GO Virginia Board Approves Second Round Of Grants
RICHMOND— The GO Virginia Board announced today its second round of project grants for initiatives to grow and diversify regional economies across the state. There have now been 18 projects in total with over $5 million in state funds approved by the board which will help create more higher-paying jobs across the commonwealth. In addition to the state’s initial investment, these projects have also leveraged $8.5 million from other sources to assist with GO Virginia’s economic diversification efforts.
GO Virginia Board Chairman John O. “Dubby” Wynne said, “GO Virginia’s momentum continues as nine more projects were approved today, with 4 additional projects moving forward under an administrative approval process. It is exciting to see more regional collaboration for economic development occurring in nearly every corner of our Commonwealth. With this second round of projects approved, GO Virginia continues to make progress in addressing our state’s economic challenges and in lifting up our communities. We look forward to carrying out this important work to boost Virginia’s economy and create more higher-paying jobs over the next months and years.”
- VCU Pharmaceutical Accelerator
This project will help to create a large scale, sustainable pharmaceutical manufacturing cluster, with research activity based in Richmond and pharmaceutical manufacturing in Petersburg, through a unique partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and several private sector partners. Building from the recently created Medicines for All Institute (M4ALL) at VCU’s School of Engineering and a series of significant grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this project has the potential to lower the cost of developing pharmaceuticals needed to prevent diseases around the world.
- 757 Seed Fund
This project will help initiate the 757 Seed Fund in Hampton Roads by covering the effort’s administrative and operational costs. The 757 Seed Fund fills a gap in Hampton Roads’ existing entrepreneurial pathway by providing seed-stage investments in promising technology startups. Such investments are essential to job growth and to commercialize research from the region’s universities and federal labs.
- Hampton Roads Unmanned Systems Facility
The Hampton Roads Unmanned Systems Facility (HRUSF) will provide a multi-purpose facility for use by public institutions, private companies, and individuals to develop, test, and demonstrate various surface, aerial, and underwater unmanned systems at a newly developed site in York County, Virginia. The facility represents unique collaboration among the 17 local governments in the Hampton Roads Region to generate new jobs in this emerging industry.
- Hollyleaf Grading
This project will allow GO Virginia Region 2 to create a pad-ready site to accommodate new industrial development in the region. The local support for this project also represents a unique collaboration and shared vision by nine localities in Region 2, along with two other local partners that are outside the region, to create more higher-paying jobs.
- Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority (WVRIFA) Wood Haven Road Water and Sewer Infrastructure Enhancement Project
This project will improve site readiness and marketability in GO Virginia Region 2 by making water and sewer utility connections to the 109 acre site being developed at the intersection of Interstates 81 and 581. This is a joint project among the cities of Roanoke and Salem, along with Roanoke County, to have sites shovel-ready for future business prospects.
- CCAM Apprentice Academy
This project will serve to expand GO Virginia Region 4’s advanced manufacturing workforce development ecosystem by providing two new pilot apprenticeship programs at CCAM: the Mechatronics Workforce Training Center and the New Transitioning Military Program. Once fully operational, CCAM’s Apprentice Academy will graduate approximately 200 students a year in mechatronics, machining, and welding to create a pipeline of these workers to fill jobs across the region.
- Region 2 Talent Collaborative
The GO Virginia Region 2 Talent Collaborative will serve all 18 local jurisdictions in the region to stimulate the region’s economic growth by closing the skill and interest gaps in middle-to-high skilled occupations in manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology.
- GO-TEC Talent Collaborative
The Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO-TEC) project will expand existing curriculum offered by six higher education partners in Region 3, build a regional training system of scale for career training for careers in IT and focused areas in advanced manufacturing, and will develop a pipeline beginning in middle school to increase the number of students entering the targeted five training areas of need (Precision Machining; Welding; IT/Cyber Security; Robotics, Automation & Mechatronics; and Advanced Materials).
- Rockbridge Area Advanced Manufacturing Project (RAAMP)
With light manufacturing being a target industry sector for Region 8, this project will serve to supply talent to fill that industry sector. Through a partnership with Byers Technical Institute (BTI), RAAMP will produce highly skilled laborers in the region, with a particular emphasis on welding and other high-demand occupations. Students graduating from this 40-week program will receive both an industry recognized skills credential and a diploma.
Projects moving forward under administrative approval process:
- Capital Ecosystem Development
The Capital Ecosystem Development project will allow GO Virginia’s Region 2 to study the region’s current resources to grow new businesses and develop a formal “Capital Pathways Regional Plan” leading to new initiatives to secure more venture capital investment.
- Pamunkey Net Business Plan
This project will assist Region 6 in the design and implementation of a sustainable business model for high-speed broadband delivery to underserved areas of the region. The lack of such service has long been an obstacle to business development in the region.
- Flexible Office Space Pre-development Study
A lack of modern office space in the Northern Neck region (Region 6) has long been a barrier for the region to attract new businesses. This grant will support a pre-development study to allow the counties of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland to partner and begin the development of a 20,000 square foot flexible, multi-tenant office building in Montross, Virginia, thus spurring the growth of the professional services sector.
- Stopping the Brain Drain: Talent Attraction and Retention Action Plan Development and Implementation
This project is focused on developing a strong, proactive talent program and strategy to stop the trend of top-tier talent leaving Region 2. The project will be conducted in tandem with talent attraction and recruitment efforts of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, Onward NRV, and the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance to retain students educated in the region to increase the number of high-skill job opportunities.
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 www.govirginia.org.