Over the past two years, 15 programs have received grant funding from GO Virginia’s Region 2 Council in the following areas:

Developing talent

  • Stopping the Brain Drain Strategy Development
  • works to develop a complete talent attraction and retention program, aiming to keep graduates of the 25 colleges and universities in the region from moving away for jobs after they finish school.
  • GO Virginia Region 2 Talent Collaborative
  • works to stimulate the entire region’s economic growth by closing the skill and interest gap in middle- to high-skilled occupations in manufacturing, health care and information technology.
  • Enhancing the Region through New Technology for Unmanned Systems
  • works with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College to help build a drone technology program for the Alleghany Highlands region.
  • Regional Career and Technical Education Study
  • , through the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board, will increase the availability and alignment of CTE programs in the region.
  • Ignite,
  • through the United Way of Southwest Virginia, will expand efforts to facilitate regional collaboration between schools and employers to equip and retain the next generation of the local workforce.
  • Developing a Destination for Talent
  • will connect an untapped pool of Virginia Tech undergraduates to regional employers seeking to find and retain talent and will provide faculty members with networking opportunities.
  • Blockchain Ecosystem Catalyst
  • , a collaboration of officials from Virginia Tech and Valleys Innovation Council, will address talent needs for mid-career professionals by providing seminars, short courses and training events that would ultimately lead to blockchain certifications.

Encouraging entrepreneurship

  • Capital Ecosystem Development
  • will examine the region’s capital ecosystem t
  • o
  • understand the current landscape and find ways to strengthen formal pathways to capital for businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Regional Acceleration and Mentorship Program
  • (RAMP) expansion works to assist technology-based startups with access to classroom education, mentoring and assistance in identifying capital. It is currently the region’s only accelerator program.
  • Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center
  • provides small business counseling, training and business resources in the New River Valley and delivers new programs tailored to the needs of businesses in the area.
  • Increasing the Birth Rates of New High Growth Companies
  • , through the Advancement Foundation, focuses on leveraging business resources, entrepreneur resource partners, industry experts and partners to increase business readiness and the success rate for new high-growth companies.

Preparing sites and buildings

  • Wood Haven Road Water and Sewer Infrastructure Enhancement
  • works through the Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority to improve readiness and marketability of the Roanoke County site by completing water and sewer lines.
  • Center for Energy Research and Education Industry Labs
  • works with Liberty University and Framatome to create four industry labs on a 28-acre lot in Bedford County, helping efforts to attract and build industry support.
  • Additive Manufacturing Partnership Labs
  • is a collaborative effort to support the goal of building the 3D printer industry base and educating its workforce, through a lab at Liberty University. GO Virginia funding will be used to purchase high-tech equipment.
  • Lynchburg Site Readiness
  • will advance a portfolio of six existing commercial or industrial sites in the area, in part by completing readiness plans to make them more marketable.

(Two additional projects, one to enhance the technology ecosystem in the area and the other to study the best future use of a state hospital complex in Lynchburg, recently were aapproved but have not yet received their funding.

Laurence Hammack covers environmental issues, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and business and enterprise stories. He has been a reporter for The Roanoke Times for more than three decades.

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