Roanoke County Business Partners Newsletter
August 2022: Volume 22, No. 8
 
The E-newsletter of the Roanoke County Economic Development Department is designed to showcase the investments and achievements of our existing business partners. For additional information about doing business in Roanoke County, visit our website.
LewisGale Opens Second Freestanding ER
LewisGale Regional Health System held a grand opening ceremony for the long-awaited Blue Hills ER in the Bonsack area of Roanoke County. The Blue Hills ER is strategically located along the Route 460 corridor for quick access in emergency scenarios. This is LewisGale’s second Freestanding ER in Roanoke County, with the first being on Route 419 in Cave Spring, now with the ability to serve more citizens in our area. You can find them at 1423 W Ruritan Road and you can learn more in the August episode of Roanoke County Business Partners.
Board Supervisor Phil North (Hollins Magisterial District) presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Market President, Alan Fabian
LewisGale Blue Hills ER facility located along Route 460 in Bonsack
Photos courtesy of LewisGale Regional Health System
Solstice Farm Brewery Opens in Catawba
Solstice Farm Brewery is officially open in Catawba! With hops grown right in the backyard, Solstice Farm slings cold beer with a variety of styles. Kick back after a hike on the nearby trails and visit this new small business for cold beer, a game of darts, and beautiful views. Owners Ed & Anna Shore will also grow additional crops on the farm to use in their menu, adding more farm-to-table offerings grown right here in Roanoke County. You can check them out at 6565 Blacksburg Road and you can learn more on the August episode of Roanoke County Business Partners.
TMEIC Graduates from Export Trade Program
Congratulations to Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation (TMEIC) for graduating from the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). TMEIC joins the now over 350 companies that have graduated from the program, which assists in expanding global market presence and growth strategies for companies with firmly established domestic operations.

Read more on this year's trade accelerator program Here

Learn more about VALET Here
Development By District - What's new in Hollins?
Roanoke County Economic Development sat down with Board Supervisor Phill North (Hollins Magisterial District) to hear from him about the economic activity that's happened in Hollins recently. We cover topics including new businesses, community development projects, and what we can expect in the future. Check out more on the August episode of Roanoke County Business Partners.
VWCC Partnership with Mack Trucks Featured in the Virginia Economic Review Magazine
Economic development in the Roanoke Region starts with effective partnerships, like the work being done between Mack Trucks and Virginia Western Community College to create bespoke training programs that help workforce development in our region. Check out this article from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership diving into their training solutions.

Marvin Employees Boost Their Credentials
The Greater Roanoke Workforce Development Board (GRWDB), serving the Roanoke Valley and the Alleghany Highlands in Southwest Virginia, was approached by Marvin Windows, a large manufacturer of residential and commercial windows in Roanoke County. With a large workforce and the need to upskill and train their entry-level workers on advanced manufacturing processes, and to combat the large wave of retirements in the near future, the GRWDB connected Marvin Windows with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (VDOLI)’s Registered Apprenticeship Consultant.

In 2019, Marvin Windows entered their first ten (10) existing employees into the Manufacturing Technician program, with funding assistance provided by the GRWDB through the Incumbent Worker Training funding authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I programs. As a result, 9 of the original 10 employees received their Journeyman credential while the company saw a 90% retention rate during one of the most difficult retention periods in company history due to COVID-19. The individuals in the cohort that completed the program all received wage increases and/or promotions, with an average of 39% increase in wages across the total cohort. Congratulations to Marvin Windows and their employees!
New CTE Site Announced
The Roanoke County School Board has announced the purchase of land adjacent to Peters Creek Road between Airport Road and Burlington Elementary School. This site will serve as the location for the new Roanoke County Public Schools Career & Technical Education (CTE) Center and will replace the existing CTE facility that houses the Burton Center for Arts & Technology (BCAT). The site was selected based on the recommendations of the Roanoke County CTE Center Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

The Roanoke Region Shows Resiliency
The Roanoke Regional Partnership published key indicators that show the economic strength of the Roanoke Region, showing our area is resilient and primed for growth.

These key indicators of economic development are a testament to the hard work of our partners in the public and private sectors. The joint commitment toward placemaking, innovation, talent attraction, and real estate development has helped the region recover quickly and continue its trajectory toward economic wealth.

Learn more about the Roanoke Region Here
Virignia Secretary of Commerce Tours Roanoke
Virginia Secretary Of Commerce and Trade, Caren Merrick, and members from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership visited the Roanoke Region last month. Local economic developers, officials, and business representatives were able to conduct property tours and an industry workforce round table discussion. This was a great opportunity to showcase Roanoke and hear from industry leaders.
Recruiting Local Students for High-Quality Internships
The Regional Internship Collaborative has partnered with local colleges, universities, and workforce development organizations to offer 3 in-person internship workshops and one 3-part virtual series for local employers. Join them for an informative and interactive workshop that covers the who, what, when, and how of recruiting local students for high-quality internships.

This workshop will be offered four (4) times:
**It is recommended to attend either one in-person workshop or all three virtual workshops

  • July 28 from 11 AM-2 PM at Radford University's Hulbert Student Center
  • August 3 from 11 AM-2 PM at Virginia Career Works - Roanoke Center
  • Virtually: August 9, 17, and 25 from 2-3 PM via Zoom
  • September 21 from 9 AM-12 PM at Sweet Briar College's Conference Center

Register for the sessions HERE
Amtrak Adds Roundtrip Train to DC
Photo credit to Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge
Amtrak in Roanoke is getting a second daily roundtrip passenger train. The added train will allow for an additional departure from Roanoke to DC at 4:30 PM and a train from DC to Roanoke at 1 PM. This additional connectivity allows for more tourism opportunities both for visitors coming into Roanoke and for Roanoke residents looking to venture out.

VTC's Microbusiness Marketing Leverage Program Grant
The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is offering a reimbursable grant program to assist small tourism-related businesses and bolster non-peak seasonal visitation. The grant application period opens on August 4, 2022, with applications on Sept. 20, 2022. Eligible applicants should be tourism-related businesses that have 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and can include, but are not limited to: boutique retail shops, food trucks, attractions, craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, boutique lodging and B&Bs, outfitters, and events and festivals focused on attracting visitors during low visitation times.

  • Additional eligibility: Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), and groups such as Planning District Commissions, Economic Development Authorities (EDA’s) and Main Street organizations.
  • Application Requirements: A targeted and research-based marketing plan that demonstrates how applicants will use the grant money for marketing and promotions to fulfill the purposes of the grant program.
  • Match Requirement: 1:1 cash or in-kind marketing match.
  • Maximum Award: $5,000
  • Application Period: Opens: August 4, 2022. Closes: September 20, 2022.
  • Apply Here

For information and questions, please contact VTCMLPGrant@virginia.org
Business Community Input Wanted on CTE
Join us for these upcoming community meetings!

North County
Wednesday, August 17 at 6 PM
RCPS Central Office Gymnasium
5937 Cove Road, Roanoke

South County
Wednesday, August 24 at 6 PM
South County Library Auditorium
6303 Merriman Road, Roanoke

Roanoke County Public Schools provides a robust curriculum of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses for our students in multiple career clusters. CTE students can obtain a nationally recognized career readiness certificate in high school, comprehensive community college, or workforce center. CTE provides students with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners. CTE prepares these learners for the world of work by introducing them to workplace competencies, and makes academic content accessible to students by providing it in a hands-on context.

Two Business Community Input Meetings have been scheduled to discuss CTE and business training needs for the new Roanoke County Public Schools CTE Center proposed at 6521 Peters Creek Road. This new CTE Center will replace the existing CTE facility that is housed at the Burton Center for Arts & Technology (BCAT).

Please contact Jason Suhr, RCPS Director of CTE, at jsuhr@rcps.us or (540) 562-3900 ext. 10331 with any questions.
RoCo Parks and Rec Spring Updates
Highland Games

Music, Celtic Clans, Bagpipes, Athletes and more! Green Hill Highland Games returns to Green Hill Park on Saturday, August 27 from 9 AM to 6 PM! Spectators are welcome to enjoy a full day of activities to celebrate the Celtic and Scottish culture in Southwest Virginia!

Click Here for more information.
Treetop Quest

Soar into your next adventure at Treetop Quest! Explore Park has two, new Chick Pea courses for ages 4 to 6, watch this video to take a walkthrough of the new features!

Click Here to book your quest!
Artisan Saturday

The third and final Artisan Saturday of 2022 is coming up on August 13th at Explore Park! Watch local artisans demonstrate their craft and enjoy free family activities from 10 AM to 3 PM.

Click Here for more information about each artisan!
Mixed-Use Property Available at South Peak
Thalhimer is representing a 2.48 AC ground lease or built-to-suit mixed property perfect for a mixed-use development opportunity. This property is located on Southpeak Boulevard in proximity to Texas Roadhouse and Hilton Garden Inn, also located in a high-income demographic area with high traffic counts.

Learn more about this property Here
National Night Out is Back on Williamson Road
The Greater Williamson Road Area Business Association is sponsoring National Night Out at the Williamson Road Plaza shopping center (3501 Williamson Road) on August 2 from 4 - 8 PM. The event is free and is a great way to meet and celebrate Roanoke County and Roanoke City first responders with food, music, games, and more!

Click Here to learn more
Partners and Programs
Click to zoom in

Selling to the Commonwealth Webinar

Save the date for August 10 for a webinar explaining the eVa platform. This session will provide a high-level overview of the Commonwealth's purchasing process, including purchasing policies that affect how buyers use the eVA system to "Shop" and the eVA tools used by our buying community. You'll also get a guided tour of the eVA website.

The webinar is FREE but advance registration is required Here
Workshops & Resources

Upcoming Roanoke Regional SBDC events include:


Upskill Your Employees with VWCC

Virginia Western Community College is offering the 2022 Summer of Soft Skills, a training program that upskills employees to increase proficiency, critical thinking skills, Customer Service orientation, and more! These courses are customizable to fit your company's and team's specific needs.



Find Talent Solutions with
the Registered Apprenticeship Program

Join the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry at noon on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 to learn more about Virginia’s Registered Apprenticeship Program and the CRAFT Project Grant. The Virginia Registered Apprenticeship program is an employment training model that produces highly skilled workers to meet the demands of employers competing in a global economy, through a combination of on-the-job training and related technical instruction.


Economic Equity Fund

Virginia Community Capital is introducing the Economic Equity Fund, a $10 million loan fund that provides low-cost financing for small, BIPOC- and/or women-owned businesses that were disproportionately affected by the economic impact of the pandemic. Eligibility requirements include:

  • The business owner is a woman and/or Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
  • Located in Virginia
  • In operation for 18 months or longer

Eligible businesses can contact Coleman Fox for more information:

Learn more and apply HERE
Career Development Resources

The “Your Career > Your Future” newsletter features timely articles and insights from the Career Experts Group members and newsletter contributing writers.

Each month, you’ll receive the latest information on hot career topics and trends, including accessing the hidden job market, creating your personal brand, and writing a winning LinkedIn profile. And that’s just for starters.

If you have questions about a specific career-related topic, you can Ask the Experts. Click here to submit your questions to our experts. Click here to sign up for the monthly newsletter.


Roanoke County Business Partners on RVTV
This month, we visit the LewisGale Blue Hills ER for the grand opening of the new freestanding ER on Route 460 in the Bonsack area. Then we head to Catawba to speak with the owners of the brand new Solstice Farm Brewery located on Blacksburg Road. Finally, we hear from Hollins Supervisor, Phil north, in our Development By District segment highlighting economic and community activity in the area.
(540) 772-2069
P.O. Box 29800, Roanoke, VA 24018-0798