Adopts Criteria for Regional Councils to Become Certified

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Mark Hubbard December 5, 2016 (804) 385-3772 cell GO Virginia Sets Regional Boundaries Adopts Criteria for Regional Councils to Become Certified RICHMOND – GO Virginia (, the initiative to create more higher-paying jobs in Virginia through business-led regional collaboration, took a significant step forward today as its board moved to adopt nine clearly defined regional boundaries for collaboration. The GO Virginia Board also approved guidelines which provide the process for Regional Councils to form in each of the nine areas. The regional council guidelines adopted today include carefully considered criteria that will ensure each Regional Council is diverse, private sector lead, broadly representative of the region, and allow for the differences and uniqueness of each region of the Commonwealth. In considering what is representative for a Regional Council, each Region is required to consider its own unique factors including economic sectors, education, geography, and demographic makeup. The guidelines are reflective of the intent and spirit of GO Virginia: a private sector led initiative with a focus on recruiting the talent needed by the region; growing existing businesses and developing existing clusters; scaling up small and mid‐size companies; establishing start‐ups from commercializing research and supporting entrepreneurs; and looking for potential joint economic development activities to generate investment and higher paying jobs that lead to growth of Commonwealth’s economy. “We are pleased to announce these guidelines and criteria which are the initial steps toward bringing regional representatives together to work toward our common goal of making Virginia the best place in the country to create higher paying jobs and do business,” Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board Chairman John O. “Dubby” Wynne said. “Throughout this process we will work to ensure that each region is well-represented based on its specific attributes and needs. We look forward to working with the regions to get the councils set up so we can get to work on leveraging the power of private sector collaboration to build a vibrant Virginia economy of the 21st century.” The guidelines and regional boundaries adopted today implement and compliment the enabling legislation [House Bill 834 and Senate Bill 449], and were created through an extensive process
over the course of several months, with discussion and feedback from stakeholders and consideration and review of public comments. The guidelines are intended to provide a general framework for the formation and certification of Regional Councils that will apply for grants from the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Fund. The Regions are as follows: Region 1: Southwest Virginia Region 2: Roanoke/New River/Lynchburg Region 3: Southside Region 4: Greater Richmond Region 5: Hampton Roads Region 6: Greater Fredericksburg Region 7: Northern Virginia Region 8: Shenandoah Valley Region 9: Greater Charlottesville Specific information on regions and regional council guidelines can be found at The board will convene again to continue its work in March 2017. Background: The Regional Councils are the entities through which the statewide GO Virginia Board will receive project recommendations and reports as well as ensure accountability for the use of funds used to support projects endorsed by individual Councils. The intent of the regional structure is to provide an incentive for regions to collaborate in order to diversify the economy and create higher paying jobs in the region. Before a region may apply for grant funding, the GO Virginia Board must certify the Council for that region. These guidelines provide the process for Regional Councils to form and become certified. About the GO Virginia coalition: The coalition is comprised of business and community leaders, partners in education and government, and interested Virginians from across the Commonwealth who support regional cooperation on private-sector growth, job creation, and career readiness. Bipartisan and business-led, the coalition favors state incentives to encourage collaboration among business, education, and government in each region, providing a framework for implementation of the private sector-focused strategies of leading business organizations and political leaders in both parties. Learn more and join the coalition at ###


For Immediate Release


Gena McGroarty