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Supporting Economic Resilience in Virginia

Supporting Economic Resilience in Virginia

Virginia Tech’s Center for Economic and Community Engagement (CECE), in partnership with Virginia State University (VSU), leads a U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center program to advance regional economic resilience in Virginia.

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Our faculty are available for individual conversations, group convenings, or community visits to explore how Virginia Tech or Virginia State University can work with your community, company, or organization. Our University Center program advances regional innovation, inclusive economies, and industry and workforce competitiveness.

Our University Center work includes:

Recent examples:

  • The Virginia Tech Center for Community and Economic Engagement (VT CECE) worked with materials-related private sector companies in the New River Valley and Danville regions (examples include MELD, Hollingsworth & Vose, Volvo, and FasTech) to connect them with faculty expertise and the new consortium related to advanced materials.
  • VT CECE continued to support Black BRAND (and Black and minority-owned businesses across Hampton Roads) with data analytics and technical assistance on a regional data dashboard to better understand the factors that affect the economic and social progress of Black and minority businesses and residents in the area.

Recent examples:

  • For the Highland County EDA, VT CECE estimated the anticipated economic impact of a revitalized, operational, Highland Inn in Highland County, VA. The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission relied in part on this study to successfully secure a $341,586 Virginia Brownfield Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund (VBAF) grant to support the revitalization of the Highland Inn.
  • VT CECE completed an Agritourism and Agribusiness Regional Economic Impact Study and Marketing Plan for West Piedmont Planning District Commission and the localities it serves.
  • VT CECE completed a study to help local and regional economic developers better understand the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry and enhance CEA-related activity per company attraction and expansion. The study is on behalf of GO Virginia Region 3 and in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.
  • VT CECE completed a feasibility study and recovery ecosystem assessment of a workforce and wellness center focused on a Substance-Use Disorder Recovery population in southwest Virginia for the YWCA of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and Emory & Henry College. The YWCA relied on this study to secure a $500,000 ARC INSPIRE award to develop their wellness center’s programs in Glade Spring. With the project, YWCA will focus on family resiliency and recovery-to-work supports, providing workshops and classes on mental and physical health and wellness, workplace skills and entrepreneurship, and other lifestyle and educational programs that encourage individuals and families to enhance their skills and develop healthy behaviors for successful futures.
  • VT CECE completed a target industry analysis for Hanover County.

Recent examples:

  • VT CECE worked with the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center to help lead a collaboration with private industry and community partners around clean energy.  The group secured $1.6 million in GO Virginia funds to develop a demonstration lab for the production of green hydrogen. Private sector firms and local governments are contributing $5 million in investments.
  • With the New River Valley Regional Commission, VT CECE helped develop a consortium of public and private sector partners to successfully compete for a strategy development grant of $450,000 under the EDA’s Tech Hubs program. The project was one of two Virginia winners among 31 tech hubs and 29 strategy development grant recipients nationwide. The project focuses on growing the advanced materials and additive manufacturing sectors in the New River Valley (Blacksburg MSA) and Danville regions.  

Recent Semi-Annual Progress Reports


Scott Tate
Virginia Tech Center for Economic and Community Engagement
Phone: (540) 315-2062

Omar Faison 
Virginia State University

We encourage partnership and project inquiries from across Virginia.  Our University Center project is particularly interested in working to address economic challenges in western, southern and eastern Virginia. 

We work directly with you on projects involving planning and strategy development; feasibility and impact studies; and workforce and industry analyses.  We also help make connections to faculty expertise, to student learning projects, and to federal and state partners.