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The Shenandoah Valley Connectiontop 
October 30, 2020
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SVTC Offering Start-Up Grants for FIRST LEGO League Teams
Cadence Adds Class 8 (100,000) Cleanroom at Virginia Headquarters
GO Virginia Approves Grant for Small Business Resiliency Teams
Teacher from Winchester seeks companies that can host teachers for a STEMersion!
Computer Science Educator of the Year | Nominate an Outstanding K-12 Educator (Deadline 10/30)
Rural Relief Small Business Grants (deadline 11/2)
How Tier 1 Operators are Securing Wi-Fi Services | Free Webinar (11/4)
Free | Girl Develop IT Virtual Mini-Conference 2020 (11/12)
Charlottesville Women in Tech 2020 Fall Summit (11/11 - 11/13)
Startup Shenandoah Valley (applications due 11/13)
Welcome Back Level I Member: JMU, Information Technology Dept.
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Looking for a grant to help start up your FLL team? Each year, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council sponsors up to three new FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams from the Shenandoah Valley. Approximately half of the start-up cost of a new team is reimbursed, up to $350.

To be eligible, teams must be located in the footprint of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council's area of operation. Applicants must also intend participate in the FLL competition within one year of receiving the grant. This grant can be used towards any equipment required for competition in FIRST LEGO League, including one or more LEGO robotics kits, a competition practice table, and an FLL field setup kit.

If you are interested in applying for the FLL Start-Up Grant, start on our FLL page and fill out, and send, the PDF linked on that page. Information and application for FLL Startup Grant

About FIRST LEGO League (FLL),
FLL was created through a partnership between FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the LEGO company and inspires future scientists and engineers. it is an international competition that challenges young participants to think like scientists and engineers. Every year FLL introduces kids to a real-world scientific topic, and teams are challenged to find a solution. They also build a robot and compete in a friendly, FIRST-style robotics event specially designed for their age group.

This year's challenge, called Replay:
FIRST LEGO League Challenge RePLAY - Season Launch Video
FIRST LEGO League Challenge RePLAY | Season Launch Video

About the local / Virginia league: Your state and local -Virginia and Shen. Valley- connection to FLL is VA-DC FLL (, located in Harrisonburg. Virginia is one of the largest leagues in the world with over 600 teams. Start a conversation with Kaitlin and crew and see how you can get involved, right here in the Shen. Valley. (
Science and technology leaders are made, not born.


Cadence Adds Class 8 (100,000)
Cleanroom at Virginia Headquarters

cadence new cleanrooms    
Cadence, Inc. announced today the addition of an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Class 8 (100,000) cleanroom at its headquarters, located in Staunton, Virginia.  Responding quickly to growing customer demand, the new certified cleanroom will be used for development and manufacturing of novel medical devices.

"We are excited about expanding the capabilities at our Virginia facility," stated Chris McHugh, Vice President of Operations.  "The addition of this new cleanroom, combined with our state-of-the-art facility and engineering resources, allows us to be more vertically integrated for our customers' most complex products."

This investment complements recent advancements in new product development to accelerate the on-boarding of premium medical devices.  Cadence now offers certified cleanroom manufacturing options at two locations for maximum customer flexibility.

About Cadence, Inc. - Cadence is a full-service contract manufacturer of specialized medical devices for medical companies worldwide.  Our services range from initial product design through manufacturing, supply chain management, and full warehousing and logistics.  Cadence employs approximately 500 people with its corporate headquarters in Staunton, Virginia and additional locations in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.  

For more information on Cadence, please visit their website at


GO Virginia Approves Grant for Small Business Resiliency Teams

SV SBDC Contact: Joyce Krech, (540)568-3227,
LF SBDC Contact: Christine Kriz, (540)868-7094,

The GO Virginia State board has approved an $81,813 grant proposal submitted by a regional partnership between Harrisonburg Economic Development, Frederick County Economic Development, Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC), and Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center (LF SBDC). This grant creates a Small Business Resiliency Team (SBRT) program with the goal of providing expanded business support services and technical assistance to area businesses in the wake of COVID-19 challenges. The program will deploy Business Resiliency Navigators to guide growth-oriented businesses through a dedicated and well-designed process for achieving incremental and sustainable growth throughout the pandemic recovery period.

Business Resiliency Navigators will work directly with small businesses, assisting with E-commerce, Financial Management, and Marketing needs. The SBRT's focus is on tourism, retail, healthcare, and professional services businesses, however other companies will be considered. In addition to providing assessments, development of action plans, strategic counseling, and targeted training, the program will provide for services such as accounting, bookkeeping, website development, or e-commerce assistance rendered by industry experts as recommended by the SBRT.

The Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity (GO Virginia) is a business-led initiative that was formed to foster private-sector growth and diversification across nine economic development regions in the Commonwealth. The GO Virginia Board administers state financial incentives designated for regional projects in order to encourage collaboration between private sector companies, workforce, education, and government. Participating localities include the counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Shenandoah; and the cities of Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, and Winchester. Patrick Barker, CEcD, Executive Director of Frederick County will administer the grant.

"This partnership will be able to provide significantly more assistance to keep businesses healthy and growing in spite of the pandemic. Our SBDCs can collaborate and meet needs of Economic Development Offices throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Our goals include improving the local economy, assisting the participating businesses, and providing contracted work to local vendors for professional services," said Joyce Krech, Director of the Shenandoah Valley SBDC.
The SBRT program supports GO Virginia goals by expanding regional capacity to coordinate and deliver business support services; helping businesses utilize e-commerce to increase sales; reducing service and production disruptions; encouraging the use of a remote workforce to keep workers employed and productive; and expanding existing training programs that are mission critical. Expected results from dedicated participants include overall average business growth and retention of their current workforce.

"This grant award will help us keep many of the region's growth-oriented businesses on a positive financial trajectory towards sustainable success. We will leverage existing resources and utilize GO Virginia funds to provide focused, hands-on consulting, training, and contracted work," states Christine Kriz, Director of the Lord Fairfax SBDC.

For more information on the Small Business Resiliency Teams, visit the SBDC Websites: or Or contact Joyce Krech, (540)568-3227, or Christine Kriz, (540)868-7094,

For more information on GO Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (

About Small Business Development Centers. The SV and LF SBDCs are two of 27 Small Business Development Centers across Virginia providing professional business advice, training, and information resources to help grow and strengthen local businesses and Virginia's economy. They are hosted respectively by James Madison University and Lord Fairfax Community College in partnership with George Mason University and funded in part by SBA and local governments. The Virginia SBDC Network ( is the most extensive business development program in the Commonwealth and part of America's SBDC - the nation's proven, cost-effective, and accredited infrastructure focused on small businesses - America's job creators.


Teacher from Winchester seeks companies that can host teachers for a STEMersion!

My name is Britt Miller, and I am part of an exciting elementary computer science and STEM grant in Winchester, VA. Winchester Public Schools received a federal EIR grant called METRICS: Maximizing Education Through Regular Immersion in Computer Science. The main goal of this $4 million grant is to create a whole school immersion approach to computer science and STEM in two local elementary schools. There are many working parts that make up this project and I was hoping that the local tech ecosystem is able to respond.  

A large part of the grant is focused on preparing and supporting teachers as they integrate computer science and STEM into their classrooms. All teachers are required to complete a "STEMersion" which is an immersive learning experience. Teachers will connect with a company or individual who works in a STEM/CS field for a variable amount of time in order to experience an authentic STEM career. We want the teachers to be as hands-on as possible so that they can bring those experiences back into our classrooms to benefit the students. 

Part of my job is to make these connections and I am looking for more companies that would be interested in hosting (either in person or virtually, at this point) teachers for a STEMersion! We had originally planned for these to be about a week long over the summer, but we are adjusting plans based on current situations and we are hoping to work with individual companies and teachers to set-up something that works for everyone. 

The grant also provides opportunities for other real-world tethers to STEM and CS for our students. We are working to virtually bring in guest speakers, field trips, and clubs to support this goal.

Thank you so much for your consideration of this project. I am passionate about creating authentic learning experiences and I know that we need the support of the community to make that a reality. If you are interested in discussing any of these opportunities or maybe even something new, please let me know! I look forward to speaking with you!

Britt Miller, office:  540-662-3945 (12122)


In Virginia, ALL educators are computer science educators and we all know some of the best! Virginia educators have worked hard to make computer science literacy a part of every elementary, middle, and high school classroom whether they're in-person or virtual.

Many elementary, middle, and high school teachers are using butterflies, sewing, AI, robots, dancing, and other amazing ways to integrate computer science in their classroom whether it's in math, language arts, science, art or music. CodeVA wants to hear from you about an amazing computer science educator so they can highlight them at their Computer Science Education Week Launch event

Eligibility criteria for nominated teachers:
  • Each educator nominated must hold a valid VA certification and employed full-time at an approved/accredited public school district.
  • The teacher must have plans to remain teaching in the classroom up to the award ceremony (December 2020).
  • The teacher must be highly respected by students, parents, colleagues, and the community.
  • Are experts in their fields who guide students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success.
  • Deliberately connect the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community.
  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside the classroom that embodies lifelong learning.
  • All nominations should be made and completed by October 30th.


As part of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation's (LISC) continuing commitment to elevate their impact in rural America, LISC is inviting small business owners in rural locations across the country to apply for the LISC-Lowe's Rural Relief Small Business Grants program. The deadline to apply is Monday, November 2nd at 11:59 p.m. 

Who is eligible?
Only small businesses located in rural communities are eligible at this time. Rural communities are defined as having a population of 50,000 or less. A community is defined as the city/town/village where your business address is located. If the business is mobile (a food truck, fishing boat, ride share driver, etc) please use the address where your vehicle is stored during non-business hours.

All potential applicants are encouraged to review the FAQ and grant information before applying. Non-profit organizations are ineligible for the relief funding program at this time, but may be eligible for later rounds of funding.

How it works
Applications are being accepted in "rounds". You must submit a new application for each round in order to be considered for funding in that round. Below are the dates of upcoming rounds:
  • October 26 - November 2, 2020
  • November 26 - December 2, 2020
  • December 29, 2020 - January 5, 2021
  • January 26 - February 2, 2021
LISC will support small businesses and enterprises affected by COVID-19 across the country, especially those in underserved communities, including entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital.

Applications will be reviewed based on criteria designed to prioritize particularly challenged businesses, and the final grantees will be randomly selected from the top scoring applicants.


November 4, 2020 | 2 pm - 3 pm

As ISPs enable numerous Wi-Fi services for their home customers, including managed Wi-Fi, security threats are looming large. A recent Maravedis Research report notes that a large majority of the connected devices in homes lack proper security or have no security at all. What are Tier 1 operators doing to help combat this cybersecurity threat? During this interactive webinar, part one of a three-part series Broadband Communities is conducting on Wi-Fi security, we'll address:
  • Tier 1 service providers' approach to Wi-Fi security.
  • How providers are protecting their networks from new threats and unnecessary traffic.
  • The rise in IoT devices in the home and how it has created more security threats.
  • How vendors assist with Wi-Fi security challenges.

Register for November 4, 2020 webinar


November 12, 2020 | 12 pm - 3 pm

Girl Develop IT's first ever virtual mini-conference will be held on November 12 starting at 12 pm. Their goal is to create an event that addresses the issues that are important to the community. Topics will include a focus on careers during COVID and working towards true inclusion in technology for ALL women and non-binary individuals.

Agenda, keynotes, and workshops will be announced later.


Charlottesville Women in Tech
2020 Fall Summit
 (11/11 - 11/13)
Charlottesville Women in Tech (CWIT) is excited to announce their virtual 2020 Fall Summit, using the platform Hopin November 11th, 12th and 13th, featuring sessions from 11am - 2pm daily
CWIT is a local nonprofit focused on helping women and female-identifying individuals develop a career in tech and build a network in their tech communities. 
This year's summit theme is "Create a New Story" which encourages participants and presenters alike to share their ideas, inspirations, and perspectives with each other.
You don't want to miss this event if you are:
  • Exploring a career in tech
  • Building a new career in tech
  • Switching focus mid-career
  • Supporting more women into tech careers
  • Developing your current career in tech
This year's agenda features:
  • Wednesday, November 11thKeynote: led by UVA Darden Professor Lalin Anik and Professor Roshni Raveendhran
  • Thursday, November 12th
    Keynote: Create Your Story, Inspiration on Getting Started, led by Nicole Case 
  • Friday, November 13th
    Keynote: Building a Strong Diversity & Inclusion Program, led by Kelli Palmer

Startup Shenandoah Valley (application due 11/13)
Startup Shenandoah Valley is a hybrid program that combines the strengths of accelerator and incubator models. The program delivers online coaching to identify and address the riskiest parts of each entrepreneur's business model. Participants will join a cohort with access to the best resource providers, mentors, and investors in and beyond the region. This powerful network and flexible online guidance are what make S2V unique. S2V is offered to participants at no charge and without equity requirements.

For businesses creating jobs in....
Frederick, Winchester, Clarke, Shenandoah, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Harrisonburg, Highland, Augusta, Staunton, Waynesboro, Bath, Rockbridge, Lexington, Buena Vista

For businesses focused on...
Light manufacturing, food processing, agriculture, technology, and professional services

Who should apply?
Businesses ready for rapid, iterative development, at every level - from building the product to refining and scaling the business model.

What to expect? 
8 - 12 companies will participate in 8 weeks of virtual content tailored to their business and stage of growth.

How does S2V differ?
Participants are supported by mentors, investors, and subject matter experts as you execute the plan you develop.

When does S2V start?
Applications are due Nov. 13th. This program will begin in early January 2021.

Welcome Back Level I Member!
JMU, Information Technology Dept.

Information Technology at James Madison University is an essential element of academic life, enabling study, research and personal communication. As a means to excellence in achieving its education, research and service missions, the University provides and supports computing and electronic communication services for all its students, faculty and staff. The department is headed by AVP Dale Hulvey.

  • Solder Technician, VIRTEX | Waynesboro
  • IT Operations Technician, Segra | Waynesboro
  • Systems Analyst/Developer, Augusta County Service Authority | Verona
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