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Nine regional projects approved for GO Virginia grants

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Nine regional economic development projects are in line for more than $5.8 million in GO Virginia grants.

The grants – styled Growth and Opportunity for Virginia – favor projects that emphasize regional collaboration, and “encourage communities to think creatively about how to build talent pipelines in key industries, create good-paying jobs, and drive positive, long-term growth,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a news release.

The GO Virginia Board, which includes members of the governor’s cabinet, the General Assembly, and the business community, also approved a new policy that encourages GO Virginia regions to apply for future funding for site development and infrastructure projects of regional significance.

The policy was developed in partnership with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and focuses GO Virginia investments on projects that will grow each regions’ targeted industry sectors, as well as support the state’s economic development objectives.

“The range of economic development opportunities funded by these grants will have a tremendous impact on Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “As a result of these projects, the Commonwealth will have a more qualified workforce and resource-rich environment for both start-up and existing businesses, and the physical site and infrastructure investments to support new jobs.”

The GO Virginia grants will be used to implement projects that align with each region’s Growth and Diversification Plan. These locally-developed plans identify priority industry sectors and strategies based on each region’s assets.

Initiatives that advance strategies developed through the planning process are key in strengthening each region’s economy and creating better career opportunities for Virginians. The grant awards will leverage an additional $6.4 million in non-state resources to assist with economic diversification throughout Virginia.

“We are excited for this GO Virginia investment in Northern Virginia, especially towards the support of growing the computer science workforce pipeline and increasing technology business growth,” said Senator Janet Howell, a GO Virginia board member. “The work the GO Virginia regions are doing throughout Virginia is increasing our workforce talent development, building stronger businesses, and encouraging new economic growth in all areas of the Commonwealth.”

Since program inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 74 projects and awarded approximately $38 million to support regional economic development efforts.

Individuals interested in learning more about GO Virginia and activities in their region should visit the DHCD website.

2019 GO Virginia Round 4 Grant Awards

GO Virginia Region and Partnering Localities Project Name
Project Description



Region 4: Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico counties, and the city of Richmond CampusRVA –  Phase 2 ChamberRVA will develop a program to help area employers fill high-paying jobs with talent developed locally by promoting the Richmond region as a good place for young professionals, providing resources to move and assimilate to the region and implementing a job-matching platform. $500,000
Region 5: Cities of Hampton and Newport News Coastal Virginia Maritime Advancement Programs (COVA MAP) Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) will develop a Coastal Virginia Maritime Advancement Map (COVA MAP) that will engage industry partners and prospective students, identify workforce gaps, and develop an innovative and new framework (smart mobile devices) for delivering cutting-edge curriculum to support the maritime industry. $1,532,500


Region 9: Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville Biotech Innovation Cluster Growth CvilleBioHub will lead the growth and expansion of the biotechnology innovation cluster within the region. This initiative will serve the needs of existing companies through programming, the planning and design of a wet lab space, workforce training, and candidate matching opportunities. $548,000


Region 1: Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe counties, and the cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton Region 1 REI Coordinating Entity Opportunity SWVA, along with the University of Virginia College at Wise, will collaborate to develop the Launch SWVA Region 1 Strategy for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Investment. $80,000
Region 2: Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Botetourt, Campbell, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Roanoke counties, and the cities of Covington, Lynchburg, Radford, Roanoke, and Salem Region 2 Entrepreneurship Initiative


Valley Innovation Council (VIC) will coordinate and collaborate with stakeholders throughout Region 2 to develop the Region 2 Innovation and Entrepreneurial Investment Plan. VIC will map the regional ecosystem assets and develop strategies to attract entrepreneurship resources. $299,995
Region 5: Accomack, Franklin, Isle of Wright, James City, Northampton, Southampton, and York counties, and the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg REI: 757


757 Accelerate, in partnership with 757 Angels and E&M Consulting, will convene key stakeholders to conduct a gap analysis, develop best practices, and incorporate existing analyses to develop a comprehensive plan for the Region 5 entrepreneurial ecosystem. $266,667
Region 2: Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell counties, and the city of Lynchburg Central Virginia Training Center (CVTC) Redevelopment Plan The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance will create a redevelopment master plan for the former 350-acre Central Virginia Training Center (CVTC) site, located in Amherst County. $100,000
Region 4: Dinwiddie and Prince George counties, and the city of Petersburg Richard Bland College Aeronautics Program


Richard Bland College of William & Mary will create a business plan to develop key partnerships and establish an applied associate’s degree in Aeronautics with a stackable credential in small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). $50,000
Region 5: City of Chesapeake

Region 7: Loudoun County

Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline


The Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) will develop an immersive and integrated computer science curriculum in grades 6-12 in Loudoun County and Chesapeake City Public Schools. The two participating school systems will offer students an opportunity to learn computer science and computational thinking as part of the grades 6-12 core curriculum, culminating in capstone courses and experiential learning opportunities including internships at the high school level. $2,424,537
Total: $5,801,699

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