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The Shenandoah Valley Connection top 
June 26, 2 020
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How Are Unmanned Systems (UxS) Actually Being Utilized Today... and How Will They Be Used Tomorrow? (7/16)
HDR Launches Bricks & Clicks Small Business Recovery Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
Webinar: A New Normal - The Advancement of Unmanned Systems in a COVID-19 World (6/30)
BRCC's Learning Can Be Fun - All Classes Online (June - August)
Local Discovery Museums Will Hold In-Person Camps | Harrisonburg & Winchester (June - August)
JMU Presents ONLINE Youth Programs (June - July)
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
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link

Virtual Luncheon | July 16, 2020 | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Did you know that drones have been used to deliver medical supplies during the COVID pandemic? Or that robots routinely deliver meals in the City of Fairfax. There are numerous industries that have embraced unmanned technologies because of the improved safety, greater efficiencies and more robust data that they offer. Everything from infrastructure assessments to precision agriculture to engineering and surveying, UxS are the new tools for the future.  Our webinar will illuminate this exciting technology sector and how it is currently impacting our lives.  Join us on July 16th to learn more!

About the Speaker
Tracy Tynan is the Director for the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at CIT with the goal of growing unmanned systems economic activity and benefit in the Commonwealth. She had been a consistent producer within Virginia's economic development community for over 15 years. Her initial position was as an International Project Manager at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, where she focused on the rapidly developing investments coming from Japan and other Asian countries.  She then joined the regional team at The Greater Richmond Partnership and served as a Vice President for Business Investment. Returning to VEDP in 2011, Ms. Tynan worked highly visible corporate headquarters relocation and expansion projects while also pursuing opportunities for growth within the aerospace and unmanned systems sectors. She forged numerous strategic relationships within the aero community and gained first hand understanding of the issues and challenges of growing this important industry in Virginia. Ms. Tynan is a graduate of the University of Virginia.

Thank you luncheon sponsors!



HDR Launches Bricks & Clicks Small Business Recovery Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19  

Harrisonburg, VA, June 23, 2020 -- Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) has brought its popular Bricks & Clicks program back for 2020, this time with a focus on small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Bricks & Clicks offers training, customized technical assistance, and the opportunity to receive a grant for small businesses looking to make digital or bricks-and-mortar improvements designed to help customers feel safe and comfortable when patronizing businesses in-person, and more confident in their online purchases.
The first Bricks & Clicks program was launched in 2017, and has since received a state award and recognition. The Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) recognized the program for its innovative partnership model in which multiple economic development practitioners worked together to offer individual small businesses customized support to help them achieve their business goals or overcome specific challenges. Direct, one-on-one attention and a deep dive into operations with skilled experts offered businesses tailored recommendations and small grants that helped them put new ideas and knowledge into practice. 
"We're building on the success of the first Bricks and Clicks program, but with a focus on small business recovery post-pandemic. Among the 10 grantees that participated in the first program, 68 jobs were retained and 11 new jobs were created, and overall, participants reported that sales were up nearly 17% on average, year over year," says HDR's Executive Director, Andrea Dono.
This year's Bricks & Clicks program will help 20 businesses using $45,000 in total funding provided by HDR's 2019 Friendly City Fortune raffle fundraiser, a grant from the National Main Street Center, and a sponsorship from Glo Fiber. Program partners include Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SVSBDC); City of Harrisonburg Economic Development; the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council; the James Madison University Professional & Continuing Education Department; and a team of marketing consultants, web design firms, and architects. This year's consulting team included: Digital Minerva, Immerge, Social Bug Digital Media, Mary McMahan Graphic Design, Monteverde Engineering and Design Studio, Blueline, the SVSBDC, WHSV, and KLCreative Media.  
Participants this year will work on a range of projects including deploying augmented reality to allow customers to try products virtually, strengthening e-commerce stores, developing new marketing strategies, mastering new social media skills, reconfiguring layouts for safer customer flow during a pandemic, and adding more outdoor dining space. Participants include: Explore More Discovery Museum, The Friendly City Food Co-op, Lineage, Pale Fire Brewing Company, Charlee Rose Boutique, Midtowne Market, Rocktown Kitchen, Urgie's Cheesesteaks, The Lady Jane Shop, Hugo Kohl Fine Jewelry, Dinamic Cuts, Ten Thousand Villages, The Mark-it, Design 49 Studios, Oasis Fine Art & Craft, Green Hummingbird, J. Ellis Photography, The Beauty Spa, withSimplicity, and Walkabout Outfitters.
For more information on Bricks & Clicks, please contact HDR Executive Director, Andrea Dono, at  or 540-432-8934.


Webinar: A New Normal - The Advancement of Unmanned Systems in a COVID-19 World (6/30)


Webinar | June 30, 2020 | 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

SVTC's board member Nick Swayne is a panelist - join him and others from across the unmanned systems sectors, with welcome remarks from The Honorable Karen Jackson, New College Institute.  This will be a discussion on how COVID-19 is spurring the growth of unmanned systems and how, and what, policies can help continue to advance the economic success of the industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Virginia's efforts to lead the advancement of unmanned technologies
  • Contactless delivery in a COVID-19 world
  • U.S. DOT's proposal to clarify AV ambiguities
  • Broadband and spectrum
  • FAA's proposed rulemaking to integrate UAS into the airspace
  • Advances in maritime unmanned systems
  • Higher education's role in advancing these systems
  • Anthony Wood, Virginia Information Technologies Agency - Innovation Program
Welcome Remarks 
  • The Honorable Karen Jackson, New College Institute
Representatives from across all sectors of unmanned systems including ground, air and maritime
  • Nicole Barranco, Volkswagen Group of America
  • Janet Webster, Clark Nexsen
  • Nick Swayne, James Madison University
  • Gregory Walden, Small UAV Coalition
  • Nathaniel Robie, Dominion Energy
  • Nicholas Devereux, Wing
  • Mark Blanks, Virginia Tech
  • Matthew Phaneuf, Huntington Ingalls Industries
  • John Padgett, McGuireWoods LLP
  • Amazon Corp LLC (Invited)
  • Old Dominion University (Invited)
  • Michele Satterlund, McGuireWoods Consulting


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!


JMU Presents ONLINE Youth Programs (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.

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


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
  • 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)
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Shenandoah Valley Technology Council
800 S. Main Street MSC 3615
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807



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