GO Virginia Projects Move Forward
RICHMOND – The GO Virginia Board announced yesterday its fourth round of project grants for initiatives to grow and diversify regional economies across the state. The GO Virginia Board approved 6 projects from across the state for a total of $788,143 in state funding. The Board also re-nominated John O. “Dubby” Wynne and Ben Davenport as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the GO Virginia Board, respectively.
Additionally, because many of the GO Virginia Regions identified joint-site development and growth of their start-up ecosystems as regional priorities, the Board advanced two studies to assess the current state of such initiatives in Virginia’s regions and to develop templates, based on best practices from around the country, for future project grants.
GO Virginia Board Chairman John O. “Dubby” Wynne said, “It is great to see regional stakeholders step forward and present projects to help shape Virginia’s economic future. We are seeing regional priorities tailored to each region’s economic strengths move forward through GO Virginia grants. We couldn’t be more pleased with the level of business and local government collaboration involved in efforts to create higher-paying jobs through GO Virginia.”
GO Virginia Board Vice Chairman Ben Davenport said, “The funding opportunities through GO Virginia are a real tool for the Commonwealth’s innovative localities and regions to use for economic and workforce development. Projects are starting to shift from regional ideas into regional action and our communities will continue to benefit from the hard work of the regional councils and other stakeholders involved with the GO Virginia Initiative.”
Board Approved Projects:
- Cyber-Security Workforce Development and Jobs Program – Region 8
This project will implement a new cyber security workforce development program through Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) focused on bringing cyber security jobs to the Shenandoah Valley. The project aims to spur regional growth in the high-wage, cyber security industry through the implementation of a new self-paced, non-credit training course. The project will produce new industry credentials (CompTIA Security+) that are not currently offered in the region. The Cities of Harrisonburg and Waynesboro provided the local match for this project.
- Crafting Higher Paying Jobs and Adult Beverage Exports – Region 9
This project will create a program through PVCC and Germanna Community College to train candidates in wine and cider making, craft brewing, and distilling. This program will establish a career pathway in the adult beverage manufacturing sector and will help to facilitate the scale-up of this growing industry cluster for the region. Nelson and Madison Counties provided the local match for this project.
- Welding Training Program – Region 6
This project will establish a new welding training facility to offer daytime courses through Rappahannock Community College (RCC) to train adult welders for employment at local businesses. RCC currently offers evening welding courses at the Northern Neck Technical Center, which are at capacity. During daytime hours, this facility is used for high school automotive training courses, so RCC has been unable to expand its welding courses. GO Virginia funds will be utilized by RCC to establish a new satellite training facility. The new facility will allow RCC to train additional cohorts with more students per cohort. Westmoreland County and Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Region Partnership, on behalf of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland Counties, provided the local match for this project.
Administratively Approved Projects:
- Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) Workgroups – Region 6
This planning grant will identify the key gaps in the Virginia economic development ecosystem surrounding water technologies and coastal resiliency. The outcome of the project will provide an operational framework for a multi‐regional water management economy. GO Virginia funds will be utilized to host a workshop with resiliency experts from Louisiana, and two planning meetings with key industry, government, higher education, and philanthropic organizations from existing resiliency efforts in Virginia. VASG, the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, and the Middle Peninsula Alliance will provide the match for this enhanced capacity building grant.
- Central Virginia Site Readiness Planning – Region 9
This planning grant will advance a portfolio of eight sites targeted for light manufacturing to at least a Tier 3 on the Virginia Business Readiness Scale through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). GO Virginia funds will be utilized to complete the due diligence activities required for Tier 3 certification, which will include wetlands surveys with Army Corps of Engineers approvals, geotechnical borings, boundary and topographical surveys, cultural resources reviews, Endangered Species reviews, Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, and cost estimates for site development. Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, and Orange Counties will provide the match for this enhanced capacity building grant.
- Central Virginia Cyber-Security Partnership – Region 9
This planning grant will build capacity for the Central Virginia Cybersecurity Partnership, a collaborative effort to create a talent development solution for Region 9’s cybersecurity industry. The overall goal of the project will be to establish a shared cybersecurity program for Piedmont Virginia, Lord Fairfax, and Germanna Community Colleges, who will each establish a primary area of instructional expertise and seek accreditation from the National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. GO Virginia funds will be utilized for faculty salaries and training, acquisition of shared equipment and software, and project administration. The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and the National Science Foundation will provide the match for this enhanced capacity building grant.
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 govirginia.org.