Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced $1.9 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia grant awards for eight projects on Friday.
The GO Virginia program leads the charge in advancing regional economic growth and diversification by enabling cooperative projects that tap into workforce enhancement, cluster expansion, innovative business initiatives and site development tactics.
“As we grow Virginia’s economy, Virginia’s workforce must grow with it, and GO Virginia continues to foster innovative solutions to these distinct regional challenges,” Youngkin said in a statement in a press release from his office. “By investing in our workforce and removing barriers to success, we are propelling the growth of targeted industries and clearing pathways for sustainable employment.”
In addition to the awarded GO Virginia funding, the eight awarded projects will leverage an additional $1.3 million in local and non-state funding.
Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 285 projects and awarded approximately $116 million to support regional economic development efforts.
To learn more about the GO Virginia program, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/gova.
GO Virginia grant projects
Appomattox Christian Academy Classical and Career and Technical Education Academy Welding Program | $565,000
Region 2: Appomattox County and the towns of Appomattox and Pamplin
Appomattox County, in partnership with Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) and the Appomattox Christian Academy, will support the needs of area manufacturing firms by developing additional capacity for career and technical education in the region through a new facility for welding training. The facility would focus on meeting demand for welding courses not currently met through the existing CVCC training centers, and CVCC will offer students the opportunity to receive portable credentials in welding and pipefitting at the facility.
Promoting Careers in Aquaculture 2.0 | $302,536
Regions 5 and 6: Counties of Gloucester, Lancaster, Mathews, Northampton, Richmond and York, and the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg
Virginia Tech, in partnership with the public-school systems of participating localities, will address the aquaculture industry’s need for skilled, dedicated employees by training students through online learning modules, a one-week, hands-on education immersion summer course and 75-hour internship placements with local aquaculture businesses.
Rappahannock Community College New Career Training Center | $290,000
Region 6: Counties of Essex, Gloucester, Lancaster and Middlesex
The Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation (RCC EFI) will expand dual enrollment opportunities for students in participating localities through the renovation and repurposing of a centralized Career Training Center to house a Diesel Mechanics Program, HVAC Program and Welding Program. Rappahannock Community College will renovate a building into a Career Training Center that will offer evening classes for adult students and day classes for dual enrollment students.
Appalachian Council for Innovation Talent Pathways Initiative | $250,000
Region 1: Counties of Dickenson, Russell and Wise
The Appalachian Council for Innovation will define talent pathways for the Region 1 targeted industry clusters by partnering with GENEDGE Alliance, Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing, and the Appalachian Council of Business Leaders. This partnership will serve as the core team and will convene at least ten roundtables across the Region 1 footprint to gather feedback that will be incorporated into the final project deliverables.
Region 4 Talent Pathways Initiative Planning | $250,000
Region 4: Counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico and Prince George, and the cities of Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond
Brightpoint Community College will define talent pathways for the Region 4 information technology and advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing industries. The Region 4 Council selected Brightpoint Community College to serve as the industry cluster talent coordinating entity for the project, building on proven models from past GO Virginia work in the region’s targeted industries to create and leverage regional alliances to guide and validate findings for the Talent Pathways Initiative Program.
Wine Industry Planning Grant | $100,000
Region 9: Counties of Albemarle, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange, the city of Charlottesville and the town of Culpeper
Nelson County will study barriers to growth and expansion of the regional wine industry, particularly around exports out of the state and deliver recommendations on how to best address barriers. The study will engage stakeholders and business-led coalitions to validate findings around various parts of the production process. This project will fill a current knowledge gap in the food and beverage manufacturing industry in the region and provide an action plan to more fully develop the industry cluster.
New River Valley Materials and Machinery Cluster Scale-Up | $98,859
Region 2: Counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski, and the city of Radford
The New River Valley Regional Commission will provide a 10-year roadmap for supporting materials and machinery industry scale-up in the New River Valley. This will be accomplished through building the capacity of the coalition to grow the cluster through regular discussions and planning, regional assets and resources that could support industry scale-up and identifying and prioritizing unique projects that could support ecosystem growth and the transformation of the cluster.
Empower Black Entrepreneurs Accelerator Pilot Program | $98,438
Region 6: King George County and the city of Fredericksburg
The Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce will provide resources for Black-owned businesses to scale operations through an accelerator program to include resources and mentorship, addressing the challenges businesses face due to limited access to capital, insufficient networking opportunities and lack of business education.