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$9M in GO Virginia grants to spur economic recovery, support long-term growth

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Gov. Ralph Northam has announced two allocations of Growth and Opportunity for Virginia grants, totaling more than $9 million, that will go to support more than 30 local, regional and statewide projects.

The first allocation of more than $7.8 million will support 11 regional projects and two statewide projects. The funding will help advance innovative workforce development initiatives designed to expand employment in the technology and maritime sectors and grow Virginia’s portfolio of business-ready sites.

The grant awards will leverage an additional $15 million in non-state resources to support ongoing recovery and economic diversification efforts throughout Virginia.

The second allocation of over $1.4 million was awarded to 19 projects through the new Economic Resilience and Recovery Program that created by the GO Virginia Board in April to quickly deploy resources that will help communities mitigate the economic impacts of the state response to COVID-19 pandemic.

Information on the projects receiving funding through this program is available here.

“The GO Virginia program continues to demonstrate how regional collaboration can give rise to innovative projects that deliver real economic impact, especially during challenging times like those we face right now,” Northam said. “These projects will increase workforce capacity, enhance Virginia’s competitive business environment, and support our ongoing efforts to build resilient communities that are well-positioned for future success and growth.”

“The projects are a testament to the GO Virginia Regional Councils’ leadership and their ability to respond to our current crisis while remaining committed to the program mission of growing regional economies and creating good jobs for Virginians,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We celebrate these grantees and their innovative projects that will transform the business landscape, both during this period of pandemic recovery and as we continue working to diversify Virginia’s economy.”

“The recent efforts of the GO Virginia program illustrate how the Commonwealth can focus on critical short-term economic needs and continue to invest in transformational, long-term economic growth,” said the chairman of the GO Virginia State Board Tom Farrell. “These grants represent a combination of ingenuity and resilience during a time of continued challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 138 projects and awarded approximately $43.8 million to support regional economic development efforts. More information about the GO Virginia program can be found here.

The GO Virginia Board includes key members of the Governor’s cabinet, the business community, and the General Assembly.

2020 Round Three Statewide Grant Awards

Virginia Small Business Development Center Cash Match 2020-2021


The Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will expand its services for small businesses by providing matching funds required to access the full funding available from the Small Business Administration (SBA), which has a 1:1 match requirement with 50 percent cash.

Virtual Virginia Workforce

$1,500,000 (Phase I skills gap analysis authorized)

Region 4: 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

Region 5: Counties of Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, and York and the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg

Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC), Battel College of Engineering, and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) will conduct a skills gap analysis and develop state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing training programs using augmented reality and simulation.

2020 Round Three Regional Grant Awards

Ignite Tech Talent Pipeline


Region 1: 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 United Way of Southwest Virginia will develop a talent pipeline of IT workers that will assess employer needs, align curriculum, provide career guidance for young people, expand internship experiences, and increase the secondary and post-secondary education systems’ capacity to prepare students for information technology occupations.

William King Museum of Art – Digital Workforce Development


Region 1: Counties of Smyth and Washington and the town of Abingdon

The William King Museum of Art will develop a Digital Art Laboratory to provide a novel approach to digital design training. Students will have access to the most current designer software and 3-D prototyping equipment available, making their skills more valuable to companies.

Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority (RIFA) Project Intersection


Region 1: Counties of Dickenson, Lee, Scott, and Wise and the city of Norton

The Lonesome Pine RIFA will develop and repurpose a former 188-acre mine site in Norton. The site will provide four site-ready pad locations to include associated infrastructure, site-work, access roads, and amenities.

Experiential Learning in Tech Employment (ELITE) Internship Program


Region 2: Montgomery County and the city of Roanoke

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC) will provide internship opportunities for students earning a software developer degree at a regional four-year university and connect them with small-based technology companies that do not have the expertise or capacity to manage an internship program.

Amherst Lynchburg Site Readiness


Region 2: Counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell, the city of Lynchburg, and the town of Amherst

The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance (LRBA) will advance a portfolio of six existing commercial and industrial sites along the site readiness scale to at least Tier 3 for the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program (VBRSP).

New River Valley COVID-19 Business Continuity Team


Region 2: Counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski and the city of Radford

The New River Valley Regional Commission (NRVRC) will provide employers impacted by COVID-19 with 24/7 technical assistance from the Business Continuity Team (BCT) related to public relations and messaging, facility cleaning, certification of best practices, and coordination of on-site testing.

Hampton Roads Workforce Council Talent Pipeline Implementation Project


Region 5: Counties of Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, and York and the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC) will lead a comprehensive, data-driven approach to build a target-talent pipeline for the maritime industry in the Hampton Roads region. The initiative will include extensive employer engagement, aligning higher education curriculum and mandatory job requirements, on-the-job and incumbent worker training, regional apprenticeships, military and veteran outreach, college student engagement and graduate retention, talent portal development, soft skills development, and a workforce development alliance.

Hampton Roads Economic Development Sites Readiness Program


Region 5: Isle of Wight County and the cities of Newport News and Virginia Beach

The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) will advance a portfolio for three existing sites along the site readiness scale to a Tier 4 for the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program (VBRSP).

Germanna Community College Tech Talent Pipeline


Region 6: Counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford and the city of Fredericksburg

The Germanna Community College Foundation will develop tech talent career pathways for more than 200 middle and high school students and adults seeking computer science, cyber-related, and engineering occupations. The initiative will create a new Engineering Technology-Mechatronics two-year certificate program and a Computer Science and Cyber Pathway.

Governor’s Health Sciences Academy Community Medi-corps Program


Region 7: Arlington County and the city of Alexandria

The new Governor’s Health Sciences Academy Community Medi-corps Program will engage and prepare students for career pathways in the biomedical, lab sciences, and pharmaceutical industries. George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus, in partnership with the Arlington Public Schools and the Alexandria Governor’s Health Sciences Academy, will create a mobile Immersive Learning Center that will provide state-of-the-art technology, simulation, and virtual hands-on activities, combined with work-based learning to streamline entry points into the region’s health sciences workforce. This initiative introduces an expanded use of curriculum, mentoring, internships, resources, and the introduction of a mobile Immersive Learning Center for Alexandria City Public Schools and Arlington Public Schools students through leveraged partnerships with business, industry, and higher education expertise.

Northern Virginia Biosciences Center


Region 7: Counties of Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William and the city of Manassas

Prince William County will support the development of a 30,000- square-foot, state-of the-art wet lab facility to attract new life sciences companies to the region and provide step-up spaces to existing life sciences companies that are outgrowing the Prince William County Life Sciences Accelerator.

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