Governor Northam has announced more than $6.7 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) funding for seven regional projects. These grants are for projects each region identified as vital to their efforts to diversify the regional economy, strengthen their workforce, and support collaborative programs between localities, public entities, and private businesses.
The GO Virginia grants will be used to implement projects that align with each region’s Growth and Diversification Plans. These plans provide an honest assessment of the economic, workforce, and structural barriers in the region, as well as the existing regional economic drivers and potential growth sectors in each region. Projects that address these challenges and opportunities are a key step toward the creation of higher-paying jobs in the regions.
We are excited to announce that WPS has been selected as a recipient for the Governor’s 2019 GO Virginia Grant, receiving $540,000 per capita! Funding from the grant will help us fulfill our vision for the Shihadeh Innovation Center by renovating the former John Kerr Elementary School in partnership with Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC). Curriculum at the new facility will be offered through a Professional Skills Academy, a Health Sciences Academy, and an Information Technology Academy. These academies will be supported by an expanded work-based learning (WBL) program to connect students to regional businesses filling high-wage jobs in the targeted clusters.
“Through GO Virginia, we are supporting creative opportunities to assist our regions with providing the training and tools needed to diversify and strengthen our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The programs we are funding will continue to support the regional priorities identified by each region and work towards creating higher-paying jobs in priority areas.”
The regional per capita grants are awarded based on recommendations from the GO Virginia Regional Councils for projects that support regional collaboration and the Growth and Diversification Plans. The competitive grants are also recommended by Regional Councils and then awarded through a statewide competitive process for projects that are multi-regional in scope or represent an extraordinary opportunity to the Commonwealth. The GO Virginia Board is responsible for giving final approval for these grants awarded through the GO Virginia program.