Scott Tate has stepped into a new role at the Center for Economic and Community Engagement as associate director for community innovations.  

While continuing to be a key member of the center’s leadership team, he will focus on new community-centered initiatives, plan the next iteration of Vibrant Virginia, and develop a faculty fellows program with Margaret Cowell, associate professor of Urban Affairs and Planning in the School of Public and International Affairs.

“Scott is a unique kind of listener who brings community interests to the fore, and works with them to achieve their visions and build their prosperity,” said John Provo, executive director of the Center for Economic and Community Engagement.

Tate began his career with the center — formerly known as the Office of Economic Development — in 2014 as a senior economic development specialist before becoming associate director in 2016 where his philosophy of place-based community and economic development has been integral to his work.

“I enjoy working with communities, learning from them, and getting to see them grow. I also focus on how we can engage Virginia Tech’s resources so we can have the most impact and do the most good,” he said.

Some of the many projects Tate has worked on during his time with the center include responding to the detrimental economic effects of the coronavirus crisis, promoting anchor institution and wealth building strategies in communities such as Lee County, and enhancing training and career pathways for former coal industry workers. 

Tate also led initiatives with Old Dominion and Virginia State universities that supported commercialization, talent development, and entrepreneurial support activities in underserved communities in southern and central Virginia.

“I love having the opportunity to work all over the state and take on a variety of work each day, from research-focused industry projects that center around topics such as robotics or blockchain, to community-focused projects that help small towns grow their businesses,” Tate said. 

Prior to his work at the center, Tate worked at Emory and Henry College as director of campus service programs and community partnerships and at Virginia Cooperative Extension as a community viability specialist where he helped rural regions identify assets and projects that could advance their economic development.

“This is such a great opportunity and a great fit for Scott who has already supported Virginia communities in a variety of ways for many years, even before his time at Virginia Tech,” said Marty Holliday, executive director of the New River/Mt. Rogers Workforce Development Board. “Scott listens and asks questions and then brings in other agencies and organizations to build a collaborative around an issue.”

Bryan David, Southern Virginia program director for the University of Virginia’s Cooper Center for Public Service and GO Virginia Region 3, said, “I’m confident Scott will use his expertise and well-developed collaboration skills in a new and exciting way for him and the people and communities he will serve.”