GO Virginia approves $2.87M in grants for 13 regional projects
Projects support economic development and workforce development efforts
The state’s Go Virginia Board has allocated $2.87 million in grants for 13 regional projects supporting economic development.
A state economic development initiative led by business leaders and state officials, GO Virginia ( Growth and Opportunity for Virginia) has funded 87 projects, totaling $30.3 million, since it was established by the General Assembly in 2016. It awards funding to regional economic development projects and oversees regional GO Virginia councils, which submit project ideas to the state GO Virginia board for approval. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the private, nonprofit GO Virginia Foundation provide support to GO Virginia.
“Regional collaboration is vital to growing our economy,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “The projects funded through this round of GO Virginia will continue to support unique regional strategies, strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystems, build a strong workforce and encourage innovation throughout the commonwealth.
GO Virginia’s board chair, Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II, said, “GO Virginia has created an incredible opportunity for regions to think creatively around their future economies and move the building blocks in place to get there,” said Tom Farrell, “We congratulate these applicants for their work and commitment to the goals of the program — strengthening regional economies and helping businesses to create good jobs to support Virginia families.”
These are the most recent projects receiving funding, listed by GO Virginia region:
- Region 1 (Dickenson and Grayson counties): The SWVA Regional Agribusiness Opportunities project will create business development opportunities for the agricultural sector. The project was awarded $100,000.
- Region 2 (Floyd, Giles and Montgomery counties): The Classrooms to Careers project will connect high school students to local IT businesses to participate in internships and job shadowing, while teachers work with the companies to refine curriculum. The project was awarded $180,000.
- Region 2 (Alleghany, Botetourt and Roanoke counties and the towns of Bedford and Vinton): The Increasing Birth Rates of New and High-Growth Companies project will fund The Advancement Foundation’s (TAF) pilot program that works to increase the number of high-growth companies in Southwest Virginia. The project was awarded $180,000.
- Region 4 (Dinwiddie, Prince George and Sussex counties): The Rowanty Technical Center Logistics Program will allow the center to create a two-year global logistics program for high schoolers. The project was awarded $110,213.
- Region 4 (Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties and Richmond): The VCU Pharmaceutical and Chemical Engineering Commercialization project will allow Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Engineering to develop a commercialization of pharmaceutical manufacturing technology plan. The project was awarded $100,000.
- Region 4 (Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties and Richmond): The Developing Region 4’s Tech Talent Pipeline project will allow VCU Engineering and other partners to evaluate current tech talent programs and expand the talent pipeline. The project was awarded $100,000.
- Region 5 (Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Suffolk): The Campus757 project will allow the Hampton Roads Workforce Council to develop a plan to connect local job seekers to regional employers. The project was awarded $95,838.
- Region 6 (Essex, Gloucester, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties): The Northern Neck Workforce Training Feasibility and Site Selection Study will develop a blueprint of the region’s workforce needs to improve workforce training. The project was awarded $62,500.
- Region 6 (King George and Stafford counties, Fredericksburg): The Fredericksburg Region Cyber and Smart Tech Entrepreneurial Development Program will implement testing for hosting a technology-based accelerator. The project was awarded $75,000.
- Region 7 (Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties, city of Fairfax): The Centurion Innovation Hub will allow Centurion to accelerate development of startup tech companies. The project was awarded $1.68 million.
- Region 8 (Augusta, Bath, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham and Shenandoah counties, Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro): The Scale-up the Valley project focuses on growing small companies that have grown past the startup stage. The project was awarded $50,000.
- Region 8 (Bath, Highland, Page, Rockingbridge, Rockingham and Shenandoah counties, Staunton): The Industrial Hemp Initiative Phase 1 project will allow James Madison University to lead an economic landscape analysis and agricultural data gathering of industrial hemp growing. The project was awarded $53,630.
- Region 8 (Augusta, Bath, Highland, Page and Rockingham counties): The Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Enterprise Center Feasibility Study project will allow the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission to conduct a study on building a shared-use agricultural center. The project was awarded $85,000.
More information about the projects is available via the DHCD.