GO Virginia Region 2: An Overview
GO Virginia Makes Significant Economic Impact on Region 2
GO Virginia, an economic development initiative launched by Virginia’s senior business leaders, was conceived to create higher wage jobs and grow the state’s economy through transformational projects. The initiative addresses the critical need for private sector growth and relies on effective collaboration among local businesses, higher education institutions, and local governments. Dividing the state into nine regions that are aligned geographically and share similar economic development and workforce needs, GO Virginia uses individual regional councils to oversee the efforts and project submissions for each region. GO Virginia’s Region 2, which consists of the cities and counties in the Roanoke-Alleghany region, as well as Lynchburg and the New River Valley, focuses on cultivating partnerships that benefit the broad community across all locations. As part of this effort, the GO Virginia Region 2 Council identified four priority clusters that make significant contributions to the region’s growth. These clusters, which include manufacturing, emerging technology, life sciences, healthcare, and food and beverage manufacturing, benefit from the proximity of shared resources in the region and account for about one-third of the region’s jobs and gross regional product. Furthermore, the Region 2 Council identified four specific strategies to serve as a guide for projects seeking funding:
I. Promote innovation and technology for priority and high-potential industry clusters
II. Grow, attract, and retain skilled talent at all levels
III. Enhance access to capital and business mentorship and training
IV. Collaborate in development of sites and buildings
In early 2018, Region 2 received its first grant which funded a talent collaborative that benefited all 18 of the region’s local jurisdictions by providing worker training to middle-to-high level occupations in manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology. Within two years, 15 projects totaling more than $3 million in funding were approved with more on the horizon.