The Virginia Region 2 Council is now accepting 2018-2019 inquiries and applications. Region 2 includes the New River Valley, Roanoke-Alleghany, and Lynchburg areas. GO Virginia is a statewide initiative designed to encourage Virginia’s economic growth through the creation of higher-wage jobs.
For this fiscal year, the region has over $1.2 million in collaborative grant funds available for projects and there are over $12 million in competitive funds available for larger, state-wide or multi-regional projects. The Council anticipates endorsing multiple awards at varying amounts.
Examples of projects funded last year include: expansion of RAMP, a regional small business accelerator in Roanoke; support for a Roanoke Regional Partnership project to assess and plan for better attracting and retaining talent in the region; and supporting the Region 2000 Workforce Development Board, and other partners, in providing more on-site, company-specific training for existing workers in priority industry sectors.
Funding supports the Valley Innovation Council’s project to map and to strengthen the region’s capital landscape for businesses and entrepreneurs and enhance site readiness and marketability of a key regional industrial location operated by the Western Virginia Regional Facilities Authority. Furthermore, examples include the development of a new unmanned systems training program at Dabney Lancaster Community College in coordination with the Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone initiative and the development of specialized industry-focused research labs by Liberty University in partnership with Framatome and other industry partners.
GO Virginia funding seeks to grow jobs that pay higher than the regional median wage ($19/hour or $39,012 annually), and attracts new investment, especially new to Virginia. Region 2 is focused on job creation and promotion in four priority sectors: Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Food and Beverage Processing, and Emerging Technology and IT. All proposals must respond directly to the Region 2 Growth & Diversification Plan which can be found at: https://econdev.vt.edu/GOVirginia.html.
Proposed projects should benefit an industry or region as a whole, rather than a single business entity. Projects should emphasize support for the above “traded” sectors and demonstrate an ongoing, region-wide demand for the project or program. Projects also are required to include matching funds, including meaningful funding and in-kind support from local governments.
Potentially interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Region 2 support organization staff, at the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development. Staff can provide guidance and assistance to applicants at any stage of the process. For more information, contact Scott Tate at [email protected], or by phone at 540.231.2351. The full application and related information is available at: https://econdev.vt.edu/GOVirginia/RFP.html.