RICHMOND— The GO Virginia Board announced today its third round of regional project grants for initiatives to grow and diversify regional economies across the state. The GO Virginia Board approved five projects from across the state for a total of $1.1 million in state funding.

The GO Virginia Board has now approved 19 projects in total with over $5.9 million in state funds to help create more higher-paying jobs across the Commonwealth. In addition to the state’s initial investment, these projects have leveraged over $12.4 million from other non-state sources to meet GO Virginia’s goal of a stronger state economy.

GO Virginia Board Chairman John O. “Dubby” Wynne said, “The nine GO Virginia regions have been working diligently over the last year to drive innovative projects that address each region’s specific workforce and economic development needs. The third round of projects, approved today, are the latest examples of the regions’ hard work. We are particularly pleased with the level of private sector participation and collaboration in the development of these projects and the opportunities they will bring to people across the state.

Approved Projects:

  • Center for Energy Research and Education (CERE) Industry Labs (Region 2)
    This project will create a Center for Energy Research and Education (CERE) at Liberty University that will contain four industry labs focusing on chemical/material development, electromagnetic compatibility, calibration, and non-destructive testing. These labs will offer companies in the region, institutions of higher education, and local government partners the facilities needed to foster knowledge, facilitate research and development, as well as help attract and retain a scientific and engineering workforce.
  • GWC Piedmont Technical Education Center (Region 9)
    This project will redevelop the former George Washington Carver High School into a state of the art GWC Piedmont Technical Education Center to train machinists and welders. New Pathways Tech, Inc. will operate the facility in partnership with Germanna Community College and the American Institute of Welding and has a goal of training 30 certified machinists and 100 accredited welders a year.
  • Regional Acceleration and Mentorship Program (RAMP) Expansion (Region 2)
    This project enhances and expands the reach of the existing Regional Acceleration and Mentorship Program (RAMP), offered in partnership with Virginia Western Community College, the City of Roanoke, and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. The RAMP-in-Residence program offers support to technology based startups with access to classroom education, mentoring, and assistance in identifying capital. This project will work to propel high-potential startups and create new STEM-H jobs in the region.
  • United Way of Southwest Virginia: Ignite Internships (Region 1)
    This project will expand the high school Ignite Program across the region to better align school curriculums with local employer needs. UWSWVA will build a web-based platform to encourage post-secondary education attainment, streamline workforce credentialing, provide work-based learning opportunities, and match new graduates with local employers in the region.
  • Enhancing the Region through new Technology for Unmanned Systems (Region 2)
    This project will implement a new drone technology training program to capitalize on the Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone Initiative that surrounds the development of facilities for businesses engaged in the design, testing, manufacturing, and development of applications for unmanned autonomous vehicles.  Dabney S. Lancaster Community College will launch an Unmanned Aerial Systems Maintenance and Operations Technician program in the Fall of 2018 that will also work with local high school students to provide project-based learning opportunities through dual enrollment.

At today’s meeting, the Board also supported the creation of a framework for future projects that will spur additional investments in joint site development and efforts to bolster startup activities in each of Virginia’s regions. Over the coming months, the GO Virginia Board is expected to review additional regional project applications. The Board will also be considering competitive projects that will be funded from the statewide competitive pool for GO Virginia projects.

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