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News & Press: 2018 Economic Development News

Your March GO Virginia newsletter is here!

Monday, April 2, 2018  
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Check out updates from the Growth & Opportunity Board and Regional Councils.



Your GO Virginia Board & Regional Updates


This month's newsletter will include updates from the board, the regional councils and details about upcoming events. Click below to jump to a specific section or continue reading to see all content included in this edition.




Board UpdatesBoard_Updates


On Feb. 13, 2018, the GO Virginia board met to approvenine Per Capita Grant applications, totaling $2,618,000 in grants.



Upcoming EventsUpcomingEvents


April 10, 1 p.m.

GO VA Board Meeting

House Room 1,Capitol Building

1000 Bank Street, Richmond


April 11, 9 a.m.-noon (Click HERE to register)

GO VA How-to-Apply Workshop

University of Richmond Robins School of Business

Ukrop Auditorium, Queally Hall

1 Gateway Road, Richmond




Region OneRegion1


Region One includes the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe and the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton. The Region One Council is led by Mike Quillen as chair, Ron McCall as vice chair and UVA-Wise is the support organization, led by Shannon Blevins.

Region One's How-to-Apply workshop held on March 15, 2018.


Project Solicitation

The GO Virginia Region One Council held the first how-to-apply workshop in the region on March 15. Eager to learn of the funding opportunity, 22 individuals from across a variety of organizations attended the workshop at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon. Shannon Blevins with UVA-Wise gave an overview of the Region One Economic Growth and Diversification Plan and outlined instructions on how to apply for the funding. Three more workshops will be held in Duffield on April 16, Richlands on April 24, and Wytheville on April 30. To learn more about Region One GO Virginia or to register for Region One's how-to-apply workshops, clickHERE.


In the News

Check out the link below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region One:


GO Virginia regional chairman says SW Va's economy faces 'serious challenges'



Region TwoRegion2


Region Two includes the counties of Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedgord, Botetourt, Campbell, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and Roanoke and the cities of Covington, Lynchburg, Radford, Roanoke and Salem. The Region Two Council is led by Raymond Smoot as chair, Ab Boxley as vice chair and supported by the Office of Economic Development (OED) at Virginia Tech, led by John Provo.


Approved Projects

The GO Virginia Board met on Feb. 13, approving three Per Capita Grant projects submitted by the Region Two Council, totaling $650,000.


Region Two Talent Collaborativeproject was awarded $300,000 in GO Virginia funds. This project addresses the skills and interest gaps in middle- and high-skill occupations in manufacturing, health care and information technology. The project includes a campaign to increase awareness and interest in these industries, and the creation of existing worker-training program to up-skillexisting employees into higher-skilled vacant jobs.

Council members and attendees listen to a presentation at the February Region Two Council meeting.


Project Hollyleaf Site Gradingproject was awarded $150,000 in GO Virginia funds.This project improves a 20-acre industrial parcel in the New River Valley Commerce Park in order to upgrade the site from Tier 4 to Tier 5 Business Steady Site Certification through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). The property will accommodate a 90,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, which is currently the final Virginia site in consideration for an international manufacturing prospect.


Wood Haven Road Water and Sewer Infrastructure Enhancementproject was awarded $200,000 in GO Virginia funds.This project improves the site readiness and marketability of an industrial site near the intersection of Routes 81 and 581 that will accommodate a 52-acre pad and a 20-acre pad. The scope of the work includes the necessary water and sewer utility extensions and connections to prepare the site for development.


Two of Region Two's project applications were administratively approved as Enhanced Capacity Building projects, totaling $142,507 as part of their Per Capita Grants.


Capital Ecosystem Developmentproject was administratively approved for $77,207 in GO Virginia funds.This enhanced capacity-building project will include a two-year strategic planning process to assess weaknesses in the current capital landscape that inhibit entrepreneurship and the commercialization of regional research that would lead to greater economic prosperity in the region.


Stopping the Brain Drain Strategy Developmentproject was administratively approved for $65,300 in GO Virginia funds.This enhanced capacity-building project will create a talent attraction and retention plan in order to help reduce out-migration of recent graduates from the region's 25 colleges and universities. GO Virginia funds will be used to identify the region's challenges through surveys, focus groups and interviews to produce an action plan for recruiting and retaining talent.


In the News

Check out the link below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Two:


Hull: Mid-Size metros need curated, integrated strategies to survive and to thrive

Localities get to work as company considers large facility in Pulaski County



Southern Virginia GO (Region Three)Region_3


Region Three, or SoVaGO, includes the counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Prince Edward and the cities of Danville and Martinsville. The Region Three Council is led by Charles Majors as chair and Randy Lail as vice chair.The region is supported by the Southside Planning District Commission (SPDC), led by Gail Moody with consultant services provided by The Riverlink Group (Liz Povar, Principal).


Related Activities

A Virginia Department of Transportation grant to support the potential development of a shell building at the Heartland Industrial Park is moving forward.Heartland Park is conveniently located on Highway 360, a four-lane east-west highway. The park has paved infrastructure with water, sewer, power and high-speed internet. For more information, click HERE.


Halifax County introduced the Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center and Commission.The Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center's mission will be to accelerate biomedical research through advanced methods and highest-speed bio-data collection and analysis facilitated by the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) 1.2TBPS network, which was originally funded by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.

Project solicitation interviews held in February.


Approved Projects

The GO Virginia board met on February 13, approving one Per Capita Grant project submitted by the Region Three Council. A total of $648,000 was awarded to theGreat Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO-TEC) project.This project will expand existing curriculum offered by six higher education partners to build a regional training system of scale for careers in IT and focused areas of advanced manufacturing, beginning with middle school students. The project targets five regional training areas of need: precision machining, welding, IT/cybersecurity, robotics/mechatronics/automation and advanced materials.


Project Solicitation

Region Three issued contracts for fast-track strategic sector assessments that align with its Economic Growth and Diversification Plan. These assessments and strategies will be completed over the next three months and will result in building foundations for strong project applications:

  1. GENEDGE will lead the High Value Wood Products assessment, which will include development of strategies, approaches and potential projects that will result in the highest probability of outcomes for areas of critical need as defined in the Region Three's Economic Growth and Diversification Plan.
  2. The Institute For Advanced Learning will lead the apprenticeship assessment, which will include enabling the building of networks across the region that will result in partnerships that focus on one or more of three priority areas: cyber technology, advanced manufacturing and materials and health care. The following strategies will help prioritize workforce alignment in these priority clusters:
    • Designing a career pathway
    • Developing a model for work-based learning in the priority areas, deployable across the region
    • Designing an approach to incentivize the development, retention and attraction of talent
    • Developing an approach that demonstrates leverage of the Mid-Atlantic Middle-Mile backbone as a tool for workforce talent and retention

For more information on Region Three's solicitation process for round two of project grant applications, click HERE.


In the News

Check out the links below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Three:


Go Virginia takes more applications for Region 3 projects

Grant awarded for student training




GROW Capital Jobs (Region Four)Region4


Region Four includes the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, Surry and Sussex and the cities of Colonial Heights, Emporia, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond. The Region Four Council is led by William Goodwin Jr. as chair, John Luke Jr. as vice chair and supported by the Grow Capital Jobs Foundation, a newly formed 501(c)(3), led by Wilson Flohr.


Council Meeting Highlights

At the Feb. 6 GROW Capital Jobs Regional Council meeting, Council Chair Bill Goodwin appointed a special committee consisting of council members Sherrie Armstrong, John Luke and Carrie Roth to refine the strategy of project identification and selection in the context of the region's Growth and Diversification Plan priorities.


The committee met with the foundation staff and consultant Bob Holsworth on Feb. 12 to facilitate and coordinate the following goals and action items:

Council members Victor Branch, Sherrie Armstrong and Carrie Roth discuss agenda items during the February 6 council meeting.

  1. Ensure council is focused on regional projects that meet strategies from the Growth and Diversification Plan and are complimentary with other projects to generate the greatest growth of high paying jobs for our region.
  2. Ensure input and support is provided by local jurisdictions and to help identify projects that are consistent with or can be integrated with the region's Growth and Diversification Plan.
  3. Improve process to gain faster approval for future projects through lessons learned in CCAM and VCU project approval experience.
  4. Generate additional projects for Ccouncil consideration.

Approved Projects

The GO Virginia Board met on Feb. 13, approving two Per Capita Grant projects submitted by the GROW Capital Jobs Council. The funding included $500,000 for the VCU Pharmaceutical Commercialization Program and $430,000 for the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) Apprentice Academy.


The VCU Pharmaceutical Commercialization Programproject will develop andaccelerate the commercialization of technology arising from the Medicines for All Program at the VCU School of Engineering. Within three years, it is projected that the pharmaceutical commercialization activity will contribute significantly to job creation in the region. This project will help set the cornerstone of an advanced manufacturing cluster to develop and commercialize equipment and processes that are projected to fundamentally change how drugs are manufactured and distributed.

The CCAM Apprentice Academyproject will address the growing need for workforce development, empower regional manufacturers and raise the national profile of Virginia as a place to do business. CCAM will partner with John Tyler Community College to create pilot programs for mechatronics at the CCAM Apprentice Academy in Prince George County, which will serve businesses throughout the entire region. The CCAM Apprentice Academy will represent a progressive and proactive approach to workforce development within Region Four and the Commonwealth.


In the News

Check out the link below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region GROW Capital Jobs:


GO Virginia approved two grants totaling $930,000 for projects in Richmond and Tri-Cities regions

Carrie Roth: RVA's startup culture is good but not great



Reinvent Hampton Roads (Region Five)Region_5


Region Five includes the counties of Accomack, Franklin, Isle of Wright, James City, Northampton, Southampton and York and the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg. The Region Five Council is led by Thomas Frantz as chair and Anne Conner as vice chair.Region Five's support organization, Reinvent Hampton Roads, was created as a 501(c)(3) to support the efforts of the Region Five Council, led by President and CEO Jim Spore and Executive Vice President Donna Morris.


Related Activities

Reinvent Hampton Roads (RHR) has also been working on the development of the Economic Development and Port Opportunities Analysis, the Regional Economic Development Sites for Hampton Roadsand the Situational Analysis Hampton Roads Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.


The Economic Development and Port Opportunities Analysiswas published in December 2017. CBRE Consulting team undertook a deep dive in an effort to understand and analyze all the various factors associated with economic development site selection with the Port of Virginia. The effort involved individual analyses that identified the relative strengths and weaknesses of multiple MSAs across the commonwealth of Virginia as well as the port region itself. The full report can be seen HERE.


The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) and RHR are working together to identify large, shovel-ready sites which are limited in the region and the full range of infrastructure that is required to support site development. Led by HRPDC, the effort will create a comprehensive Regional Economic Development Sites Inventory for Hampton Roads, which isexpected to be made public later in the year.


Realizing that long-term economic growth is tied to a region's ability to foster innovation, RHR and 757 Angels initiated the Situational Analysis of the Hampton Roads Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, published in December 2017. The full report can be seen HERE.

Left to right - Donna Morris, Reinvent Hampton Roads; U.S. Senator Tim Kaine; Tiffany Brannon, Reinvent Hampton Roads; and Dubby Wynne, Chair of GO Virginia Board and Reinvent Hampton Roads, meet to discuss GO Virginia.


Approved Projects

The GO Virginia board met on Feb. 13, approving two Per Capita Grant projects submitted by the Region Five Council. The funding included $140,000 for the 757 Seed Fund and $150,000 for Hampton Roads Unmanned Systems Park.


The 757 Seed Fundproject will establish the administrative structure for a new fund to provide seed-stage investments to Virginia's most compelling innovation-based, high-growth companies. The creation of a new seed fund to complement the work of the 757 Angels will help to build critical mass of quality investable companies necessary to establish an innovation economy in the Hampton Roads region.


The Hampton Roads Unmanned Systems Facility (HRUSF) project will facilitate the initial steps needed to establish a new facility that will provide an open area and infrastructure for use by public institutions, private companies and individuals to develop, test and demonstrate unmanned systems. The goals of the first funded phase is to:

  1. Establish a new Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA) governance structure for cost and revenue sharing
  2. Prepare architectural and engineering plan that will cover the scope of the development

In the News

Check out the links below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Reinvent Hampton Roads:


757 Launch celebrates three new resources for Hampton Roads entrepreneurs

Cyber security educational opportunities aim to keep up with job demand



Mary Ball Washington Regional Council (Region Six)Region_6


The Mary Ball Washington Regional Council governs GO Virginia Region Six, which covers the Fredericksburg area, the Northern Neck and the Middle Peninsula (Planning Districts 16, 17 and 18). This region includes the counties of Caroline, Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland and the city of Fredericksburg. The council is led by William Beale as chair and Carlton Revere as vice chair. The George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC) Planning District Commission for Planning District 16, is thesupport organization and fiscal agent for the regional council, which is led by Tim Ware and Kate Gibson.


Approved Projects

Two enhanced capacity building projects from Region Six were administratively approved, totaling $100,000. Both of these projects were part of Region Six's Per Capita Grants.


The PamunkeyNet Business Plan project will receive a $50,000 GO Virginia Enhanced Capacity Building Grant to create a new business enterprise owned by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe to deliver high-speed broadband to underserved areas of Region Six. GO Virginia funds will be utilized for the development of of a business plan and the creation of a new legal enterprise owned by the Pamunkey Tribe, which will serve as a conduit to currently untapped federal resources for broadband development. State broadband resources previously deployed in the region resulted in broadband infrastructure plans, but a business plan is still vital to the region's ability to seek any available resources for broadband implementation.


The Flexible Office Space Due Diligence project will receive a $50,000 GO Virginia Enhanced Capacity Building Grant to complete due diligence for a new 20,000-square-foot flexible, multi-tenant office building in the town of Montross.The new facility will be one of the only office spaces of its size and quality in the Northern Neck according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), which fielded six prospect inquiries for this type of space in the last 12 months for which no appropriate space was available. GO Virginia funds will be utilized for due diligence activities including a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment, Threatened and Endangered Species Review, Archaeological and Architectural Review, geographic and topographic surveys, and schematic site and building designs.


Project Solicitation

Region Six is currently vetting a workforce development project for an upcoming Per Capita application cycle and will be accepting additional applications beginning May 1.


In the News

Check out the links below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and the Mary Ball Washington Region:


Local broadband plan wins state board approval

Column: GO Virginia is off and running



GO Northern VA Council (Region Seven)Region_7


The GO Northern VA Council (GO NOVA) (Region Seven), includes the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park. The GO NOVA Council is led by Carolyn Parent as chair, Matt MCQueen as vice chair and supported by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) and contract support from Sue Rowland with SR Consulting Inc.Prior to contracting with the NVRC, GO NOVAutilized contract services with an interim director.These services were provided by Martha Marshall.


Project Solicitation

The GO Northern VA Council is strategically realigningimplementation activities under its Economic Growth and Diversification Plan to best utilize the GO Virginia funds available to this region.


In addition to the three projects already awarded in Region Seven by the GO Virginia Board in February, the council is particularly interested in promoting the "tech talent pipeline" model.This model works well to promote development of skilled workforce talent by targeting potential workers from high school to experienced workers and veterans.In its examination of the model, the council expects to focus awards toward two to three "markers" along the pipeline that would most quickly fill the 30,000 jobs currently open,directing worker skill sets toward high-demand cybersecurity jobs.


"Rather than competing with each other for the few workers already here, this strategy will allow tech industries in northern Virginia to grow the workforce pool within the region more quickly.This region has the greatest number of veterans anywhere in the country, and we plan to use GO Virginia funds to capitalize on that asset,"Council Chair Carolyn Parent said.


In the News

Check out the links below to see press releases and what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Seven:


Legislators Predict New Conversations, Compromise in General Assembly



Region EightRegion_8

Region Eight includes the counties of Augusta, Bath, Clarke, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren and the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, Waynesboro and Winchester. The Region Eight Council is led by George Pace as chair and Chris Kyle as vice chair. The Region Eight Council is currently being supported by four support organizations, which include Shenandoah Valley Partnership (SVP), Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC), Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission (NSVRC) and Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board (SVWDB).


Council Meeting Highlights

At its most recent council meeting, Region Eight was pleased to approve the formation of an ad hoc group composed of regional economic development professionals. This group will encourage more community engagement while working to solicit project ideas for submission to the council. It was also decided at this council meeting to include a "visioning session" as part of meetings going forward to allow opportunity for more creative thinking.


The Region Eight Council also decided to take a proactive stance on the issue of Interstate 81 improvements. The interstate is a critical strategic asset for the commonwealth, particularly for businesses in Region Eight. With consensus from the council, Chairman Pace composed a letter to legislators and VDOT officials expressing support for implementing a prioritized, long-term plan to address the improvements needed on Interstate 81 to relieve congestion and increase safety.


Approved Projects

The GO Virginia Board met on Feb. 13, approving one Per Capita project submitted by the Region Eight Council. A total of $100,000 was awarded to the Rockbridge Area Advanced Manufacturing Program (RAAMP) project.RAAMP is a 40-week training program for welders at Byers Technical Institute, a new technical training center in Rockbridge County. The project aims to address the critical shortage of skilled welders in the region.

A senior at Rockbridge County High School training at Byers Technical Institute.


The GO Virginia funding allows Byers Technical Institute to increase instructor hours and purchase necessary equipment to serve more students. The project had received support from a wide range of partners, including private industry, economic and workforce professionals, K-12 education and three local governments, as an effective way to address industry needs and to create higher paying jobs within the region.


"RAAMP will provide a pipeline of skilled welders for manufacturing companies in Region Eight. More welders will allow area industries to reduce the cost of outsourcing services and increase productivity. Additionally, expanding educational opportunities and the availability of a skilled workforce will help attract other industries to this rural area of Virginia," said George Pace, chair of the Region Eight Council.

Project Solicitation

A number of exciting project ideas have been circulated and several are anticipated to be submitted for upcoming applications. Also, the Region Eight support organizations have been working on a "media blast" to generate interest in the GO Virginia initiative and encourage more project submissions. Press releases, mass emails, website postings and newsletters have all been utilized. An infographicis currently being designed as an outreach tool about the application and implementation process.


In the News

Check out the links below to see press releases and what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Eight:


Byers Technical Institute get grant to help graduate more welders



Region NineRegion_9


GO Virginia Region Nine includes the counties of Albermarle, Culpepper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange and Rappahannock and the city of Charlottesville.The council is led by Brian Cole as chair, Tom Click as vice chair and supported by the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, led by Helen Cauthen.


Council Meeting Highlights

At its Jan. 3 meeting, the Region Nine Council added two GO Virginia proposal deadlines for Jan. 26 and Feb. 23 in order to maximize the project review opportunities in the region. Since that meeting, support organization staff have met with more than 15 groups to discuss potential projects related to Region Nine's Economic Growth and Diversification Plan. Most applicants indicate they plan to apply by the end of the fiscal year.


Related Activities

The Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, the Region Nine support organization, moved its offices to UVA Research Park on Feb. 1. The new location, north of the city of Charlottesville, more strategically locates the organization within the Region Nine footprint, increases visibility to new project partners and escalates synergies with one of the commonwealth's economic drivers, University of Virginia.

Region Nine Council members attend a presentation by Stephen Moret, President & CEO of VEDP.


Later in February, several Region Nine Council members attended a presentation by Stephen Moret, president and CEO of Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), presented at the VEDP board meeting.


Project Solicitation

The Region Nine Council has been vetting prospective projects the last several months and plans to push forward a workforce development project focused on up-skilling machinists and welders, to be considered at the April 10 GO Virginia board meeting.


In the News

Check out the links below to see press releases and what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Nine:


GO Virginia seeking proposals for regional economic development projects








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