State approves more than $780,000 for GO Virginia projects
Five grants totaling more than $780,000 have been awarded to Virginia economic development projects through the state’s Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) program, which is designed to strengthen and diversify regional economies.
The money will fund projects in the Roanoke-New River Valley area (GO Virginia Region 2), Southern Virginia (Region 3), Eastern Shore (Region 5) and Southwest Virginia (Region 1).
The largest grant, $300,000, will be used by Virginia Tech’s Office of Career and Professional Development to create regional hubs connecting local employers, students, Tech faculty and economic development officials. One goal of the grant is to develop a talent pipeline for employers in high-priority industry clusters.
Also in the Roanoke-New River area, a $246,800 grant will be used to develop a Blockchain Ecosystem Catalyst program through Virginia Tech. The project’s goal would be to expand the number of workers skilled in the use of blockchain and related systems.
In Southern Virginia, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp. and Longwood University’s Small Business Development Center will use a $100,000 grant to develop a strategy for improving the region’s environment for entrepreneurs.
In the Eastern Shore, the Eastern Shore Foundation will use a $85,117 grant to encourage entrepreneurship by providing broadband connected co-working space, startup support services and space for small-scale production.
In Southwest Virginia, a $50,000 grant will be used by InvestSWVA in partnership with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and Virginia Economic Development Partnership to evaluate potential sites in the region for data centers.