Governor Ralph Northam announced recently that more than $11.1 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grants have been allocated to help advance economic recovery efforts across the commonwealth. The funding will support 20 projects focused on expanding workforce development and talent pipelines in key industries, growing startup businesses and entrepreneurial ecosystems, and increasing Virginia’s business-ready sites portfolio.
“The targeted support that GO Virginia provides is critical to ensuring communities across our commonwealth are well positioned to succeed in a post-pandemic economy,” said Governor Northam. “These projects demonstrate how regional collaboration can drive innovation and deliver positive economic results, including diversifying our workforce, supporting entrepreneurs, and upgrading our infrastructure.”
Included in this round of GO Virginia funding is one statewide project, 16 regional projects, and three projects through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program. The awarded projects will leverage an additional $7.1 million in local and other non-state resources.
Local projects that will benefit from the program include:
- Campus 757. The Hampton Roads Workforce Council will create an initiative to increase the percentage of college students who stay and work full time in Hampton Roads. The project aims to assist up to 400 companies and connect 700–1,500 students with employment opportunities in Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, and Portsmouth.
- 757 Collab. An ongoing venture of 757 Accelerate, 757 Startup Studios, and 757 Angels, 757 Collab will continue building and delivering innovation and entrepreneurship programming, capacity, and services to early-stage companies by bringing together an accelerator, private capital, collaborative space, and community outreach programs.
The statewide grants will also benefit this area, affecting the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton, and the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. Old Dominion University Research Foundation will develop and deliver a cost-effective, cloud-based compliance system to help Virginia’s Department of Defense contractors achieve Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) accreditation. A NIST 800-171CMMC education program will be developed and delivered by Old Dominion University, Eastern Shore Community College, and as part of the four VA-affiliated universities and participating community colleges.
Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 182 projects and awarded approximately $68 million to support regional economic development efforts. To learn more about the GO Virginia Program, visit www.dhcd.virginia.gov/gova.