Governor Northam Announces More Than $5.8 Million for Regional Workforce, STEM and Site Development Initiatives

Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $5.8 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) funding for nine regional projects. The GO Virginia Board reviewed and approved seven grant requests and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) reviewed and administratively approved two grant requests. These grants will help strengthen and diversify regional economies, build a pipeline of workers to support targeted industry sectors, and encourage collaboration among local governments, public sector partners, and private industry.

“GO Virginia supports economic development projects that strengthen and grow our local economies using an approach that is unique to the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “With an emphasis on regional collaboration, this successful program continues to encourage communities to think creatively about how to build talent pipelines in key industries, create good-paying jobs, and drive positive, long-term growth.”

The GO Virginia Board, which includes key members of the Governor’s cabinet, the General Assembly, and the business community, also approved a new policy that encourages GO Virginia regions to apply for future funding for site development and infrastructure projects of regional significance. The policy was developed in partnership with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and focuses GO Virginia investments on projects that will grow each regions’ targeted industry sectors, as well as support the state’s economic development objectives.

“The range of economic development opportunities funded by these grants will have a tremendous impact on Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “As a result of these projects, the Commonwealth will have a more qualified workforce and resource-rich environment for both start-up and existing businesses, and the physical site and infrastructure investments to support new jobs.”

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 grant awards will leverage an additional $6.4 million in non-state resources to assist with economic diversification throughout Virginia.

“We are excited for this GO Virginia investment in Northern Virginia, especially towards the support of growing the computer science workforce pipeline and increasing technology business growth,” said Senator Janet Howella GO Virginia board member. “The work the GO Virginia regions are doing throughout Virginia is increasing our workforce talent development, building stronger businesses, and encouraging new economic growth in all areas of the Commonwealth.”

Since program inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 74 projects and awarded approximately $38 million to support regional economic development efforts. Individuals interested in learning more about GO Virginia and activities in their region should visit the DHCD website.

2019 GO Virginia Round 4 Grant Awards:

GO Virginia Region and Partnering Localities

Project Name

Project Description




Region 4: Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico counties, and the city of Richmond

CampusRVA –  Phase 2

ChamberRVA will develop a program to help area employers fill high-paying jobs with talent developed locally by promoting the Richmond region as a good place for young professionals, providing resources to move and assimilate to the region and implementing a job-matching platform.



Region 5: Cities of Hampton and Newport News

Coastal Virginia Maritime Advancement Programs (COVA MAP)

Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) will develop a Coastal Virginia Maritime Advancement Map (COVA MAP) that will engage industry partners and prospective students, identify workforce gaps, and develop an innovative and new framework (smart mobile devices) for delivering cutting-edge curriculum to support the maritime industry.



Region 9: Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville

Biotech Innovation Cluster Growth

CvilleBioHub will lead the growth and expansion of the biotechnology innovation cluster within the region. This initiative will serve the needs of existing companies through programming, the planning and design of a wet lab space, workforce training, and candidate matching opportunities.



Region 1: Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe counties, and the cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton

Region 1 REI Coordinating Entity

Opportunity SWVA, along with the University of Virginia College at Wise, will collaborate to develop the Launch SWVA Region 1 Strategy for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Investment.


Region 2: Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Botetourt, Campbell, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Roanoke counties, and the cities of Covington, Lynchburg, Radford, Roanoke, and Salem

Region 2 Entrepreneurship Initiative


Valley Innovation Council (VIC) will coordinate and collaborate with stakeholders throughout Region 2 to develop the Region 2 Innovation and Entrepreneurial Investment Plan. VIC will map the regional ecosystem assets and develop strategies to attract entrepreneurship resources.


Region 5: Accomack, Franklin, Isle of Wright, James City, Northampton, Southampton, and York counties, and the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg

REI: 757


757 Accelerate, in partnership with 757 Angels and E&M Consulting, will convene key stakeholders to conduct a gap analysis, develop best practices, and incorporate existing analyses to develop a comprehensive plan for the Region 5 entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Region 2: Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell counties, and the city of Lynchburg

Central Virginia Training Center (CVTC) Redevelopment Plan

The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance will create a redevelopment master plan for the former 350-acre Central Virginia Training Center (CVTC) site, located in Amherst County.


Region 4: Dinwiddie and Prince George counties, and the city of Petersburg

Richard Bland College Aeronautics Program


Richard Bland College of William & Mary will create a business plan to develop key partnerships and establish an applied associate’s degree in Aeronautics with a stackable credential in small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). 


Region 5: City of Chesapeake

Region 7: Loudoun County

Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline


The Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) will develop an immersive and integrated computer science curriculum in grades 6-12 in Loudoun County and Chesapeake City Public Schools. The two participating school systems will offer students an opportunity to learn computer science and computational thinking as part of the grades 6-12 core curriculum, culminating in capstone courses and experiential learning opportunities including internships at the high school level.