Career Services at Virginia Tech has achieved gold certification from the OUT For Work Career Center Certification Program for their commitment to serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer student population on campus.

OUT For Work was founded in 2004 by Riley Folds to provide resources and programs to assist LGBTQ students explore career paths and research employment opportunities as they transition from academia into the workplace. The Career Center Certification Program assesses the quality of resources being provided by campus career centers to LGBTQ students throughout the United States.

By looking at various categories, OUT For Work uses a 33-point scoring program to determine what level a career center has achieved. In 2013 Career Services earned a silver rating and bronze ratings in 2012 and 2011.

John Gray Williams, career advisor at Career Services and liaison for Multicultural Programs and Services, has developed and implemented new resources and programs along with existing programs that helped Career Services receive gold certification.

“We created more strategic collaboration with campus partner offices such as Multicultural Programs and Services, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech,” Williams said.

“Along with the LGBTQ career website and resources in the Career Resource Center at Smith Career Center, one specific event that helped Career Services receive gold certification,” said Williams, “was the second annual LGBTQ networking event that was held in the fall of 2013.”

“I am pleased to receive the OUT for Work gold certification,” said Donna Ratcliffe, director of Career Services, “John Gray has partnered well with various offices around campus to inform LGBTQ students of our services, programs, and resources as they consider critical aspects of entering the workplace.”

Williams, who is a Safe Zone trainer, is among the eight career advisors who are Safe Zone certified. The Safe Zone program is in place at Virginia Tech to educate the campus community on LGBTQ topics. Many of Career Services staff attend diversity training sessions such as those offered through the Diversity Development Institute in order to help better serve the LGBTQ community at Virginia Tech.

For more information, contact Career Services 540-231-6241.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Kelly Shannon.