News from the CSPDC Region
September 2021
2020 Census Data Released 
On August 12, the U.S. Census released its first round of data collected during the 2020 Census. This rollout includes data on population growth, race, and the Hispanic population.

The population in the CSPDC region has grown by 6% over the past decade, from 286,781 in 2010 to 304,056 in 2020. This is slower than the 7.9% growth rate in the state. However, growth in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham area exceeded the statewide growth rate, growing 8.3% since 2010.

In regards to race and ethnicity, white residents in our region slightly declined from
90.8% to 88.3%, while the percentage of residents among all other races has increased. The City of Harrisonburg is the region’s most racially diverse locality, with a population distribution of 10.3% Black residents, 5.5% Asian residents, and 18.2% of residents that identify as “Other race.” In contrast, Highland County is the region’s most racially homogenous locality, with 98.7% of the population being white. The 2020 Census revealed that 67.8% of Virginia residents identify as white, down from 71% in 2010.
Afton Express Launches

The Afton Express, a commuter bus service connecting Staunton, Fishersville, Waynesboro, Charlottesville, and Fifth Street Station in Albemarle County began operating on September 1. Three buses, outfitted with Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and bike racks, operate four morning and four afternoon service routes, five days a week. All rides are free during the month of September. Standard fares, beginning October 1, will be $3 one way, with 10 ride farecards available for purchase for $25. 
GO VA Site Enhancement Project Begins

In August, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership (SVP) contracted with Draper Aden and Associates to perform the Shenandoah Valley Site Enhancement project that is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2022. The project is funded through GO Virginia and will include Phase I environmental reviews, wetlands surveys, geotechnical subsurface evaluation, and characterization of each site for the Virginia Business Ready Sites Tier program. 
Collectively called Investing in America's Communities the programs include:

-$500 million for the Good Jobs Challenge
-$100 million for Indigenous Communities
EDA Announces $3B in Funding 
On July 22, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the six programs to equitably invest $3 billion allocated under the American Rescue Plan. This EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades.

The programs aim to assist communities by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and build local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge will provide a transformational investment to 20-30 regions across the country that want to revitalize their economies. EDA will make grants to state and local governmental entities, institutions of higher education, not-for-profit entities, unions, and Tribes. The CSPDC is in conversations with local localities regarding potential applications. 
VATI Grants Due -
September 14

Applications for the 2022 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) are due September 14, 2021. In August, Governor Northam allocated a historic $700 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding toward broadband infrastructure for unserved areas in Virginia.
VOP Stakeholder Meeting - October 12

The CSPDC has scheduled an annual stakeholder meeting to facilitate conversations and garner feedback regarding the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Virginia Outdoors Plan (VOP). The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 12 at 2:00 p.m.
VAMPO Staff Training -September 15

The Virginia Association of MPOs (VAMPO) is hosting a free half-day training on Wednesday, September 15. The training is titled “Integrating Equity and Inclusion into the Transportation and Public Engagement Process,” and will be led by Charles Brown of Equitable Cities, LLC. The training will feature a keynote address from Mr. Brown, followed by facilitated break-out sessions to learn about and discuss the implementation of best practices for localities and regions of any size. The training is eligible for 3 AICP Certification Maintenance Credits.
CSPDC Welcomes
Joe McDonald

The CSPDC welcomes new Fiscal Technician, Joe McDonald. Joe received his BS degree in Accounting from Ball State University and Master’s degree in Accountancy from Indiana University. Joe has over 45 years of experience working as a farmer, restaurant owner, accountant, and financial analyst, including 8 years in accounting at Anheuser-Busch and 6 years with A-B’s major glass supplier Saint-Gobain Containers. Most recently, Joe worked as the controller at Harrisonburg -Rockingham Free Clinic. A native Virginian, Joe and his wife, Elissa, reside in Staunton, with their rescue Labradors and barn cats.  
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