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Six regions to receive economic development funding

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(The Center Square) — Economic development organizations throughout the commonwealth are receiving $2.9 million in eight grant awards through Growth and Opportunity for Virginia, an organization that focuses on fostering sustainable regional economic growth in the commonwealth.

“These GO Virginia projects exemplify our commitment to fostering economic growth and creating opportunities across various regions,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin. “By removing barriers to entrepreneurship, improving industrial sites and increasing the number of Virginia’s shovel-ready sites, we are propelling the growth of targeted industries and clearing pathways for sustainable employment.”

Since GO Virginia’s inception in 2017, it has distributed approximately $109 million to 262 projects across the commonwealth.

GO Virginia awards funding into three primary areas of research and innovation, site development and talent pathways, all represented in the total of four grants going to regions four and six.

Region four, an area bordering the commonwealth’s southeastern corner, will receive over $1 million to establish Career Connections labs in area school districts, which will teach middle schoolers about the advanced manufacturing and information technology industries and enable them to develop related skills.

In addition, the region will receive $253,000 to be awarded to Reynolds Community College to create a learning lab and develop a curriculum for a new laboratory technician major, which will equip students pursuing careers in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Region six, which include Spotsylvania, Caroline, King William and Gloucester counties, will receive two grants totaling nearly $200,000. The grants will be used to develop a 368-acre industrial site and to identify opportunities to “expand the existing Smart Technology Entrepreneurial testbed into rural localities across GO Virginia Region 6,” according to the Virginia DHCD.

Regions two, three, eight and nine are set to receive the other $1.3 million, which amounts to a little less than half of the total funding in this round.

“These projects will accelerate growth in high-opportunity industries for Virginia, including manufacturing, life sciences and logistics, by using GO Virginia’s holistic approach to cluster-based economic development – talent development, site development and innovation,” said GO Virginia State Board Vice Chair Tood Stottlemyer.

“These efforts will develop larger pools of qualified workers, prepare sites to meet market demand and create a resource-rich environment for start-ups and early-stage companies.”

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