Check out updates from the Growth & Opportunity Board and Regional Councils.

Your GO Virginia Board & Regional Updates
This month's newsletter will include updates from the board, the regional councils and details about upcoming events. Click below to jump to a specific section or continue reading to see all content included in this edition.
Board UpdatesBoard_Updates

Upcoming EventsUpcomingEvents

Oct. 9, 2 p.m. 
GO VA Board Meeting
House Room 1, Capitol Building
1000 Bank Street, Richmond, VA

Oct. 16, 1 p.m.
GO VA Broadband Advisory Task Force meeting
Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD),  12th Floor North Conference Room
600 E Main Street,  Richmond, VA

Nov. 2
DHCD Per Capita and Competitive Grant application deadlines

Dec. 11, 1 p.m.
GO VA Board Meeting
House Room 1, Capitol Building
1000 Bank Street, Richmond, VA
Region OneRegion1

Region One includes the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe and the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton. The Region One Council is led by Mike Quillen as chair, Lois Clarke as vice chair, and UVA-Wise is the support organization, led by Shannon Blevins and Robyn Lee.

Council Meeting Highlights
The Region One Executive Committee met on Aug. 7 and was joined by Sen. Mark Warner's Chief of Staff Mike Harney. Harney attended the meeting as part of the learning tour to engage in conversations with the executive committee members and offer his assistance in addressing the economic needs and goals of Southwest Virginia.   

Related Activities
A regional AEROready community certification event was held in Wise on Sept. 18. The event focused on addressing how the region may be assisted through federal and state policies to empower general aviation runways into innovation and industry hubs. In addition, conversations touched on efforts underway in the region related to aeronautics and aviation and what opportunities exist within the GO VA Region One industry targets. 

Approved Projects
One Enhanced Capacity Building project was administratively approved by DHCD in the amount of $27,547. The SWVA Hub Link will complete initial work on the SWVTC HubLink platform, an online jobs platform, where job-seekers will be able to access job and training opportunities in the technology industry. Prior to the build-out of the platform, SWVTC will solicit input from regional stakeholders, including workforce training providers, community colleges, private industry partners, student and job-seekers and others in order to determine the most valuable features for the online platform.
How-to-apply workshop held by the Region One on Aug. 13 in Abingdon

Project Solicitation
The GO Virginia Region One Council continues to hold quarterly how-to-apply workshops across the region to provide an overview of the Region One Economic Growth and Diversification Plan and outline the process for applying for GO Virginia funds. In August, Region One hosted workshops in Pennington Gap, Bland, Abingdon and Clintwood. Region One is currently accepting applications for Per Capita and Competitive Grant projects. In order to be evaluated by the Region One Council at the Dec. 4 meeting, the next application deadline is Nov. 5. For more information, visit Region One's website at

In the News
Region TwoRegion2

Region Two includes the counties of Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedgord, Botetourt, Campbell, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and Roanoke and the cities of Covington, Lynchburg, Radford, Roanoke and Salem. The Region Two Council is led by Raymond Smoot as chair, Ab Boxley as vice chair and supported by the Office of Economic Development (OED) at Virginia Tech, led by John Provo.

Council Meeting Highlights
The Region Two Council met on Aug. 24 and approved $42,500 for the  Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC). This project was funded by Region Two's own administration funds and will provide small business creation, growth and development by providing professional business counseling in the Roanoke and New River Valley. For more information about SBDC, click here.

Council members decided to form an independent speaker's bureau to notify the region of GO Virginia and funding opportunities. To kick off the tour, staff met with county administrative officers from around the region to discuss what GO Virginia is and why local support is key in the success of projects and GO Virginia's mission. Council members are working to set up meetings with board of supervisors across the region, as well as local civic organizations, to discuss what GO Virginia is and potential project ideas. Currently scheduled meetings include Christiansburg's Board of Supervisors on Nov. 13, Blacksburg's Board of Supervisors on Nov. 20, and Botetourt's Board of Supervisors on Nov. 27. 
Staff from Virginia Tech's OED discusses GO Virginia with local CAOs.

Project Update
Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program (RAMP) is gearing up for a full year. Beginning in September, RAMP began their Pitch and Polish sessions for area technology start-ups. Pitch and Polish sessions allow start-ups to polish their presentations, receive feedback and connect with resources. More information about dates and times can be found here. On Oct. 8, RAMP is hosting a Demo Day to showcase the 2018 RAMP program cohort. RAMP's mission is to propel high-potential start-ups to expand and create jobs in the STEM-H (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health) fields. Registration for the event can be found here.

In the News
Check out the link below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Two :

Region Three, or Southern Virginia GO, includes the counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Prince Edward and the cities of Danville and Martinsville. The Region Three Council is led by Charles Majors as chair and Randy Lail as vice chair. The region is supported by the Southside Planning District Commission (SPDC), led by Gail Moody, with consultant services provided by The Riverlink Group (Liz Povar, principal).

Council Meeting Highlights
On Sept. 26, the Region Three Council held an all-day retreat to discuss council matters and a strategic planning session. The meeting was held for the purpose of developing goals and objectives within the region for the next several years. The council also went into executive session to review project proposals and project pipeline ideas.

Related Activities
At the June 21 Region Three Partners Summit, an all-day event with the Region Three Council and regional partners, attendees were asked, "Why should you be involved in GO Virginia,and what are the benefits of being involved in GO Virginia Region Three?" 

A follow-up digital survey asked they same questions. The survey was designed to inform upcoming communication and marketing activities. Below are some of the responses from the online survey:
  • Great trend data provided by the Growth and Diversification Plan
  • Collaboration potential
  • Our region is adamant about training and developing skills for high paying jobs for students who may not be able to go to a four-year college
  • Networking opportunities and increases awareness of efforts in neighboring localities, available training resources for workforce and opportunities to market our assets better
  • Latest economic development updates and success stories across the region
  • Discussions of partnerships with other companies and institutions
Attendees gather at a regional event hosted by the Southern Virginia Alliance and the Halifax IDA in late August.
The Southern Virginia Regional Alliance and Halifax IDA hosted Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brain Ball, Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) President and CEO Stephen Moret, members of their staff and others for a round table event held in late August. The discussion focused on the vision for rural economic development, including broadband technology, ChemQuest Technology Institute's (CTI) research for companies worldwide and the Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center plans for the region.

Project Solicitation
Region Three continues to receive good project ideas and currently has 10 concepts in the pipeline. To ensure that the pipeline of projects remains strong, the Region Three Council is finalizing its communications plan, print materials, websiteand ambassador program - all geared toward increasing the number of solid project applications.

In the News
Check out the links below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Three:

GROW Capital Jobs (Region Four)Region4

Region Four includes the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, Surry and Sussex and the cities of Colonial Heights, Emporia, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond. The Region Four Council is led by William Goodwin Jr. as chair, John Luke Jr. as vice chair and supported by the Grow Capital Jobs Foundation, led by Wilson Flohr.

Council Meeting Highlights
Region Four held their council meeting at Virginia State University on Sept. 12. Informational presentations were made during the council meeting on topics related to education and technical training.

Related Activities
On Aug. 29 at the Grow Capital Jobs Office, Deborah Cummings with TEConomy Partners presented an overview of innovation and startup ecosystem research as part of the GO Virginia State Board services they are providing to each region through a contract with DHCD. GROW Capital Jobs staff and council members provided input and local perspectives that will aid in preparing a final TEConomy report that provides guidelines for future GO Virginia innovation ecosystem projects.  

On Sept. 6, Grow Capital Jobs hosted an Ideation Session to encourage project ideas related to advanced manufacturing. Grow Capital Jobs Council Member Lorin Sodell with Rolls Royce led a discussion related to workforce development in the advanced manufacturing field.

Approved Projects
The GO Virginia State Board approved one Region Four Per Capita implementation project and one Competitive project at its Aug. 14 meeting. One Enhanced Capacity Building project was administratively approved by DHCD. Combined, all three projects were awarded a total of $3,317,500. 

The Per Capita Grant of Lighthouse U,  administered by Lighthouse Labs, a top-30, seed-stage accelerator program, and the da Vinci Center at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will partner to expand the recently piloted Virginia Start-Up Spring Break and Pre-Accelerator programs. The project will pilot the Lighthouse U program, which will feature a series of events and training opportunities to prepare students to launch their own businesses after graduation. As part of the collaboration, Lighthouse Labs will introduce a new summer cohort program for recent graduates of Virginia universities that participated in Lighthouse.

The Competitive Grant, Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMAC) mega-site, will advance the 1,600-acre certified mega-site in Greensville County to a Tier 4 mega-site. To date, the MAMAC RIFA, including Greensville and Mecklenburg counties and the city of Emporia, have made significant progress toward improving the site with water, electric and natural gas utilities, clearing land for pads and securing crucial right-of-way acreage to ensure utility access to the site.

The CampusRVA Capacity Building Grant will develop the CampusRVA initiative, which will serve as a marketplace, both online and offline, for internships and job openings, to facilitate the matching of employers with potential employees. Based on the successful CampusPhilly model, CampusRVA will promote the capital region as an attractive place to live, work and play, supporting the region's goal of retaining Virginia's recent college graduates.

In the News
Check out the links below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Grow Capital Jobs:

Region Five includes the counties of Accomack, Franklin, Isle of Wright, James City, Northampton, Southampton and York and the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg. The Region Five Council is led by Thomas Frantz as chair and Anne Conner as vice chair. Region Five's support organization, Reinvent Hampton Roads, is led by President and CEO Jim Spore and Executive Vice President Donna Morris.

Council Meeting Highlights
The Region Five Council met on Sept. 6 where discussion focused on potential Per Capita Grant and Competitive Grant opportunities. 

Luciano Ramos, vice president of programs and integration at United Way of South Hampton Roads, presented a highly resourceful dashboard ( GHR Connects). The online resource provides regional demographic data and will be helpful in tracking regional economic vitality, community resilience and other benchmarks. 

Christina Brooks, senior director of youth services at Opportunity Inc., briefed the council on the HIRE Virginia Recruiting Consortium, a statewide recruiting partnership designed to engage Virginia-based university students with employers. She announced the HIRE Virginia event, planned for Nov. 5 in Hampton Roads, is a way to expose soon-to-be college graduates from universities across the state to amenities and employment opportunities in Hampton Roads. Reinvent Hampton Roads, Region Five's support organization, is among the 12 area sponsors of this event.  More information about this event can be found here.

Related Activities
The NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018 event, planned for Oct. 20-21 at NASA Wallops, embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing open-source and commercial solutions applicable to both Earth and space. Coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, national space agencies, private corporations and start-up teams come together. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with the European Space Agency (ESA) and a number of government collaborators and local organizing teams. 

Project Update
The Virginia Cyber Alliance, currently supported through GO Virginia funds, is sponsoring three upcoming regional conferences:
  1. Old Dominion Capture The Flag event and expo
    Sept. 29, 2018, Old Dominion University
    More details can be seen here.
  2. 2018 Hampton Roads Regional Cybersecurity Conference: Next Generation Data and Privacy Protections
    Oct. 5, 2018, Thomas Nelson Community College
    More details can be seen here.
  3. 2nd Annual CyberOPS'18: An Ocean of Opportunity in Hampton Roads
    Oct. 19, 2018, Old Dominion University
    More details can be seen here.

In the News
Check out the links below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Reinvent Hampton Roads:

The Mary Ball Washington Regional Council (MBWRC) governs GO Virginia Region Six, which covers the Fredericksburg area, the Northern Neck and the Middle Peninsula (Planning Districts 16, 17 and 18). This region includes the counties of Caroline, Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland and the city of Fredericksburg. The council is led by William Beale as chair and Carlton Revere as vice chair. The George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC) is the support organization, led by Kate Gibson.

Council Meeting Highlights
At the Aug. 13 MBWRC meeting, Stephen Moret, president and CEO of Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), gave a presentation on the relationship between the work of VEDP and GO Virginia, as well as his knowledge of Louisiana's work related to water resiliency. Lewie Lawrence, executive director of Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, presented on the Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) Enhanced Capacity Building Grant funded through GO Virginia.

Also at the Aug. 13 meeting, MBWRC approved the appointment of Val Foulds, a citizen with extensive leadership experience in both the private and public sectors, and Ann Lewis, director of member services and community relations with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, to the Region Six Council.

Project Solicitation
MBWRC is accepting letters of intent for Fiscal Year 2019 funding on a rolling basis. Prospective applicants must complete the letter of intent template and submit to Kate Gibson via email ( in order to apply for funding. The next deadline for letters of intent is Oct. 12. The letter of intent template and additional instructions are available at

In the News
Check out the links below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and the Mary Ball Washington Region:

The GO Northern VA Council (GO NOVA) (Region Seven) includes the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park. The GO NOVA Council is led by Tom Rust as chair and Sharon Virts as vice chair. The region is supported by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), led by Linda Tenney, with consultant services provided by Sue Rowland with SR Consulting Inc.

Council Meeting Highlights
The Aug. 23 Region Seven Council meeting reaffirmed the council's focus on expanding the pool of well-trained workers to fill IT and cybersecurity jobs that remain unfilled in the region. This focus aligns with those behind the General Assembly's recent commitment of funds to the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI), formerly known as "Cyber X."  GO Virginia State Board Member Jim Dyke and Theresa Mayer, with Virginia Tech, gave a bull presentation to the council.  This presentation focused on the various stakeholder groups being put together, and the council members were invited to suggest other private sector representatives that could inform the CCI work.  The council and CCI leadership expect to collaborate in their common goal of increasing the commonwealth's workforce preparedness in the cyber arena.

To further the council's work toward that goal, the projects committee will soon be finalizing a "Programmatic Priorities Platform" that will inform the council's next Request for Proposals, due out sometime this fall. Sid Banerjee, the projects committee chair and council secretary commented, "We know there is a great deal still to be done in developing the skilled workforce needed in Northern Virginia, and we expect to work closely with our colleagues in the CCI area and with others."

Approved Projects
The GO Virginia State Board approved Region Seven's Per Capita project, Tech Talent Pipeline Apprenticeship Initiative, for $1 million. This project will expand the previously awarded Tech Talent Pipeline Initiative, which aims to create a workforce system to effectively attract, prepare and retain qualified candidates to fill high-demand cybersecurity and IT jobs. This project will develop and implement a new apprenticeship program, matching 400 apprentices to employers as an alternative career pathway to traditional two or four-year degrees.

In the News
Check out the links below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Seven:
Region EightRegion_8

Region Eight includes the counties of Augusta, Bath, Clarke, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren and the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, Waynesboro and Winchester. The Region Eight Council is led by George Pace as chair and Chris Kyle as vice chair. The Region Eight Council is currently being supported Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission (NSVRC), led by Faith McClintic as the GO Virginia program director.

Council Meeting Highlights
On Aug. 28, the Region Eight Council met at Lord Fairfax Community College. Council members welcomed Ben Davenport, vice chair of the GO Virginia State Board, and Chris Lloyd, senior vice president of McGuire Woods Consulting, who updated the council on statewide GO Virginia efforts and funding available for Fiscal Year 2019.

Related Activities
Region Eight is excited to welcome Faith McClintic to the GO Virginia Region Eight team.  McClintic started Aug. 1 in the newly established position of program director and hit the ground running.  On Aug. 21, a "Meet and Greet" with local economic development partners was held in Staunton. McClintic also coordinated a kickoff meeting held Sept. 4 in Staunton to bring together the regional working group, which will assist TEConomy with their inventory of Virginia's entrepreneurial ecosystems. 
Meet and greet with GO Virginia Region Eight's new program director, Faith McClintic.

In keeping with requirements  as outlined in the Code of Virginia for the GO Virginia program, the Region Eight Council recently re-evaluated and revised its Economic Growth and Diversification Plan. Based on a comprehensive review of data from the original plan completed for Region Eight, Camoin Associates made recommendations to the council to expand its targeted industries to include two additional sectors likely to promote and support transformative projects in the region. Subsequently, the Region Eight Council confirmed
value-added, food-related manufacturing and
biomedical/biotechnical as additional target industries.  This amendment request was presented and approved at the Aug. 14 GO Virginia State Board meeting.

Project Update
Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) is pleased to announce it has hired its new cybersecurity grant program manager, Dan O'Brien, to lead the recently funded Cybersecurity Workforce Development and Jobs Porgram. BRCC received 47 applications for classes starting in October 2018, of which 13 students were accepted into the first cohort through a competitive selection process. Classes will prepare students to pass the CompTIA Security+ exam. An additional 12 applications have been received by BRCC, and they are currently in the selection process.

Project Solicitation
The Region Eight Council is currently seeking project proposals by prospective applicants.  Deadlines are the first Friday of every other month. Applications should be directed to Bonnie Riedesel (  Additional instructions and information can be found on Region Eight's website. The next regional deadline is Oct. 5 to be considered by the GO Virginia State Board at its December Board meeting.

In the News
Check out the links below to see what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Eight:

GO Virginia Region Nine includes the counties of Albermarle, Culpepper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange and Rappahannock and the city of Charlottesville.  The council is led by Tom Click as chair, Jim Cheng as vice chair and supported by the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, led by Helen Cauthen.

Council Meeting Highlights
Mitch Horowitz, principal and managing partner for TEConomy, presented to the Region Nine Council during their Aug. 29 meeting. After the overview, Horowitz met with the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Workgroup to discuss next steps for the regional ecosystem evaluation as part of the ongoing work for the GO Virginia State Board. 

Project Monitoring
To date, the Region Nine Council has had five grant proposals approved totaling over $730,000 in GO Virginia funds. These projects have leveraged an additional $550,000 in local match and almost $1.5 million in other matching funds. Each of the 11 localities, community colleges and the university in Region Nine have either participated or been engaged. 

Approved Projects
One Enhanced Capacity Building project, CvilleBioHub, was administratively approved by DHCD through Region Nine's Per Capita allocation. This planning grant was awarded $83,540 to build capacity for CvilleBioHub, an organization that informs and connects the biotech and life sciences community and promotes the region as the center of the biotechnology industry. The overall goal for the project is to assess the current and projected regional capacity for the biotech industry and create a strategic plan for driving innovation and growth for this cluster.
Martin Chapman presents to the Charlottesville EDA on the CvilleBioHub project.

"The growing biotech industry cluster in Central Virginia presents a phenomenal economic development opportunity for job creation and capital investment. UVA seeks to fully leverage our life science research portfolio, which exceeds $200 million each year, by connecting with partners like CvilleBioHub to support local biotech startups. CvilleBioHub is one of the best examples of an industry-university-government GO Virginia project in the state," said Pace Lochte, assistant vice president for economic development at UVA, and a Region Nine Council member. 

Project Solicitation
To continue the momentum of Region Nine, the council is heavily promoting the GO Virginia initiative regionally. On Sept. 10, UVA Economic Development hosted a GO Virginia presentation for faculty. Five of the 11 schools were present. Additionally, Region Nine Council Member Jim Cheng hosted an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Community Update in Charlottesville. Over 20 community stakeholders met to learn more about GO Virginia successes and discussed future project ideas.  

To facilitate program awareness, the Region Nine Council website,, has been updated to offer better resources for potential applicants. Those interested can review frequently asked questions (FAQs), find links to approved project proposals and learn more about the priorities of the Region Nine Council. The next GO Virginia Region Nine application deadline is Nov. 8.

In the News
Check out the links below to see press releases and what local news outlets are saying about GO Virginia and Region Nine:

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
(804) 371-7000 |