GO Virginia board approves a second round of grants

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A pharmaceutical accelerator at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, a seed fund in Hampton and a water and sewer project in Roanoke were among a second round of nine grants totaling $2.68 million  announced Tuesday by GO Virginia. 

The state’s new regional economic development initiative, GO Virginia awards state funds to projects intended to grow and diversify regional economies across the state.

The board has approved 18 projects so far with more than $5 million in state funds. In addition, Go Virginia said the projects also have leveraged $8.5 million from other sources to assist with economic diversification efforts.

“With this second round of projects approved, GO Virginia continues to make progress in addressing our state’s economic challenges and in lifting up our communities. We look forward to carrying out this important work to boost Virginia’s economy and create more higher-paying jobs over the next months and years,” GO Virginia Board Chairman John O. “Dubby” Wynne said in a statement.

The approved projects are:

VCU pharmaceutical accelerator: $500,000. The project will help to create a sustainable pharmaceutical, manufacturing cluster, with research activity based in Richmond and pharmaceutical manufacturing in Petersburg, through a partnership between VCU and several private sector partners.

757 Seed Fund: $140,000. This project will help initiate the 757 Seed Fund in Hampton Roads. The fund fills a gap in the region’s entrepreneurial community by providing seed-stage investments in promising technology startups.

Hampton Roads Unmanned Systems Facility: $150,000. The facility will provide a place -- at a newly developed site in York County -- that can be used by public institutions, private companies and individuals to develop, test, and demonstrate various surface, aerial, and underwater unmanned systems.

Hollyleaf grading: $150,000. This project will allow the creation of a pad-ready site to accommodate new industrial development in the Southwest part of the state.

Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority Wood Haven Road water and sewer infrastructure enhancement: $200,150. This project will improve site readiness and marketability by making water and sewer utility connections to the 109-acre site being developed at the intersection of Interstates 81 and 581. It is joint project among the cities of Roanoke and Salem, along with Roanoke County, to have sites shovel-ready for future business prospects.

CCAM Apprentice academy: $430,000. Designed to expand GO Virginia Region 4’s advanced manufacturing workforce development ecosystem, the project will provide two new pilot apprenticeship programs: the mechatronics Workforce Training Center and the New Transitioning Military Program. Once fully operational, CCAM’s Apprentice Academy in Central Virginia will graduate about 200 students a year in mechatronics, machining, and welding to create a pipeline of these workers to fill jobs across the region.

Region 2 Talent Collaborative: $300,000. The collaborative will serve the town of Amhertst, city of Lynchburg, and surrounding counties to stimulate economic growth by closing the skill and interest gaps in middle-to-high skilled occupations in manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology.

GO-TEC Talent Collaborative: $648,000. The project will expand existing curriculum offered by six higher education partners in Region 3 (counties of Charlotte, Halifax, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania and the city of Danville), build a regional training system of scale for career training for careers in IT and focused areas in advanced manufacturing, and develop a pipeline beginning in middle school to increase the number of students entering the five targeted areas:  (precision machining, welding, IT/cyber security, robotics, automation and mechatronics; and advanced materials).

Rockbridge Area Advanced Manufacturing: $100,000. With light manufacturing  a target industry sector for Region 8 in the Shenandoah Valley, this project is designed to supply talent for that industry. Through a partnership with Byers Technical Institute, RAAMP will have a particular emphasis on welding and other high-demand occupations.

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