GO Virginia funds $9M in workforce development, economic recovery grants
Funded projects include $1.5M to ODU for skills gap analysis, advanced manufacturing training
The Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) state economic development initiative has allocated grants totaling more than $9 million for workforce development and assisting communities with economic recovery, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
A $7.8 million allocation will support 11 regional projects and two statewide projects aimed at workforce development initiatives. Another allocation of more than $1.4 million will be split among 19 projects through the new Economic Resilience and Recovery Program created by the GO Virginia Board in April to send resources to help communities experiencing COVID-19 economic impacts. Regions 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 were awarded grants this round.
“The GO Virginia program continues to demonstrate how regional collaboration can give rise to innovative projects that deliver real economic impact, especially during challenging times like those we face right now,” Northam said in a statement. “These projects will increase workforce capacity, enhance Virginia’s competitive business environment and support our ongoing efforts to build resilient communities that are well-positioned for future success and growth.”
The statewide grant awards include:
- Virginia Small Business Development Center Cash Match 2020-2021 — $1 million. The Virginia Small Business Development Center will expand its services for small businesses by providing matching funds required to access the full funding available from the Small Business Administration.
- Virtual Virginia Workforce — $1.5 million. Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center, Battel College of Engineering and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing will conduct a skills gap analysis and develop advanced manufacturing training programs using augmented reality and simulation.
Regional projects include:
- Ignite Tech Talent Pipeline — $251,960 for Region 1. The United Way of Southwest Virginia will develop a talent pipeline of IT workers.
- William King Museum of Art – Digital Workforce Development — $70,910 for Region 1. The William King Museum of Art will develop a Digital Art Laboratory to provide digital design training.
- Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority (RIFA) Project Intersection — $485,000 for Region 1. The Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority (LPRIFA) will develop and repurpose a former 188-acre mine site in Norton.
- Experiential Learning in Tech Employment (ELITE) Internship Program — $290,000 for Region 2. The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council will provide internship opportunities for students earning a software developer degree at a regional four-year university.
- Amherst Lynchburg Site Readiness — $366,572 for Region 2. The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance will advance a portfolio of six existing commercial and industrial sites along the site readiness scale.
- New River Valley COVID-19 Business Continuity Team — $250,000 for Region 2. The New River Valley Regional Commission will provide employers impacted by COVID-19 with 24/7 technical assistance from the Business Continuity Team.
- Hampton Roads Workforce Council Talent Pipeline Implementation Project — $663,696 for Region 5. The Hampton Roads Workforce Council will build a target-talent pipeline for the maritime industry in the Hampton Roads region.
- Hampton Roads Economic Development Sites Readiness Program — $1.12 million for Region 5. The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission will advance a portfolio for three existing sites along the site readiness scale.
- Germanna Community College Tech Talent Pipeline — $634,938 for Region 6. The Germanna Community College Foundation will develop tech talent career pathways for more than 200 middle and high school students and adults seeking jobs in computer science, cyber-related and engineering.
- Governor’s Health Sciences Academy Community Medi-corps Program — $700,000 for Region 7. The program will prepare students for career pathways in the biomedical, lab sciences and pharmaceutical industries.
- Northern Virginia Biosciences Center — $500,000 for Region 7. Prince William County will support the development of a 30,000-square-foot wet lab facility to attract new life sciences companies to the region.
“The projects are a testament to the GO Virginia Regional Councils’ leadership and their ability to respond to our current crisis while remaining committed to the program mission of growing regional economies and creating good jobs for Virginians,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “We celebrate these grantees and their innovative projects that will transform the business landscape, both during this period of pandemic recovery and as we continue working to diversify Virginia’s economy.”