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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
June 19, 2 020
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GO Virginia Region 8 Leadership Transition
JMU Presents ONLINE Youth Programs (June - July)
BRCC's Learning Can Be Fun - All Classes Online (June - August)
Local Discovery Museums Will Hold In-Person Camps | Harrisonburg & Winchester (June - August)
ICAP Lean Startup Introductory Course - Virtual Cohort (applications due 6/21)
Virginia Cybersecurity Education Conference | Free to VA State & Federal Employees (7/27 - 7/28)
COVID-19 Business Resources, Local Open/Closed Businesses, & Other Information
COVID-19 Resources Provided by the Shenandoah Valley Partnership
Welcome Back Level I Member: Immerge
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link
GO Virginia Region 8 Leadership Transition

G eorge Pace, a well-known and highly respected business leader from the Shenandoah Valley, has tenured his resignation from the GO Virginia Region 8 Council. Mr. Pace will be leaving his post as Chair and member of the Region 8 Council to focus his time and efforts on helping the UVA Health System navigate the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic where he serves as chair of the UVA Physicians Group Board of Directors.

Mr. Chris Kyle, Vice President of Shentel and current Vice Chair of the Region 8 Council, will assume Mr. Pace's duties as Chair. At Shentel, Mr. Kyle is the primary contact with local, state and federal legislators and regulators. He joined the company in 2003, and has led projects in acquisitions, business development, long range planning and Shentel Cable marketing and sales. Mr. Kyle is Chairman of the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association and Vice-chairman of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership.

GO Virginia - a statewide initiative created by Virginia's senior business leaders to foster private- sector growth and job creation through state incentives for regional collaboration by business, education, and government - was first launched in 2016 and Mr. Pace played an integral role in establishing the Region 8 Council from the very beginning. The state GO Virginia Board certified nine distinct GO Virginia regions across the Commonwealth. These regions consist of multiple localities that share similar economic development and workforce needs. Region 8 encompasses two planning districts and 16 counties and cities across the Shenandoah Valley, stretching from Winchester to Lexington.

Elected as the first Chair of the Region 8 Council in April 2017, Mr. Pace led the 28-member Council comprised of area business leaders and owners, K-12 representatives, higher education administrators, workforce development and training partners, and local government officials. Under Mr. Pace'sleadership, the Region 8 Council funded numerous projects including a certified welding program in Rockbridge County, a cyber security workforce training program at Blue Ridge Community College, the Shihadeh Innovation Center in Winchester, an agricultural enterprise center feasibility study for the Shenandoah Valley and, most recently, the Scale-up the Valley Economic Gardening program being offered through the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. In total, eight GO Virginia projects totaling more than $1.1million have been funded by the Region 8 Council, with one additional project to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Shenandoah Valley pending review by the State GO Virginia Board.

For more information on GO Virginia Region 8, please visit

JMU Presents ONLINE Youth Programs (June - July)

JMU Professional & Continuing Education is providing opportunities for online camps and learning for kids, many of which are STEM-based! Please take a look at the following camps and programs starting in June 2020.

Renewable Energy Camp | June 22 - 25, 2020 | Grades: Rising 4th - 12th
During Renewable Energy Camp , kids will get a chance to harness the power of the wind and build a wind turbine as well as catch the sun and use it to power a village or even cook smores!  Over the week, we will learn about energy, renewable energy, energy conservation, wind energy, and solar energy.  At the end of the week, kids will have a chance to show off what they learned in a mini-science fair.

Program Fee: $100.00

Renewable Energy Camp registration and more information 

Science Explorers Camp
Using JMU's unique facilities such as the John C. Wells Planetarium, Science on a Sphere, among others, camp-goers will get to explore different areas of science, including biology, earth science, chemistry, forensic science, physics and astronomy and more!  We seek to inspire and excite the next generation. Science Explorers Camp will touch on topics covered in the former Space Explorers Camp, while introducing new concepts, activities, and STEM challenges. 

Full Day Camp (rising 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th grades)
July 6-10, 2020  Program Fee: $80.00

Full Day Camp (rising 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th grades)
July 13-17, 2020 P
rogram Fee: $80.00

College for Kids | July 27-31, 2020 | Grades: Rising K-8th
College for Kids  provides an enriching, educational, and fun experience  for children in grades K-8. Students work with JMU faculty and graduate students, as well as experts from the community, to explore and discover talents they never knew they had! Classes include STEM topics such as A Dino-Mite STEM AdventureUncovering the Mysteries of Science, and MORE!

Registration Fees: 
1 Session (Am or PM) for the week $80.00,
2 Sessions (AM & PM) for the week $160.00

College for Kids registration, class details, and more information

To check out all Youth Programs, please visit


BRCC's Learning Can Be Fun - All Classes Online (June - August)

Blue Ridge Community College's popular Learning Can Be Fun (LCBF) summer youth program offers 85 classes, providing rising 3-12 grade students plenty of opportunities for virtual learning.  Due to COVID-19 concerns, all classes meet online, with real-time learning taking place live with an instructor and other students for a virtual bonding experience over a one-week period.  Each class is grouped by appropriate age levels, with class size kept to a minimum to allow for individual attention.

Classes include the following subjects:
  • Black Rocket Productions- 60 classes
    • Design
    • Coding
    • Video Game Creation
    • Sports Challenges
    • Minecraft
    • JavaScript & Python
    • YouTube Content Creators
  • Science and Technology - 2 classes
  • Culture, History, Language, and Literature - 10 classes
  • Art, Music, and Theatre - 7 classes


Local Discovery Museums Will Hold In-Person Camps Harrisonburg & Winchester (June - August)


Both the Explore More Discovery Museum and  Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum are  holding summer camps in-person while taking health and safety precautions, beginning June 29.  There are various camps, some with STEM topics, ranging from from Pre-K through Grade 8. Camps will run through the summer and end in August.

Explore More Discovery Museum Summer Camps (Harrisonburg)
Half Day Camps: $135.00 (Members: $105.00)
Full Day Camps:  $270.00 (Members: $210.00)

Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum Summer Camps (Winchester)

Discovery Museum members : $125 half-day
Non-members: $145 half-day
Discount for attending 3+ camps!


ICAP Cohort Sponsors: Virginia Small Business Development Center, George Mason University,
NSF Innovation Corps, and Center for Innovative Technology

Based on the National Science Foundation's I-Corps™ program for Lean Startups, ICAP helps inventors and entrepreneurs take the right first steps in bringing new technologies and innovations to market.

ICAP includes FREE introductory training programs and counseling services offered through ICAP instructors and local SBDC counselors. ICAP helps startups identify potential customers and develop successful business models based on that knowledge. It is an ideal program for early-stage companies trying to prepare for eventual venture investment.

Preferred Sectors
The cohort will give preference to startups focused on the following sectors/solutions:
  • CybersecuritySoftware | Telecommunications | | Information & Communication Technologies | E-Commerce | Networking & Equipment | Electronics/Instrumentation | Sensors | Materials | Drones | IoT
  • Pandemic ResponseBiotechnology | Biopharmaceuticals | Medical Devices | Laboratory Instrumentation | Diagnostics | Healthcare IT | Nutraceuticals | Agricultural | Software | Telecommunications | Information & Communication Technologies | Sensors | Manufacturing
Important Dates
  • June 21, 2020 - Applications are due by midnight
  • June 24, 2020 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm - Introductory Webinar
  • July 1, 2020 - Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps
  • July 8, 2020 - 1:00pm - 3:30pm - Customer Segments and Initial Team Presentations
  • July 9, 2020 - 1:00pm - 3:30pm - Value Proposition
  • July 10, 2020 - 1:00pm - 3:30pm - Customer Discovery
  • July 17, 2020 - Each team participates in a pre-scheduled group video call review of the team's Customer Discovery Progress over the first week
  • July 24, 2020 - 1:00pm - 3:30pm - Final Team Presentations
During this introductory program, there is extensive work done outside the virtual classroom. In addition to the virtual class meetings, participants should expect to spend another 10-15 hours per week on customer discovery and course assignments. At the conclusion of the program, you will remain connected with your ICAP adjunct to continue your progress on the Five Steps to Startup Success over the following 6 to 24 months.

The introductory program is designed to generate a maximum impact over a relatively short duration and should be considered a required first step for anyone interested in commercializing a technology or product, whether through a startup or licensing arrangement. Some graduates of this cohort may be eligible to apply to NSF's Seven-week National I-Corps Program, which includes non-dilutive grants for customer discovery and prototype development. Additionally, this program can help teams develop better submissions for SBIR and CRCF grants from Virginia's Center for Innovative Technologies.

Your ICAP Instructor
Bob Smith is currently the Director of  I-Corps at George Washington University where he helps researchers, inventors, and technology startups develop their technology commercialization and technology business startup efforts. He is also an instructor with the NSF's DC I-Corp Node.

Bob has 30+ years' experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the Chairman of, a leading college rankings website. He's held senior management positions at Congressional Quarterly and America Online in sales, marketing, and new product development and was the founder and CEO of the first nation-wide online city guide, Digital City. As an executive, angel investor, and advisor he has helped companies in e-commerce, e-government, identity management, content publishing, geospatial analytics, data science, and local media go from launch through to favorable exits.  Bob received a BA from USC and his MBA from GWU. He is a veteran of the US Navy.

For more information email:   

(submit applications by June 21, 2020)


The 2020 Virginia Cybersecurity Education Conference will be held virtually on July 27-28th and will include two partial days of workshops, breakout sessions, and short talks focused on cybersecurity education and associated resources for educators and security professionals.

There will be a conference capture-the-flag competition, as well as birds-of-a-feather networking sessions and a late-afternoon happy hour. All registered participants will have access to the session recordings after the event.

Conference registration to Virginia high school and college faculty, as well as other Virginia state and federal employees, will be provided free of charge, and to others at a significantly reduced rate. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will also still be provided. The new virtual registration fees are:

VA State/Fed Employee Non-VA/Private Educator Industry Partner College Student
FREE $50 $75 $25

You must register to participate in the conference, even if the cost to you is free. 

Register for July 27-28 VA Cybersecurity Education Conference

COVID-19 Resources & Local Open/Closed Businesses
During this uncertain time, we feel the need to share information that will help our readers monitor the current situation. Below we have linked several resources. 

We also recommend you take a look at the following article providing additional COVID-19 resources for economic development planning and recovery

Resources to monitor COVID-19 updates:
Open/closed businesses (& altered hours of operations) in the Shenandoah Valley:
Broadband Resources
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Virginian's ability to work, access healthcare and education, and has magnified the digital divide more than ever before. The Commonwealth Connect team has launched a webpage to provide information about what both the federal government and Virginia's ISPs are doing in response to the crisis. Please see:

Business Resources
  • SBA's Disaster Loan is a program designed to help small businesses and non-profit organizations meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot otherwise be met as a direct result of COVID-19. The SV SBDC provides information and assistance in the loan preparation documents. To learn how to apply for the SBA EIDL: For assistance from the SVSBDC to apply see here:
  • Status of Building Officials' offices across the Commonwealth on VBCOA website
  • Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational RegulationCOVID-19 Update Page outlines regulated non-essential businesses that most close 
  • FEMA has a page on HOW TO HELP that gives contact information producing COVID-19 related products.  *Contact the SBDC office if you want more detail on the challenges of creating/manufacturing personal protective products, and we'll put you in touch with our International Trade Manager and other subject matter experts.
  • Virginia Rapid Response COVID-19 Business Support Initiative: The Shen Valley Workforce Development Board has received funding to assist employers eligible to remain open during emergency. Funds are reserved for small businesses. More information and application process at

COVID-19 Resources
Provided by the Shenandoah Valley Partnership
The Shenandoah Valley Partnership has provided an incredible list of helpful resources for our region. We have included a few of these links from their website, but we encourage you to take a look on their page, as they will be updating it routinely with additional resources. Please visit to view the entire list. 

Business Resources
Emergency Loan Programs

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Local Resources
Questions regarding finances? Reach out to your financial institution. Payment deferral programs exist at many banks for businesses and consumers.

State Resources
Welcome Back Level I Member! 

Owned by McClung Companies, Immerge is a collaborative team of marketers with proficiency in website development, search engine optimization and online advertising. Immerge can provide an outstanding web presence for your organization and help you grow your brand online.

McClung Companies has been in the print marketing industry for over 70 years and offers print, promotional products, mailing, and fulfillment services. Immerge and McClung offer expertise in both traditional tactile marketing and digital services, which offers a competitive edge over single-channel marketing.

  • BidWrangler, Harrisonburg (Customer Success Team Member)
  • James Madison University IT Dept, Harrisonburg (Linux System Administrator )
  • Generate Impact, Harrisonburg (Tech Lead)
  • Segra, Waynesboro (IT Operations Technician)
  • Harrisonburg High School (Computer Science Teacher)
  • Augusta County Service Authority, Verona (Systems Analyst/Developer)
Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)

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