Henry and Patrick counties, as well as the City of Martinsville and others, will benefit from a $77,053 Strategy and Roadmap for Growing the Controlled Environmental Agriculture (CEA) Sector grant.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), in partnership with the Virginia Tech Center for Economic and Community Engagement, will develop a strategy and roadmap for supporting industry growth and workforce development for Controlled Environmental Agriculture (CEA) in Region 3. The strategy and roadmap will include an analysis of this emerging and dynamic agribusiness sector, including its industry and economic growth potential while identifying and validating needed facilities and infrastructure, workforce development issues, opportunities and applied research assets.
Other localities in the region include Amelia, Buckingham, Brunswick, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, and Prince Edward counties, and the City of Danville.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced the more than $3.6 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants last week.
Grant proceeds are to support thirteen projects focused on expanding workforce development and talent pipelines in key industries, fostering business, and improving infrastructure.
“GO Virginia allows us to address the unique needs of localities across the Commonwealth,” said Northam. “This targeted support is critical, both for local projects and for encouraging long-term regional collaboration. These thirteen projects will foster innovation, support entrepreneurs, and drive economic growth across the Commonwealth.”
This round of grants include 12 regional projects and one project through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program. The awarded projects will receive an additional $4.9 million in local and non-state resources.
“Virginia boasts a diverse economy, and each geographic region has distinct economic characteristics,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “GO Virginia has been effective in responding to those differences, as its regional approach fosters innovative ideas, programs, and strategies throughout the Commonwealth as demonstrated by these awarded projects.”
“Congratulations to today’s awardees and to their respective regional councils,” said GO Virginia Board Chairman Nancy Howell Agee. “GO Virginia has created a foundation over the past four years that is giving regions the tools to develop high-impact solutions that have helped us tackle the economic setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic while also focusing on longer term economic development strategies and objectives. These projects are a testament to how thinking creatively and collaborating deeply with localities, private industry, and other stakeholders has proven to be successful, making a difference in the lives of all Virginians.”
Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 208 projects and awarded approximately $78 million to support regional economic development efforts. To learn more about the GO Virginia program, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/gova.