver an IT project or provide supplemental staffing for an IT project. GOVA funds provide reimbursement via the RBTC for up to $25,000 of your project cost.

What initiatives will ELITE teams support?

The ELITE program is designed to provide vital engineering staff to the region’s most mission-critical IT projects. Any IT project that’s already funded, understaffed, or incomplete is an ideal candidate for ELITE teams to bring across the finish line. Small, mid-sized, and startup companies may reap particular benefit for their projects since they typically do not have the resources to launch and administer their own internship programs. Exelaration’s interns can embed within a company’s existing IT team or function as standalone teams delivering world-class software to production environments.


What are the expected outcomes of the ELITE Grant?

Short-term: ELITE teams will deliver cost-effective solutions for Region 2 employers’ mission-critical tech projects. The extra capacity of world-class engineering talent is sorely needed to build the Region’s IT solutions.
Mid-term: ELITE interns will gain high-tech skills through experiential learning on actual client projects. They’ll experience the dynamic teams and rich cultures of our region’s fast-growing startups and tech companies firsthand.
Long-term: This grant is a key tool to attract even more high-tech employers to Region 2 to capitalize on a renewable ecosystem