Gov. Northam announces more than $269,000 in grants for regional economic growth in Hampton Roads


AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — As part of $7.7 million in grants from ‘Growth and Opportunity for Virginia’ (GO Virginia), several local Hampton Roads businesses are set to receive a combined more than $269,000.

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“As Virginia’s economy continues to surge, it’s important that every part of the state shares in that success,” said Governor Northam. “These grants support projects that drive local and regional economic growth, spurring innovation and creating jobs in our communities across the Commonwealth.”

Since it was first founded in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 196 projects and awarded approximately $75.6 million to support regional economic development.

“I would like to commend the thoughtful work of councils and partners represented in the projects awarded today,” said GO Virginia State Board Vice-Chair Todd Stottlemyer. “The success of GO Virginia is predicated on the belief that communities are stronger when the public and private sectors work together on shared challenges and opportunities. The projects reflect that commitment to working collaboratively to strengthen regional economies and provide good job opportunities for the individuals who reside in them.”

Officials say these grants include a $1.4 million investment to accelerate the growth of the emerging Pharmaceutical Manufacturing cluster, with the goal of creating high-paying jobs and expanding companies.

In addition, the grant money will also be used to equip unemployed and under-employed residents of South Norfolk, many of which have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Hampton Roads, the following awards have been granted:


  • Hampton Roads Regional Energy Master Plan | $84,000
    • The Hampton Roads Alliance will work with partners to evaluate the projected population growth of the region and analyze the energy infrastructure needed to support this level of growth. This project will develop a baseline of the capacity of the current energy supply system, create a clear understanding of the capacity of that system, and identify options to deliver energy to meet further demand.
      • Region 5: Counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton and the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach
  • Setting Pathways that Activate Real-World Knowledge (SPARK) | $100,000
    • Portsmouth Public Schools will contract with a partner organization, JASON Learning, to design, produce, publish, and distribute a digital course module to support effective classroom instruction of the SPARK course material and deliver that training to up to 100 educators from regional school districts. This project will ensure a strong connection between STEM learning opportunities available in the region’s high schools and regional workforce needs in advanced manufacturing, enabling high school juniors and seniors to prepare for immediate entry into the workforce upon graduation.
      • Region 5: Cities of Franklin, Newport News, Norfolk, and Portsmouth


  • Career and Community Development Program Expansion | $85,222
    • The organization, Neighborhood, will help equip unemployed and under-employed residents of South Norfolk, many of which have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the skills needed to be gainfully employed in a career that provides a sustainable living wage. The organization will relocate and expand its 620-square-foot building to a larger 2,400-square-foot facility to meet a growing workforce demand in South Norfolk. Neighborhood will provide a six-month training program to provide community leaders with soft skills, personal development, community engagement, and job skills training in high demand jobs of shipbuilding, ship repair, cyber security, and information technology.
      • Region 5: Cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk

For a full list of awards, visit the Governor’s website.

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