Recent News


~ Funding to support regional economic development initiatives ~   RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $780,000 in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) funding for five regional projects. The GO Virginia Board, which includes key members of the Governor’s cabinet, the General Assembly, and the business community, reviewed and approved three grant requests, and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) reviewed and administratively approved two additional grants. These grants will support efforts to strengthen and diversify regional economies, build a more robust pipeline of workers to support targeted industry sectors, and encourage collaboration among local governments, public sector partners, and private industry. “GO Virginia is fostering regional collaboration among business, education, and government leaders and supporting the implementation of innovative approaches to meet their workforce and economic development needs and address structural barriers that may impede regional growth,” said Governor Northam. “These grant awards will also leverage an additional $904,000 in non-state resources to assist with economic diversification throughout Virginia and build new capacity in our communities, helping to position them for long-term success.” The GO Virginia grants will be used to implement projects that align with each region’s Growth and Diversification Plan. These locally developed plans identify priority industry sectors and strategies based on each region’s assets. Initiatives that advance strategies developed through the planning process are key in strengthening each region’s economy and creating better career opportunities for Virginians. The board approved the most recent revisions to the nine regional Growth and Diversification plans, which are updated biennially. “The diversity of projects funded by the Governor is testament to the unique needs of each GO Virginia region,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These projects support a wide variety of strategies, including building strong entrepreneurial ecosystems, enhancing workforce development and strengthening our ability to support industries and emerging technologies.” In addition to the grants, the board approved a new policy that will allow the nine GO Virginia regions to apply for future funding for regional broadband planning efforts, as well as support select middle-mile broadband infrastructure projects focused on meeting the business needs of a community. “GO Virginia represents the coming together of public and private sector partners to develop transformational strategies for regional prosperity,” said Delegate Chris Jones. “These grants are a result of the hard work of many players across the Commonwealth and we look forward to seeing their results.” Since the inception of the program in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 65 projects and awarded more than $33 million to support regional economic development efforts. Individuals interested in learning more about GO Virginia and activities in their region can visit the DHCD website.   2019 ROUND 3 REGIONAL GRANT AWARDS   GO Virginia Region and Partnering Localities Project Name Project Description Award (Type) Region 2: Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Roanoke counties, and the city of Roanoke Blockchain Ecosystem Catalyst Virginia Tech will develop and implement a Blockchain Ecosystem Catalyst program that will encourage entrepreneurship and commercialization of blockchain technologies. The project will train educators and mid-career professionals to expand the number of workers skilled to support the application of blockchain and related distributed ledger systems. $246,800 (Per Capita) Region 2: Botetourt, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Roanoke counties, the cities of Salem and Radford, and the town of Vinton Developing a Destination for Talent Virginia Tech’s Office of Career and Professional Development will develop regional hubs to connect local employers, students, Virginia Tech faculty, and economic development officials. The program will create a pipeline of talent from Virginia Tech to employers in the region’s identified priority industry clusters through an internship program and create expanded opportunities for Virginia Tech faculty to collaborate with employers and interns on technology transfer projects. $300,000 (Per Capita) Region 3: Region wide/Southside Virginia Entrepreneurship and Innovation Investment Strategy Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities and Longwood University’s Small Business Development Center will develop a comprehensive strategy to map and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the region. $100,000 (Per Capita) Region 1: Wise County and the city of Norton Project Oasis InvestSWVA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), will evaluate sites within the region suitable to attract data centers. InvestSWVA will also explore the development of tools to utilize mine-pool water reclamation to support data center operations. $50,000 (Enhanced Capacity Building) Region 5: Town of Exmore and Accomack and Northampton counties The GIG (Gather + Innovate + Grow) The Eastern Shore Foundation will work to strengthen its assets to encourage and support entrepreneurism by providing broadband-connected co-working space, startup business support services, and space for small-scale production and prototyping. $85,117 (Enhanced Capacity Building) TOTAL: $781,917

Greensville County

Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $13.4 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for the counties of Accomack, Alleghany, Grayson, Greensville, James City, Lee, Mecklenburg, Russell, and Wise, and the towns of Appomattox, Chase City, La Crosse, Parksley, and South Boston. Governor Northam made the announcement at an event in Greensville, where he presented local officials with a check for one of the fourteen awarded projects.   “The Community Development Block Grant program continues to be a vital resource for funding projects that help build strong regional economies throughout Virginia and address the most pressing needs in our communities,” said Governor Northam. “The localities receiving these grant awards are making important investments in infrastructure, housing rehabilitation, and downtown revitalization that will enable them to deliver essential services to their citizens and attract new residents, businesses, and visitors.”   Since 1982, the federally-funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and Virginia receives approximately $18.1 million annually for this grant program. CDBG grants are awarded through a competitive process. Most projects benefit low- and moderate-income persons, and many projects are targeted for the prevention or elimination of dilapidated structures and blighted conditions.   “These grants fund 14 different projects targeted to improve quality of life,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “CDBG is a flexible tool we utilize to help address blight, improve housing, provide facilities for a variety of needed services, and increase access to water and sewer in communities throughout the Commonwealth.”   2019 CDBG Competitive Grant Awards:   Locality Project Name Award Accomack County Gospel Temple/Adams Crossing CDBG Project $700,000 Alleghany County Wrightsville Community Revitalization Project $1,400,000 Town of Appomattox Appomattox Downtown Revitalization $700,000 Town of Chase City Endly Street Phase II $1,374,406 Grayson County Eagle Bottom Housing Phase II $523,200 Greensville County Washington Park Phase VI $1,353,241 James City County James City County Scattered Site Rehab $1,000,000 Town of La Crosse Pine Street Neighborhood Improvement Phase I $1,397,044 Lee County St. Charles Water Line Replacement Phase III $1,000,000 Mecklenburg County Quail Hollow Road Housing Rehab Project $1,000,000 Town of Parksley Parksley Downtown Revitalization $700,000 Russell County Belfast Waterline Extension Project Phase II Letter of Intent $630,000 Town of South Boston Poplar Creek Homes Letter of Intent $700,000 Wise County Banner Sewer Project $954,000 TOTAL: $13,431,891

The Accessibility Equipment Manufacturers Association (AEMA) and the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) join me in warning consumers with home elevators and visitors to homes with elevators to protect small children from a deadly gap that may exist between the doors. The distance between the inner elevator car door and the room access door (hoistway door) on home elevators may be too wide, allowing a small child to enter the space and close the room access door without opening the elevator car door. If this happens, the child can be seriously injured or killed when the elevator moves. Residential elevators are commonly found in multi-level homes, townhomes, vacation homes and rentals, and in large homes that have been converted to inns or bed-and-breakfast hotels. CPSC is aware of several tragic incidents in which children became entrapped between the doors leading to death, serious fractures, traumatic asphyxia, and lifelong injuries. We are urging consumers to have a qualified elevator inspector examine their home elevator for this dangerous gap and other potential safety hazards, inspecting to the latest safety standard, ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. Dangerous gaps can be eliminated by placing space guards on the back of the room access door or installing an electronic monitoring device that deactivates the elevator when a child is detected in the gap. We also urge consumers to contact their elevator manufacturer or an elevator installer to obtain these critical safety devices and protect children from this hidden hazard. We advise consumers to report any safety incident involving residential elevators at:

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Virginia Governor's Housing Conference

Mark your calendar for the 2019 Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference on Nov. 20-22 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia. Join us for Virginia’s largest housing event packed full of educational sessions led by experts in housing, finance, and community development as well as amazing networking opportunities with colleagues from across the commonwealth.

Grant Management Workshop

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2018 Code Development Process

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