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04.26.2021
Grants will support efforts to create jobs, improve infrastructure, and provide workforce training in Virginia’s Appalachian region RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that he is recommending 13 projects for funding by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), totaling $4.1 million in grants. Virginia’s Appalachian region encompasses 25 counties and eight independent cities. ARC will finalize approval of these project awards later this year. “The Appalachian Regional Commission is a key funding tool for addressing the unique challenges facing our Appalachian region,” said Governor Northam. “Investing in Appalachia is more important now than ever before as we work to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that no area of the Commonwealth is left behind in our recovery. These 13 projects align with our ongoing efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of all those in our Appalachian communities by creating new economic opportunities, building critical infrastructure, preparing a skilled workforce, and supporting community development.” Established in 1965, the ARC is a federal agency focused on economic development throughout the Appalachian region. In February, Governor Northam was elected by Appalachia’s 13 governors to serve as ARC’s states’ co-chair for 2021. ARC grants are aimed at supporting the goal of building a strong and sustainable asset-based economy by funding projects that serve as catalysts for bringing jobs and prosperity to Appalachian communities while preserving their character. “ARC funding gives Appalachian communities the flexibility needed to provide targeted assistance in community-identified areas, from improved water systems and community centers to addiction recovery facilities and museums,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These proposed projects will provide wide-ranging opportunities and further the vital work being done to diversify and strengthen the economy and communities of the region.” The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) works with localities and stakeholders in the region to develop strategic projects, which are evaluated by DHCD and the Governor to be recommended to the federal commission for approval. Additional information about the Appalachian Regional Commission is available here. The following projects are recommended for funding to the Appalachian Regional Commission: Dungannon Comprehensive Water Improvements $500,000 Town of Dungannon This project will replace approximately 15,000 linear feet of water system lines and appurtenances, including water line reconnections to an estimated 42 residential and 25 non-residential customers. These improvements will increase accountability and hydraulic efficiencies of the water distribution system. Project Light $500,000 City of Galax Project Light will renovate a blighted building in Galax to support nonprofit community services for addiction recovery, job training, and recovery-to-work skills for at least 50 individuals working to maintain sobriety for two years and employment for one year. The facility will also provide literacy and family education services, as well as a training and a community soup kitchen with the ability to serve 1,200 meals to the community each week. Historic Fieldale Recreation Center Restoration Project $500,000 Henry County This project is the culmination of a regional planning grant that will restore the Fieldale Recreation Center into a multipurpose community center. Once rehabilitated, it will support two full-time businesses as well as the nonprofit, Fieldale Heritage Inc., which provides educational, cultural, and recreational activities. Russell Theater Restoration Project $500,000 Town of Lebanon This project will restore and enhance the historic Russell Theater, which will serve as a community facility for downtown Lebanon, and provide two full-time and three part-time jobs. Calfee Training School Adaptive Reuse $500,000 Town of Pulaski This project will repurpose an historic African American school into a childcare center, commercial kitchen, digital learning lab, and museum highlighting local Appalachian African American leaders and history. In addition, the project will provide an event space for community use, cultural and educational programming, and small business incubation and meeting spaces. The project will retain 64 full-time jobs and create 17 full-time jobs through the construction of the facility. Hamiltontown Sewer Project $438,826 Wise County This project will install 5,540 linear feet of new gravity sewer lines in Wise County’s Hamiltontown community, providing new sewer service to 13 households. Blackwater Phase II Water Project $315,000 Lee County This project continues the previously ARC-funded Lee County Blackwater Phase I water system, which will provide new potable public water to 21 households and 46 customers in rural Lee County. The project will install approximately 21,590 linear feet of water distribution lines and related appurtenances to provide water service. At this time, no public water system exists within the project area. William King Museum of Art – Cultural Campus Phase II Part II $275,000 William King Museum This project will complete the transformation of the 22-acre historic William King Museum of Art into a safe and accessible destination. With the museum’s completion, this landmark will increase the number of visitors, stimulate economic growth through tourism, and facilitate community engagement. Dickenson County Public Service Authority – Backbone Ridge – Edwards Ridge Waterline Replacement Project $267,000 Dickenson County This project will replace undersized and leaking waterlines and provide an adequate and safe water supply to 35 existing homes in the Backbone Ridge community of Dickenson County. In total, the project will install more than 14,000 linear feet of water lines and appurtenances. LENOWISCO Planning District Commission InvestSWVA Initiative $200,000 LENOWSICO Planning District Commission This public-private economic development partnership will be focused on implementing existing projects led by InvestSWVA, a proven initiative creating new jobs, investment, and opportunities for communities in Southwest Virginia that have been impacted by the decline of the coal industry. InvestSWVA will continue to identify and target economic development opportunities within the energy, advanced agricultural, and data center sectors for Southwest Virginia. Reynolds Homestead – Critz Community Enhancement $51,592 Reynolds Homestead This project is a community-driven program and design study for a community center that will provide a gathering space in Critz, serving Patrick County and the surrounding region. The center will be focused on promoting equity and offering activities that include educational and professional development programs, after-school programs, cultural heritage programs, entrepreneurship training, and health and wellness programs. FIRST Chesapeake Robotics Workforce Development Programming $46,250 FIRST Chesapeake Robotics This project will expand on an existing after-school robotics program and create a new initiative for K-12 students to build skills needed in the workforce. FIRST Chesapeake Robotics is a nonprofit organization supporting STEM-based concepts in K-12 schools, providing programming and competition opportunities, financial assistance, scholarships, and support for over 7,000 middle and high school students on 440 afterschool robotics teams throughout Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. ARC funds will cover costs for the robotics team start-ups, team registration fees, travel expenses to competitions, and staff and personnel costs to support the 12-month project contract.  Montgomery Museum of Art and History $25,000 Montgomery County This project will expand the Montgomery Museum of Art and History to provide more exhibit, event, and research space as well as create new digital and technological infrastructure and improve care of the collections. The expansion will enhance community engagement, accessibility, diversity, and sustainability of museum programming, supporting the community and economic development efforts of Southwest Virginia.

GO Virginia

04.09.2021
Funding to support workforce development, site development and infrastructure, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and COVID-19 recovery efforts Governor Ralph Northam today announced an allocation of more than $6.3 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants to help the Commonwealth continue addressing the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will support a total of 15 projects, including eight regional GO Virginia projects and seven projects through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program. “This funding will go a long way towards supporting a broad-based economic recovery across our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “As we celebrate these projects, we must also recognize the leadership and many contributions of the late GO Virginia Board Chairman Tom Farrell, whose business acumen helped advance the GO Virginia mission of fostering lasting regional collaboration, and was instrumental in mounting a robust effort to spur Virginia’s economic recovery amid the pandemic. His legacy will live on through innovative, impactful programs like this one.” The projects receiving funds will provide additional capacity to expand workforce development and talent pipelines in key industries, support the growth of startup businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems, grow Virginia’s portfolio of business-ready sites, and assist regions with mitigating the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards will leverage an additional $5.6 million in local and other non-state resources to assist with ongoing economic diversification and growth efforts throughout Virginia. “From energy and life sciences to manufacturing and tourism, GO Virginia continues to spur innovative ideas and strategies to support businesses throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “As Chair, Tom Farrell gave so much of his time to the betterment of Virginia communities, and he will be dearly missed.” “The recent efforts of the GO Virginia program demonstrate the importance of strategic thinking in regions, and how addressing near-term economic needs can create long-term economic growth opportunities,” said GO Virginia Board Member and House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn. “This round of grants represent a combination of ingenuity, collaboration, and resiliency during a time of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on communities around the Commonwealth.” Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 163 projects and awarded approximately $56.9 million to support regional economic development efforts. To learn more about GO Virginia, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/gova. 2021 ROUND ONE REGIONAL GRANT AWARDS Energy Storage and Electrification Manufacturing Jobs | $486,366 Region 1: Counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell Together with multiple partners, Appalachian Voices will execute a strategy to build a new, high-wage industry cluster around energy storage electrification. The project will also provide technical assistance to existing manufacturers as they diversify and expand sales into these new markets. Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center | $99,360 Region 2: Montgomery County and the city of Roanoke The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) will develop a market study, conceptual design, and associated operational plan to support the life science ecosystem in Blacksburg and Roanoke with flexible laboratory space. This space will ultimately support commercial entities and startup companies in the life sciences sector while providing a focal point to keep locally grown talent in the region. SOVA Innovation Hub and Longwood University Office of Community and Economic Development Entrepreneurship and Innovation Implementation Project | $449,000 Region 3: Counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Halifax, Patrick, and Prince Edward The SOVA Innovation Hub, in partnership with the Longwood University Office of Community and Economic Development, will launch a series of entrepreneurship training, youth entrepreneurship, and capital access programming. Funding will support the creation of new jobs by building entrepreneurship capacity and a stronger, more equitable region-wide network of resources for startups and early-stage companies. Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education | $613,000 Region 4: Counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Prince George, Surry, and Sussex and the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, in partnership with Richard Bland College, will establish a Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) chapter in Virginia and launch an Advanced Manufacturing Technician program. Funding will support the development of new hands-on learning space for advanced manufacturing and new training capacity for jobs that are in high demand by area manufacturers. 757 Collab Bridge | $32,000 Region 5: Cities of Hampton, Newport News, and Norfolk 757 Collab, a new venture of 757 Accelerate and 757 Angels, will provide rent-free space and essential programming for 25-30 startup companies each year. This grant will support the ongoing activities of 757 Accelerate and 757 Startup Studios as they develop the new 757 Collab organization. Richmond County Commerce Center Expansion | $1,223,974 Region 6: Counties of Richmond and Westmoreland, and the town of Warsaw Richmond County, in partnership with Westmoreland County, will expand the Richmond County Commerce Center to develop two business-ready sites, totaling 45 acres. The partnership of these localities will contribute to the joint promotion and marketing of the area and provide space for new and expanding businesses. Northern Virginia Smart Region Initiative | $1,287,580 Region 7: Counties of Arlington and Fairfax, and the city of Fairfax Smart City Works will help establish Northern Virginia as a center of excellence for urban technology innovation and a top destination for digital technology companies to build and grow their businesses. Funding will support the growth of high-tech startup companies through the introduction of capital investment opportunities, the expansion of business acceleration programs, and the creation of pathways to successfully deliver new products to the marketplace.  Shenandoah Valley Sites Enhancement Program | $821,000 Region 8: Counties of Augusta, Frederick, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren The Shenandoah Valley Partnership will lead an effort to advance six regionally significant sites, totaling 1,112 acres, for potential new or expanding businesses in the region’s targeted industries.   ECONOMIC RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY GRANTS Virginia Restaurant and Hotel Workforce COVID Recovery and Upskilling Program | $132,500 Region 4: Counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico, and the city of Richmond The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association will support the restaurant and hospitality industry by offering COVID-related skills training to unemployed and underemployed restaurant and hotel workers. This initiative will also further develop an industry-specific job board to support ongoing industry recovery efforts. Engineering Interns + Manufacturers = Success Squared (S2) | $39,200 Region 4: County of Prince George and the city of Hopewell The College of Engineering and Technology at Virginia State University will create an internship program to support regional manufacturing companies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of a semester, interns will develop projects focused on a company’s specific needs related to economic distress brought on by the pandemic, while also getting the hands-on experience needed to round out their degrees. Startup Stability Program | $197,000 Region 5: Cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth The Portsmouth Development Foundation will support small businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic through subsidized co-working space and mentoring services. Marine Trades Training Program Expansion | $99,137 Region 5: Cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk  Tidewater Community College’s Marine Trades Training Program will expand its welding and marine coatings programs at the Skilled Trades Academy in Portsmouth. The welding program will be expanded by 33 percent to accommodate an additional 40 students per year, and the marine coating program will be relocated and expanded to support an additional 84 students per year. Virginia Cyber Skills Academy | $699,995 Region 7: Counties of Arlington and Loudoun and the city of Alexandria The Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu and the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) will train individuals whose employment was impacted by the pandemic for high-demand cybersecurity roles. All courses and certifications will be provided online at no cost to students, and this project will assist graduates with obtaining employment with area technology companies. Local Ordering, Communication, and Agricultural Logistics Initiative | $60,602 Region 8: County of Page and cities of Harrisonburg and Roanoke Common Grain Alliance (CGA) will provide support and build cooperative relationships between farmers, local producers, and distributors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will leverage existing web-based applications with an online marketplace to increase sales and enhance the resiliency of the industry through the creation of an online platform to facilitate supply chain logistics and new technology to streamline food sales, storage access, and distribution. Central Virginia Small Business Development Center Resiliency | $131,220 Region 9: Counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Louisa, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock, and the city of Charlottesville The Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will address growth challenges and improve economic resiliency among area businesses by enhancing firms’ digital presence and e-commerce capabilities. Additionally, this funding will help increase SBDC’s capacity to serve the region’s business development needs, emphasizing services to rural and under-resourced communities.

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04.01.2021
Funding will support recovery programs and workforce re-entry in Appalachian communities RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced Virginia will receive grants totaling more than $1.1 million through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) INvestments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) initiative for three projects in the Appalachian region of Virginia. INSPIRE is a new initiative focused on addressing substance abuse disorders in Appalachian communities by creating or expanding a recovery ecosystem that will help people get back into the workforce. “As a doctor and as governor, I have seen the impact of the substance abuse crisis, which has significantly affected our entire Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “We need a focused, regional approach to reducing addiction and supporting recovery. The INSPIRE Initiative will help build a more resilient and thriving Appalachia, and I am proud of the strong collaborative efforts of our regional partners throughout Appalachian Virginia to bring this federally supported program to their communities.” In February, Appalachia’s 13 governors elected Governor Northam to serve as ARC’s States’ Co-Chair for 2021. The ARC region of Virginia encompasses 25 counties and eight independent cities. INSPIRE draws on the work and recommendations developed by ARC’s Substance Abuse Advisory Council (SAAC) to address the impact substance abuse continues to have on the region’s workforce in comparison to the rest of the country. Created in May 2019, the SAAC is a volunteer group of leaders from recovery services, health, economic development, private industry, education, state government, law enforcement, and other sectors representing each of the region’s 13 states. The nation’s substance abuse crisis disproportionately impacts Appalachia, where in 2018 the overdose mortality rate for people ages 25–54 was 43 percent higher than the rest of the country. The devastating health impacts of this crisis also have severe economic impacts, keeping many Appalachian people of prime working age from participating in the labor force and contributing to the region’s economy. “Improving the quality of life for all residents of Appalachia remains a priority for the Northam Administration, and we are eager to use this funding from the INSPIRE initiative to address some of the challenges facing our Appalachian communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These three projects will foster a stronger recovery ecosystem, which is paramount for creating stronger communities and robust workforces, as well as fostering economic prosperity.” This announcement is part of $9.4 million awarded to 30 projects to support recovery-to-work efforts and address the substance abuse crisis in the Appalachian region. For more information on the INSPIRE initiative, visit arc.gov/SUD. The following projects in Virginia will receive ARC INSPIRE Grants: Community Recovery Program Expansion $498,961 Counties of Patrick and Henry and the City of Martinsville This project will enable the Piedmont Regional Community Services Board to build upon its current recovery efforts by transitioning the vocational training program from an in-house service to a community-focused service where the Community Recovery Program (CRP) will offer services to community agencies and faith-based organizations. In exchange for the vocational training program providing janitorial and housekeeping services at these agencies, a fee or donation will be requested from the agency or organization receiving the service. This collaboration provides another opportunity for CRP participants to secure real work experience, build skills, and foster funding for the program to sustain the increase in staff.   Project: Amelioration Phase II $371,000 County of Wise This project will identify and develop the substance use disorder (SUD) recovery ecosystem, connecting the 30th Judicial Circuit Drug Court’s established, regulated intake and structured network to Mountain Empire Community College’s new pipeline of workforce development. Funding will support two new positions, both of which will combine and connect all available resources to fully engage and assist program participants from identification and enrollment to completion and employment. This connection will remove barriers that tend to derail the recovery process by helping those in recovery maintain employment through the synchronization of multiple services and providers, offering a more efficient and effective path to SUD recovery.   Project Recovery $300,000 Counties of Alleghany and Craig and the City of Covington This project will create a program to provide participants with one-on-one counseling and support, comprehensive assessments to determine needs, training and skill development, and employment placement. This project will also provide education and awareness to the business community on hiring individuals who have experienced substance abuse and how to provide the support needed for new and existing employees who may have been faced with these challenges. Project Recovery will capitalize on the services and organizations that are established to assist individuals with recovery-to-work and provide holistic, wraparound services to individuals affected by substance abuse with a focus on work readiness, employment, and training.

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