Castleton, Chamber & Economic Development Announce Community Engagement Partnership

Castleton University and Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region are proud to announce a new partnership with an eye toward enhancing internship and career opportunities and an increased focus on community engagement. 

Kimberley Rupe, Business Development and Community Engagement Manager of Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region, will work alongside Castleton’s Pathway to Graduation team to engage Castleton students in a diverse range of opportunities, including job experiences, internships, and workplace readiness skill programming. Rupe will also be tasked with providing support in developing and delivering community engagement activities that enhance the economic and social interactions between Castleton and its surrounding communities.  

Kelley Beckwith, Director of Student Success at Castleton, said working with Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region and Rupe to further engage students in the region’s business community is a triple win for students, the university, and local organizations. 

“Castleton is delighted to partner with Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region. Strengthening experiential learning and workplace readiness is a main objective of Castleton’s newly-launched Pathway to Graduation initiative,” Beckwith said. “The timing of this collaboration complements Castleton’s goal to include a significant workplace learning component in at least 80 percent of majors. As a result of this partnership, Castleton students will gain invaluable, career-enhancing exposure and Rutland area employers will benefit from the skills, creativity, and energy that students bring.” 

Rupe, who served as assistant director at Rutland Economic Development Corporation (REDC) for nearly two years, transitioned into the new role following the organization’s recent merger with Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce. She previously worked as director of community engagement & alumni relations at College of St. Joseph, where she helped connect students with volunteer opportunities at businesses and organizations across Rutland County.   

“We look forward to collaborating with Castleton University to help engage our business community and connect them with students who are looking to build a life and a career in Rutland County,” said Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region Executive Director Lyle Jepson. “Kimberley brings a wealth of knowledge and passion in community engagement and developing meaningful connections for students, so we are excited to be able to share her talent with Castleton University.” 

Castleton University's Pathway to Graduation is a five-year project designed to bolster student success and retention. The project is supported through a $2.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Title III Strengthening Institutions Program. Castleton's Pathway to Graduation will provide Castleton students with a meaningful, efficient, and supported path from the day they are admitted until the day they cross the stage at commencement.