HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam announced two allocations of Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants on Monday. Several grants as part of those allocations are going to organizations for projects in Hampton Roads.
The grants aim to advance regional workforce development programs and business scale-up efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first round of grants totals a little more than $7.8 million. Leaders say it will support 11 regional projects throughout Virginia and two statewide projects. Those involved with the funding allocation process hope it will help expand employment in the technology and maritime organizations.
The grant awards will leverage an additional $15 million in non-state resources to support ongoing recovery and economic diversification efforts throughout Virginia, officials say.
The second allocation of about $1.4 million was awarded to 19 projects through the new Economic Resilience and Recovery Program that was created in April. Leaders say this was done to deploy resources that would help communities facing the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The GO Virginia program continues to demonstrate how regional collaboration can give rise to innovative projects that deliver real economic impact, especially during challenging times like those we face right now,” said Northam. “These projects will increase workforce capacity, enhance Virginia’s competitive business environment, and support our ongoing efforts to build resilient communities that are well-positioned for future success and growth.”
According to the Office of the Governor, the locally-awarded grants are as follows:
2020 ROUND THREE STATEWIDE GRANT AWARDS
Virtual Virginia Workforce grant of $1,500,000 – Counties of Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, and York and the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.
Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC), Battel College of Engineering, and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) will conduct a skills gap analysis and develop state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing training programs using augmented reality and simulation.
2020 ROUND THREE REGIONAL GRANT AWARDS
Hampton Roads Workforce Council Talent Pipeline Implementation Project receiving a grant of $663,696: Isle of Wight Co., James City Co., Southampton Co., York Co., Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.
The Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC) will lead a comprehensive, data-driven approach to build a target-talent pipeline for the maritime industry in the Hampton Roads region. The initiative will include extensive employer engagement, aligning higher education curriculum and mandatory job requirements, on-the-job and incumbent worker training, regional apprenticeships, military and veteran outreach, college student engagement and graduate retention, talent portal development, soft skills development, and a workforce development alliance.
Hampton Roads Economic Development Sites Readiness Program $1,122,240: Isle of Wight County, Newport News and Virginia Beach.
The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) will advance a portfolio for three existing sites along the site readiness scale to a Tier 4 for the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program (VBRSP).
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