by Tyler Arnold
Virginia has awarded $6.3 million worth of grants designed to spur economic growth, which includes workforce development grants, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday.
The money will be dispersed among 15 projects, which include workforce development, site development and infrastructure, entrepreneurial ecosystems and COVID-19 recovery efforts. This includes eight regional GO Virginia projects and seven funded through the GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program.
“This funding will go a long way towards supporting a broad-based economic recovery across our Commonwealth,” Northam said in a statement.
“As we celebrate these projects, we must also recognize the leadership and many contributions of the late GO Virginia Board Chairman Tom Farrell, whose business acumen helped advance the GO Virginia mission of fostering lasting regional collaboration, and was instrumental in mounting a robust effort to spur Virginia’s economic recovery amid the pandemic,” Northam said. “His legacy will live on through innovative, impactful programs like this one.”
According to a news release, the projects will support the growth of startup businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems, grow business-ready sites and expand the talent pipeline in certain industries. About $5.6 million in local and non-government resources will also be used in conjunction with these grants.
“From energy and life sciences to manufacturing and tourism, GO Virginia continues to spur innovative ideas and strategies to support businesses throughout the Commonwealth,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in the statement. “As Chair, Tom Farrell gave so much of his time to the betterment of Virginia communities, and he will be dearly missed.”
The largest grant will be $1.29 million for the Northern Virginia Smart Region Initiative in Arlington and Fairfax counties and the City of Fairfax. The second largest grant will be $1.22 million for the Richmond County Commerce Center Expansion in Richmond County, Westmoreland County and the town of Warsaw.
Some other grants include $486,366 for energy storage and electrictrification manufacturing jobs in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties and $613,000 for Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education in several localities.
“The recent efforts of the GO Virginia program demonstrate the importance of strategic thinking in regions, and how addressing near-term economic needs can create long-term economic growth opportunities,” GO Virginia Board Member and House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax Station, said in a statement. “This round of grants represent a combination of ingenuity, collaboration, and resiliency during a time of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact they have on communities around the Commonwealth.”
The GO Virginia projects began in 2017 and has directed $56.9 million for 163 similar projects.
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