Patrick, Henry and Martinsville are among localities to partake in an allocation of more than $7.7 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants to advance community economic recovery efforts.
This funding will support 14 projects focused on economic diversification, workforce development, talent pipelines, economic resiliency, and business-ready sites, Gov. Ralph Northam said in a recent announcement.
“As Virginia’s economy continues to surge, it’s important that every part of the state shares in that success,” Northam said. “These grants support projects that drive local and regional economic growth, spurring innovation and creating jobs in our communities across the Commonwealth.”
GO Virginia has funded 196 projects and awarded approximately $75.6 million to support regional economic development efforts since 2017.
This round of grants include 11 regional projects and three projects through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program. The awarded projects will receive an additional $4.2 million in local and non-state resources.
A portion of the funds will boost efforts in Henry and Patrick counties and the City of Martinsville through ExperienceWorks, which received an allocation of $516,628 for Region 3 and the counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Charlotte, Cumberland, Danville, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Martinsville, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania, and Prince Edward.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research will lead the ExperienceWorks initiative, a systems approach that leverages GO Virginia Region 3 investments to connect students and young adults to high-skill, high-wage employment opportunities through a myriad of work-based learning opportunities. Establishing connections with students while they are still in high school will allow businesses to access an emerging workforce and provide mentorship, increasing the number of high school graduates in Region 3 who are connected to employment opportunities in targeted growth sectors.
Strengthening Southern Virginia’s Economy by Expanding the Inventory of Shovel-Ready Sites received $1,534,900 for the counties of Halifax, Patrick, and Pittsylvania and the city of Danville.
The Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, will develop a site development program that will parallel the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s site characterization program. The project will raise seven sites, totaling 1,188 acres, from Tier 2 to Tier 4, and raise three sites, totaling 311 acres, from a Tier 2 to Tier 3 or 4 on the VBRSP scale.
“Economic development is an inherently collaborative endeavor, and GO Virginia’s regional approach has proven to be an invaluable tool in this regard,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These projects build upon the economic assets each region has to offer, supporting job creation and new investment in the Commonwealth’s communities.”
“I would like to commend the thoughtful work of councils and partners represented in the projects awarded,” said GO Virginia State Board Vice Chair Todd Stottlemyer. “The success of GO Virginia is predicated on the belief that communities are stronger when the public and private sectors work together on shared challenges and opportunities. The projects reflect that commitment to working collaboratively to strengthen regional economies and provide good job opportunities for the individuals who reside in them.”