2019-4-11

GO Virginia Region 3 announces successful project award for GO TEC

Up to $4.9 Million to be awarded to broaden the talent pipeline in Southern and Southwest Virginia

GO TEC (Great Opportunities in Technology & Engineering Careers), a workforce development approach in Southern and Southwestern Virginia, was awarded the largest grant to date from the GO Virginia Competitive Funding pool. The investment by GO Virginia is matched 1-to-1by support from over 15 local partners.

Workforce training will be provided by seven higher education institutions to address current and future market demand in areas such as precision machining, welding, IT/cyber security, advanced materials and robotics, automation and mechatronics. At the foundational level, K-12 systems are creating Career Connection Labs that introduce middle school students to these in-demand occupationsand then connect their training opportunities to high school and ultimately to higher education institutions. And at the policy level, businesses will be included on the leadership board.

The GO Virginia State Board approved an investment of up to $4.9 million in the GO TEC project Tuesday morning. The "hub and spoke" workforce delivery system focuses on occupations that have been identified asin-demand in GO Virginia Regions 1, 3 and 4, an area that encompasses many of Virginia’s rural southern counties stretching from Wythe County to Greensville County. For businesses, GO TEC will answer a market need with  a strong pipeline of skilled workers that can support the job requirements of both existing and new employers.

"It is exciting to see the breadth and depth of regional collaboration among education partners for economic development results that will occur through this unique partnership," Region 3 GO Virginia Council Chairman Charles Majors said. "We are even more pleased that the State GO Virginia Board concurred with our recommendation to support this unique talent development model. We know that the collective work of seven educational partners, in conjunction with the K-12 systems in Southern and Southwestern Virginia, will create a strong tool for talent retention, business retention, and business attraction."

The GO TEC project leverages existing mastery-level training expertise in seven higher education partners: Southside Virginia Community College, Danville Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, Wytheville Community College, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, the New College Institute in Martinsville, and the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research in Danville. Each of these partners contributes an element of the career paths identified as areas of critical need in the Regions 1, 3 and 4's Growth & Diversification Plans.

"I am exceptionally pleased with the level of support from localities and organizations across the regions," said Region 3 Vice-Chairman Randy Lail. "Creative thinking, and building impactful partnerships is the way that rural Virginia can successfully create healthy economies, and this is an example of rural leadership in action."

GO TEC expands existing outcomes that began with a pilot pre-GO Virginia initiative based at Danville Community College and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in 2016.The success of that launch resulted in approval for the first Phase 1 investment by GO Virginia in 2018 when the Region 3 Council was authorized to invest its Per Capita funds. That scale-up wasdesigned to increase the geographic reach of the program, increase the Career Connection labs, and develop the curriculum. 

This 2019 expansion of GO TEC gives economic developers in Regions 1, 3 and 4 both a stronger workforce system, and more effective marketing message to use in their business attraction efforts.This grant will continue to expand the regional brand of workforce training and increase the number of K-12 divisions that will house Career Connection Labs.

"GO TEC is an example of the types of effective partnerships that the Regions seek to build through the GO Virginia program," said Julie Brown, interim director of the GO TEC team. "We are excited that our team of higher education partners identified this opportunity and that we were able to demonstrate to the leaders of GO Virginia that GO TEC can successfully scale-up to create an extensive talent marketing message for these three regions."

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USDA Announces Buy-Up Coverage Availability and New Service Fees for Noninsured Crop Coverage Policies

Changes apply Beginning April 8, 2019

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2019 – USDA’sFarm Service Agency (FSA) today announced that higher levels of coverage will be offered through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), a popular safety et program, beginning April 8, 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill also increased service fees and made other changes to the program, including service fee waivers for qualified military veterans interested in obtaining NAP coverage.  

"When other insurance coverage is not an option, NAP is a valuable risk mitigation tool for farmers and ranchers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “In agriculture, losses from natural disasters are a matter of when, not if, and having a NAP policy provides a little peace of mind.” 

NAP provides financial assistance to producers of commercial crops for which insurance coverage is not available in order to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses, or prevent crop planting.    

NAP Buy-Up Coverage Option

The 2018 Farm Bill reinstates higher levels of coverage, from 50 to 65 percent of expected production in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. Producers of organics and crops marketed directly to consumers also may exercise the “buy-up” option to obtain NAP coverage of 100 percent of the average market price at the coverage levels of between 50 and 65 percent of expected production. NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production.    

Producers have a one-time opportunity until May 24, 2019, to obtain buy-up coverage for 2019 or 2020 eligible crops for which the NAP application closing date has passed.    

Buy-up coverage is not available for crops intended for grazing. 

NAP Service Fees

For all coverage levels, the new NAP service fee is the lesser of $325 per crop or $825 per producer per county, not to exceed a total of $1,950 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.  These amounts reflect a $75 service fee increase for crop, county or multi-county coverage.  The fee increases apply to obtaining NAP coverage on crops on or after April 8, 2019. 

NAP Enhancements for Qualified Military Veterans

The 2018 Farm Bill NAP amendments specify that qualified veteran farmers or ranchers are now eligible for a service fee waiver and premium reduction, if the NAP applicant meets certain eligibility criteria.  

Beginning, limited resource and targeted underserved farmers or ranchers remain eligible for a waiver of NAP service fees and premium reduction when they file form CCC-860, “Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource and Beginning Farmer or Rancher Certification.” 

For NAP application, eligibility and related program information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/napor contact your local USDA Service Center.  To locate your local FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov.  

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

Junior

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