Economic Development

Governor Northam Announces Major New Produce Packing Facility in Brunswick County

Partnership and facility to help former tobacco farmers seize fast-growing market for organic vegetables

RICHMOND—Governor Northam today announced Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing, LLC has partnered with Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority to construct a new, 45,000 square-foot, $4.2 million produce processing and packing facility.

Old Dominion Organic Farms, a member of Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing, will operate the facility. Over the next three years, 40 new jobs will be created and the facility is expected to process nearly $24 million Virginia-grown vegetables, approximately 80 percent of which will be certified organic. The new facility will support more than 22 farmers located in Amelia, Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Prince George, and Surry Counties during its first season.

“As the Commonwealth’s largest and oldest industry, agriculture is an integral part of Virginia’s economic wellbeing—especially in rural areas,” said Governor Northam. “I commend the members of Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing and all of the public and private sector partners who have made this project a reality. They have set an example for how we can all work together to support Virginia agriculture and the communities that rely on this important industry.”

During Governor Northam's administration, the Commonwealth has brought in a record-breaking $48.2 billion in capital investment and created over 91,500 new jobs, including over $8.4 billion and 21,500 jobs in distressed communities.

Since 2001, the price and volume of tobacco sales in Virginia have decreased by nearly half, forcing many Southern Virginia farmers to find new markets or close down their operations. By contrast, the market for organic produce has boomed over that same period, with annual growth frequently exceeding 10 percent. Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing is taking advantage of this market opportunity by leveraging its existing land and labor assets, investing in organic certification, and partnering with farmers across the region to provide wholesalers with a stable and abundant supply of organic and conventional produce. 

Over the next five years, Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing expects to make more than $60 million in produce sales, with $42 million being returned directly to individual farmers. A non-profit has been created to assist prospective farmers with growing these crops and obtaining organic certification, so they too can participate in this market.  

“Embracing innovation and exploring new opportunities in agriculture is key to the growth and prosperity of rural communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am pleased that Brunswick County’s first Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development award is being used to partner with Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing to create new markets and support local farmers and producers with creative ways to maintain and grow their farming operations.”

“Access to a facility that provides efficient packing, cooling, and distribution of vegetables for local farmers will create access to markets previously unavailable to them,” said Jordan Brandon of Old Dominion Organic Farms. “This was the key component farmers were lacking to capitalize on the land, equipment, labor, and farming experience they already possess.”

The Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked closely with Brunswick and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to secure the project for the Commonwealth. The architectural and engineering work needed to move the project forward was supported through a $35,000 Planning Grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund awarded in June to Brunswick and Lunenburg Counties. To assist the county in securing this project for Virginia, Governor Northam awarded Brunswick’s Industrial Development Authority a $400,000 Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Facility Grant, the county’s first-ever Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development award.  The project is also supported by a $500,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.

“The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors is excited to see this project come to fruition as it capitalizes on our existing agricultural community, aligns with our Board Vision 2035 to create new business opportunities, and will result in more job creation for our citizens,” said Brunswick County Board of Supervisors Chair Dr. Barbara Jarratt Harris. “We look forward to a continued partnership with the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority, the Brunswick County Agriculture Task Force, and other stakeholders to redefine our niche and help our agriculture industry thrive in new markets.”

“Three years ago, the Industrial Development Authority convened an Agricultural Task Force comprised of state and local leaders in agriculture, education, business, and economic development to leverage our farming heritage to create a new vision for development in the county,” said Industrial Development Authority of Brunswick Chair Gloria Meneweather-Woods. “This project is an outgrowth of that vision, and I sincerely thank the task force for their leadership. While there is still much to do, we know collaborative efforts like this offer us a pathway to continued success.”

“I am delighted that this project will draw on the farming expertise and experience of local folks in this effort to supply fresh, wholesome food to Virginians,” said Senator Frank Ruff.

“Supporting our local farmers and producers is every bit as important now as it has always been for our region,” said Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission member Delegate Roslyn C. Tyler. “This facility will enable local farms to reach new customers and pursue new wholesale opportunities that will increase profitability and help ensure that these farms remain operational for generations to come. This is a big win for agriculture in our region and I’m pleased the Commission chose to support this important project. I look forward to seeing construction get underway on this new facility as soon as possible.”

The Northam administration has funded an historic number of projects through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development fund. As of today, 109 businesses have received Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development grants, investing nearly $10 million in businesses all over the Commonwealth, helping them create more than $1 billion in new investment, nearly 3,500 jobs, and over $1 billion in commitments to purchase Virginia-grown products.

Commonwealth Invests in Southside Businesses Through RebuildVA

Delegate Roslyn Tyler highlights RebuildVA small business grants in her district

EMPORIA, Va.—Today, Delegate Roslyn Tyler (HD-75) held a press conference in Emporia highlighting the RebuildVA grants issued by the Commonwealth to help small businesses in Southside Virginia. 

“The RebuildVA program is essential to fostering economic growth in rural Virginia. These grants allowed our local businesses to receive vital assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Del. Tyler. “I am excited to continue working in the House of Delegates to make sure to maintain Virginia’s status of being ‘the best state to do business.’” 

In House District 75, which encompasses most of Southside, had 13 businesses receive a total of $609,000 in RebuildVA grants. The grant recipients include a diner, a law office, a body shop, a trucking company, and two nonprofit organizations providing community-based services. Three of the recipient businesses are Black-owned.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but the RebuildVA grants are vital to the families here in Southside Virginia,” said Alfreda Jarrett-Reynolds, Brunswick County Director of Economic Development. “The funds will afford us the opportunity to not only survive during the pandemic but thrive afterward. Businesses need help to be able to adjust to new realities, and we are grateful for the assistance.”

During the General Assembly’s Special Session II, House Democrats allocated $250 million of federal American Recuse Plan relief to fully fund the Rebuild VA program, to reinvest in our economy and to take strides toward building a better Virginia.

Governor Northam Announces Over $11.1 Million in GO Virginia Grants

Funding will support workforce and site development, infrastructure, entrepreneurial ecosystems

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced an allocation of more than $11.1 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants to help advance economic recovery efforts across the Commonwealth. This funding will support 20 projects focused on expanding workforce development and talent pipelines in key industries, growing startup businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems, and increasing Virginia’s business-ready sites portfolio.

“The targeted support that GO Virginia provides is critical to ensuring communities across our Commonwealth are well positioned to succeed in a post-pandemic economy,” said Governor Northam. “These projects demonstrate how regional collaboration can drive innovation and deliver positive economic results, including diversifying our workforce, supporting entrepreneurs, and upgrading our infrastructure.”

Included in this round of GO Virginia funding is one statewide project, 16 regional projects, and three projects through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program. The awarded projects will leverage an additional $7.1 million in local and other non-state resources.

“The regional approach of GO Virginia continues to spur creative economic development strategies throughout the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These projects will support regional priorities and help communities achieve economic growth goals now and in the future.”

“The collaboration inspired by GO Virginia is evident in these projects,” said Nancy Howell Agee, who was elected to serve as Chair of the GO Virginia Board at the June 15th meeting. “It is important to recognize the leadership of the GO Virginia regional councils and the localities partnering on these important initiatives and acknowledge their continued efforts to build stronger regional economies that provide quality job opportunities for Virginians.”

Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 182 projects and awarded approximately $68 million to support regional economic development efforts. To learn more about the GO Virginia Program, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/gova.

2021 ROUND TWO STATEWIDE GRANT AWARDS

Cybersecurity Job Creation System | $1,450,000
Region 5 (lead): Counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton and cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach
Region 7: Fairfax County
Regions 3, 4, 6

Old Dominion University Research Foundation will develop and deliver a cost-effective, cloud-based compliance system to help Virginia’s Department of Defense contractors achieve Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) accreditation. A NIST 800-171/CMMC education program will be developed and delivered by Old Dominion University, Eastern Shore Community College, and as part of the four VA-affiliated universities and participating community colleges.
 

2021 ROUND TWO REGIONAL GRANT AWARDS

Southwest Virginia Regional Ecosystem Initiative Implementation | $290,850
Region 1: Cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton and the town of St. Paul

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise is partnering with SWVA Startup and Opportunity SWVA to increase the number of entrepreneurs in the region by 2027 and ensure they have access to a robust ecosystem, including support for existing, early-stage businesses. The multi-prong strategy includes hiring a regional ecosystem builder, implementing a virtual accelerator program, and focusing on increased outreach and programming to develop a more diverse entrepreneurship community.

Project Fuse | $70,000
Region 1: Counties of Dickenson, Lee, Scott, and Wise, and the city of Norton

Project Fuse will develop an action-oriented plan with business retention and recruitment tools for local economic developers to promote telework employment strategies in the Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority territory. This project supports the needs of companies and economic developers looking to expand the use of teleworking strategies as well as residents interested in remote employment opportunities.

Project Thoroughbred | $100,000
Region 1: Counties of Lee and Scott

Project Thoroughbred will add capacity to the maximum output farmers can produce, strengthen market confidence in the region’s ability to meet quality specifications, diversify products, and take the first step toward creating jobs for graduates of the Mountain Empire Community College’s Grain Management Program. 

Dearing Ford Industrial Park | $506,000
Region 2: Campbell County and the town of Altavista

The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance will manage a project to extend gas service to the Dearing Ford Industrial Park and the adjacent publicly-owned development parcels. This project will create the only gas-serviced site in the Lynchburg sub-region and significantly increase the marketability of the sites.

Helping Local Employers Prepare the Existing and Future Workforce for Industry 4.0 | $45,360
Region 2: Counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke, the cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem, and the town of Vinton

The Learning Factory in Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, in partnership with the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center, will address the need for trained talent in Industry 4.0 technology skills in the region and increase competitiveness for manufacturers. The project will convene employers and stakeholders to help identify areas of needed growth in Industry 4.0 such as necessary new technology, skill gaps among the current and future workforce, areas of potential collaboration and others. 

Lynchburg Beacon of Hope | $97,740
Region 2: Amherst County and the city of Lynchburg

Lynchburg Beacon of Hope will develop a Playbook for Future Centers to provide a programmatic guide of its existing Future Centers model that will focus on in-demand careers in the region’s targeted industries of manufacturing, information technology, and life sciences. The playbook will guide the operations and sustainability of the Future Centers model, a template for hiring a director of each Future Center, and a professional development and training module for effective Future Centers. 

Building a Regional Health Sciences Talent Pipeline | $100,000
Region 2: Counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke, the cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem, and the town of Vinton

The project will establish the Blue Ridge Partnership for Health Science Careers to work as a consortium with public institutions and private employers, helping them to more systematically collaborate to leverage resources and align curriculum with employers’ future growth strategies. This project will accelerate the development of a new model for widespread business-education collaboration, increase the number of health and life science graduates, and begin to formalize a health science talent pipeline focused on engineering, cybersecurity, mechatronics, and the broader life sciences trade sector.

Minority Small Business Launch Center at Virginia State University | $453,000
Region 4: Counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Henrico, Prince George, Surry, and Sussex and the cities of Colonial Heights, Emporia, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Richmond

The Division of Research and Economic Development and the Center for Entrepreneurship at Virginia State University will create a Minority Small Business Launch Center that will provide a comprehensive suite of services for minority business founders and early-stage businesses. Funding will support the creation of 90 jobs and 40 new businesses.

Virginia’s Gateway Region Sites | $1,634,407
Region 4: Counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Prince George, and Powhatan and the city of Petersburg

Virginia’s Gateway Region will advance site readiness in Region 4 by three-fold, elevating 15 sites (totaling 1,652 acres) to Tier 4 on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Business Ready Sites Program. This effort will promote the availability of shovel-ready sites to prospective businesses, which will in turn help to create higher-paying jobs in the region.

Sussex County Water Study | $96,000
Region 4: Counties of Isle of Wight, Sussex, and Surry

Virginia’s Gateway Region will facilitate a preliminary engineering report for the evaluation of water supply alternatives to serve a 1,000-acre development site in Sussex County. Funding will support the expanded marketability of the site by identifying strategies to provide additional water capacity.

Campus 757 | $500,000
Region 5: Cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, and Portsmouth 

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council will create an initiative to increase the percentage of college students who stay and work full time in Hampton Roads. The project aims to assist up to 400 companies and connect 700 to 1,500 students with employment opportunities. 

757 Collab | $2,415,573
Region 5: Cities of Hampton, Newport News, and Norfolk

757 Collab, an ongoing venture of 757 Accelerate, 757 Startup Studios, and 757 Angels, will continue building and delivering new innovation and entrepreneurship programming, capacity, and services to early-stage companies by bringing together an accelerator, private capital, collaborative space, and community outreach programs. 

Establishing a Regional Internet of Things Accelerator Program in the Rappahannock Regional Entrepreneur Ecosystem | $215,000
Region 6: Counties of King George and Stafford and the city of Fredericksburg

Stafford County and partnering localities will collaborate with the Center for Innovative Technology to expand entrepreneurial programs in the Rappahannock Region. Programs will also support the technology-based Virginia Smart Community Testbed in Stafford and provide entrepreneurs with access to the proven Regional Internet of Things Accelerator Program and additional community-focused programming.

Northern Virginia Community College Dual Enrollment Expansion Program for Information and Engineering Technology | $1,106,777
Region 7: Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park

Northern Virginia Community College, in conjunction with multiple partners, will implement the Dual Enrollment Expansion Program for Information and Engineering Technology (DEEP-IET) to develop regional workforce capacity in IET, specifically targeting information technology and engineering technology. The DEEP-IET approach will target successful student outcomes with multiple touch points on the STEM talent pipeline and will result in 288 additional graduates, 96 new internships, and expand the number of certified dual enrollment teachers in the region.

Innovation Forward | $100,000
Region 7: Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park

The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance will undergo a strategic planning process to determine the best approaches to organization and management, budgeting and funding, staffing, policy development, business development activities, and brand development. This project will ultimately develop regional capacity and leverage combined assets to grow and diversify the regional economy.

Accelerating Regionally Significant Sites | $786,333
Region 9: Counties of Culpeper and Louisa

The Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development will elevate one 700-acre site to Tier 4 on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Site Characterization scale and enhance the marketability of a 266-acre Tier 4 site by completing water and sewer engineering studies for the sites. The project will benefit the region by increasing the number of shovel-ready sites and supporting economic development efforts that will increase the business tax base and create high-paying jobs.
 

2021 ROUND TWO ECONOMIC RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY STATEWIDE GRANT

Expansion of Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program Mentor Network | $882,794
Region 7 (lead): Counties of Loudoun and Prince William and the cities of Alexandria and Fairfax
Region 2, 4, 5, 6 

George Mason University will expand the statewide network of Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program mentors, who will support startups and early-stage companies. Services will include assistance with developing strategic plans and accessing funding and grants through a new regional hub service network.
 

2021 ROUND TWO ECONOMIC RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY REGIONAL GRANTS

The Future of Workforce Development Outreach | $148,689
Region 9: Counties of Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, and Nelson

Virginia Career Works – Piedmont will address newly identified service equity gaps by providing targeted assistance to displaced workers who do not have access to a career center or high-speed internet. They will create face-to-face support for job seekers and increase access to training and employment opportunities.

Accelerate 2022 | $100,000
Region 7: Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William and the city of Fairfax

Refraction Inc., in partnership with George Mason University, will launch Accelerate 2022, a high-profile, multiday showcase and pitch competition that will bring investors from across the United States to fund Northern Virginia startups and high-growth companies. The project will address the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on raising critical capital, which will lead to more than 100 high-paying jobs and $16 million in follow-on funding within five years.

Governor Northam Announces More Than $13.4 Million in Community Development Block Grants

Fourteen localities receive funding for housing and community revitalization efforts

GREENSVILLE—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

Nike Air Presto Fly

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."

NIKE AIR HUARACHE

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