GO Virginia State Board Approves Three Region One Projects

At their June 24, 2019 meeting, the GO Virginia State Board announced the approval of nine regional projects funded through GO Virginia regional per capita grants totaling over $1.1 million. Four GO Virginia regions participated in this round of GO Virginia funding requests. Of the nine approved projects, six are enhanced capacity building and three are collaborative implementation grants. It was a great day for Region One as all three submitted proposals were approved by the State Board, which accounted for the most approved for any one region at the meeting. With the new project approvals, Region One now has seven approved GO Virginia grants totaling $833,866, leveraging over $1.3 million in investment.

Recommended for approval by the Region One Council in May, the Lonesome Pine Rural Industrial Facilities Authority (LPRIFA) was awarded a $50,000 enhanced capacity building grant to support a 24-month coordinator position to manage two federally funded projects of the LPRIFA; Project Intersection and Project Homestead. The position, to be employed by the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission, will further the LPRIFA organizational structure and establish the self-sustainability of the LPRIFA by facilitating increased economic development opportunities, which will create more prospects for regional revenue sharing.

Appalachian Voices, on behalf of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia, was also awarded an enhanced capacity building grant for $70,947 to develop The Solar Jobs, Manufacturing and Utility-Scale Investment Playbook for Far Southwest Virginia. "We are thrilled and honored to receive funding support from GO Virginia," said Adam Wells of Appalachian Voices, a co-convener of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia. "The Solar Playbook will identify the specific pathways to leverage Southwest Virginia's assets to grow a locally-rooted solar industry, and provide local leaders with the tools they need to convert the vast opportunity in our region into jobs for our residents while attracting outside investments.” GO Virginia funds will assist with expenses for personnel and contracting services.

Lastly, the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority was awarded a $100,000 implementation grant for the Southwest Virginia Livestock and Educational Center, a joint effort of the Agricultural Education Departments of the City of Galax, Carroll County and Grayson County schools, a consortium of local cattle producers and the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The project will establish an educational and working facility to be located on a 42 acre location, with proximity to interstates I-77 and I-81 and the wholesale Southwest Virginia Farmers Market. In its initial phase, the Southwest Virginia Livestock and Educational Center will serve multiple purposes as a hands-on educational facility for local agriculture students and 4H programs and a safe, controlled working facility where both students and local livestock producers can work their herds, receive veterinary services, and grade and sell livestock locally. The project is expected to provide students with increased awareness and opportunities for scholarships to continue their education and local employment in the agriculture sector through internship opportunities. In addition, benefits for the producers include improved health and genetics of herds, higher certified weights at time of sale and significantly higher sale prices for herds. GO Virginia funds will support the project with expenses for equipment for the facility.

Mike Quillen, chair of the Region One Council, stated, “We are pleased the State Board concurred with the regional council in approving all three projects put forward for this funding cycle. Each project aligns well with the Region One Growth and Diversification Plan and has the potential to impact the region’s efforts on site development and talent development.”

The GO Virginia Region One Council accepts applications for per capita grant funding on a rolling basis. The next deadline for applications to be considered by the Region One Council is July 8, 2019. The GO Virginia Region One Council will review applications at their next meeting, scheduled for August 6, 2019 at 10:00 AM at the Dickenson Center for Education and Research in Clintwood, VA. For more information, visit the Region One website at www.goswva.org or contact Robyn Lee at rlee@uvawise.edu.