Workforce Development

Workforce development resources are available to tenants large and small at the University of Illinois Research Park. Research Park and EnterpriseWorks companies have access to our Recruiter-in-Residence, Human Resources Expert-in-Residence, in-house workforce development expertise, and numerous recruiting events and workshops.

The Talent Manager at the Research Park supports the growth of the workforce in the Park by connecting corporations and startups with student and full-time professional talent. This role works directly with clients and coordinates recruiting events and programming to facilitate these connections. Bryan Goode is the Talent Manager for the Research Park. Learn more and contact Bryan on the Research Park Staff Page.


The Recruiter-in-Residence (RIR) at the University of Illinois Research Park provides one-on-one recruiting assistance to companies scaling their operations through talent acquisition. Consulting is available for Research Park companies including corporations, small businesses, EnterpriseWorks tenants, and affiliate members. Growth-stage startups are prioritized.

Workforce Development 4 Workforce Development

Sophie Roney is the Recruiter-in-Residence for the Research Park. She focuses on helping clients with best practices for sourcing, identifying, and successfully hiring full-time technical talent. She is the owner of PickedUS , a recruitment consulting agency specializing in startups, and agriculture-tech. Sophie is a Champaign native as well as a UIUC Gies College of Business alumna with experience in full-cycle recruiting and talent analytics from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. In addition to one-on-one technical recruiting assistance, she hosts annual training events and workshops throughout the year.

Consulting services  include:

  • Technical recruiting advice and strategy suggestions
  • Receiving templates for recruitment strategizing
  • Interview planning
  • Employment brand development

Human Resources Expert-in-Residence

Kelly Gust

Kelly Gust is the Human Resources Expert-in-Residence for the Research Park. She helps organizations connect their people strategy to their business strategy using data-driven solutions to hire, inspire and engage teams to perform.  Kelly is the president and principal talent optimizer for HR Full Circle, a company that provides workforce strategy, talent optimization services and general human resources consulting to organizations of all sizes and stages, and is a certified partner of the Predictive Index.

Kelly’s background is in strategic human resources, talent optimization, leadership development, assessment, performance coaching, training, and change management. Growing up in a small business, she understands the challenges many owners face in finding, keeping and scaling great talent. Her experience spans multiple industries such as utilities, travel and leisure, retail, pharma and engineering in organizations large and small. She has a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology, and loves helping individuals and organizations reach their potential.  She serves on the growth advisory panel for Innovate Springfield, the University of Illinois Springfield-led social innovation and business incubator program. She also serves on the board of Women Entrepreneurs of Central Illinois and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources.

Consulting Services Include:

  • Talent optimization
  • Leadership development
  • Performance coaching
  • General human resources consulting

Hiring & Networking Events

The University of Illinois Research Park hosts and participates in multiple career fairs every year, hosts its own career fair in March, and creates specialty recruiting events engaging various Registered Student Organizations, university departments, and other affiliated groups.

Additionally, Catalyze, a professional networking event, is held twice a year at EnterpriseWorks to encourage conversation among employers across Research Park and the  Champaign-Urbana community. These events allow Research Park companies to recruit full-time and part-time employees, as well as interns.

Research Park also employs staff dedicated to supporting the growing workforce of Research Park. They provide services including recruiting assistance and professional development opportunities. They connect employers to talent, facilitate Research Park exclusive hiring events and development workshops, and promote job openings across the community.

For more information on recruiting assistance, contact [email protected]

Past Recruiting Assistance Workshops

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