A total of over $4.6 million in grants has been awarded to projects in Region 3 to help the post-COVID-19 economic recovery in the region.

The GO Virginia State Board recently approved the grants, which will be supplemented by funding from other public and private sources. 

“This is wonderful news for Region 3,” said chairman Randy Lail. “These projects relate to the impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses throughout our region, specifically the Bridge to Recovery project led by Southern Virginia Regional Alliance and Virginia’s Growth Alliance. These two regional economic development organizations span all of Region 3 and will bring needed resources to help businesses recover.” He adds, “These projects also illustrate the ability of GO Virginia to pivot quickly as circumstances change.” 

GO Virgnia State Board approved $925,000 for Bridge to Recovery, an initiative led by the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance and Virginia’s Growth Alliance, will provide immediate and impactful support to businesses through the multiple recovery periods of the COVID-19 pandemic and bridge supply chain needs of companies with service providers. 

The Bridge to Recovery is a business retention/supply chain strategy that will be coordinated by the two Regional  Economic Development Organizations in Virginia’s Growth Alliance and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance’s footprint. 

It will create a network that enables businesses who need specific professional services or products, due to COVID-19, to connect with businesses in the Region 3 footprint who have those services and products. 

Those with the alliances hopes to make it an efficient way for businesses to find what they need to re-open or grow during this unusual economic situation.

Also approved was $3.6 million, full remaining Phase 2 funding based on successful outcomes of Phase 1, for GO TEC.

“We are very excited for the opportunity to move forward with the next phase of the GO TEC project,” says Tammy Hurt, GO TEC program manager. “We will continue to work with our growing number of partners to increase awareness of career pathways, increase Dual Enrollment pathways, and increase the number of industry-certified citizens in an effort to build upon regional investments and job creation.”

Go-TEC is a partnership between higher education centers in Halifax, Pittsylvania and Henry counties, and the K-12 school systems in their service areas. Higher education partners are the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Danville Community College, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, New College Institute Patrick Henry Community College and Southside Virginia Community College.

Go-TEC will build on existing high-tech programs at the SVHEC, three community colleges and two other higher education centers, while giving students more hands-on exposure to these in-demand career pathways starting in middle school.

Areas of focus are precision machining; welding; information technology and cybersecurity; robotics, automation and mechatronics; and advanced materials.

Region 3 also will participate in a cross-regional initiative, Retooling Virginia Manufacturers, led by GENEDGE (Region 1). This project will expand the capabilities of existing suppliers to develop sustainable ongoing revenues and help participating manufacturers diversify their market and product offerings. This will have a positive impact on Region 3 with Advanced Manufacturing being one of its targeted industry sectors. 

Bryan David, program director of Region 3 states, “These projects demonstrate Region 3’s commitment for helping our businesses at this critical time while maintaining a focus on building a skilled workforce with our partners.”