Two Virginia regions picked for economic initiative
Two Virginia regions, Eastern Shore and Mount Rogers Planning District, have been picked for a program aimed at improving their economies.
The Stronger Economies Together (SET) initiative is expected to explore the economic advantages of each region and help them formulate economic blueprints.
Partners in the program include Virginia’s U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development office, the Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the Virginia Tech Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics
“The regions' economic blueprints will strategically build on the current and emerging economic strengths,” Basil Gooden, state director of USDA Rural Development for Virginia, said in a statement. “Both Virginia regions have tremendous potential for economic growth. The SET planning process will facilitate key discussions resulting in a high-quality economic plan that works in partnership with the great natural resources of both areas.”
The Eastern Shore includes Accomack and Northampton counties and Tangier Island. The Mount Rogers Planning District is made up of Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Washington, and Wythe counties and the cities of Bristol and Galax.
The Eastern Shore and the Mount Rogers Planning District were selected from among seven regions that submitted applications earlier this year. They will join 21 other regions across 13 states that were selected for SET in 2015.
Begun in 2010, SET is now in place in more than 70 regions in 31 states. The program is intended to help strengthen the capacity of communities and counties in rural America to work together to develop and implement an economic development blueprint.