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Virginia Tech celebrates Innovation Campus construction milestone with topping out ceremony

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Innovation Campus hosted a topping out ceremony on Feb. 7, giving thanks to staff, workers, and collaborators. The Innovation Campus is set to officially open in Fall 2024.
Welcome to the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus topping out ceremony. I would like to welcome to the stage, our first speaker and Hokie Alumna, Summer Cleary. On behalf of Whiting-Turner, I'd like to thank all of you for being here at this topping out celebration. I specifically would like to thank my Whiting-Turner team, SmithGroup Architects and A&F engineers and also our trade partners. Quite an accomplishment we have reached today, here on the Innovation Campus. I'm just so proud of what we've done. To get us to this point over the last 18 months, we've had over 1,150 trades people contribute to this project, so they have touched this project. And it's great to have all of you here on behalf of the university, welcome. I mean, it's real, it's just amazing. For those of us who've been involved from the very beginning, and it's, a lot of you in this room. It's just extraordinary feeling to be at this point. We've got a lot more work to do. But, it's moving, it's real, it's exciting. So thank you. One of the main focus, of the project, the Tech Talent Investment Program and the Innovation Campus is to diversify the tech talent workforce. And we're really pleased to see the progress in diversity even at these early days, we need more women in the field. We need more underrepresented minority, more first-generation students. They bring their perspectives and their talent. They are highly sought after by employers. And we want to be the primary source of that talent. And there's a couple of reasons for that. There's an obvious one that if you have a community that isn't being tapped, that's an opportunity cost, and we all understand that. And so by bringing diversity, we're tapping into real talent that can grow and address some of the shortages that we have in the area. I also want to note that Virginia Tech facilities group, which has really been extraordinary and keeping this project on track through a pandemic and slated to open in 2024. So just I want to recognize all of those all of those folks. I'd like to thank everyone who's worked on the academic building for the innovation campus, Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus. It's an extraordinary building. It sticks up and you see it and it's just going to be gorgeous. So thank you for everything you've done to get us to this point. And thank you for the work that is to come, to make this building a reality because it's a building, It's that. But what's going to be inside is so important to our nation's future, to higher education, to the region. And I hope you'll be able to look at it five years from now and be proud of your part in making this happen. Thank you.