A regional Economic Growth and Diversification Plan prepared by the GO Virginia Region 8 Council has received final approval from the GO Virginia State Board. The Region 8 Council’s plan identifies five target industry sectors in the Shenandoah Valley where job growth is anticipated in the next five years. These jobs are expected to have an average wage of $41,000 or higher. The target industries include financial and business services, healthcare, light manufacturing, information technology/communications, and transportation and logistics.
The Region 8 Economic Growth and Diversification Plan identifies economic opportunities, needs, and challenges, establishes priorities, and outlines support necessary for multi-locality collaborative projects to potentially be funded under GO Virginia. The plan also recommends strategies for addressing workforce recruitment and training in target industry sectors. In addition to defining the five anticipated growth industries, Region 8 Council’s plan also includes a set of broadly-defined framework initiatives intended to recruit/retain necessary talent, grow existing businesses, establish start-ups, and support joint economic development activities such as site development and workforce training.
George Pace, Chair of the Go Virginia Region 8 Council, said: “The Plan we have developed will provide the framework for prioritizing projects for GO Virginia funding. Our goal is to create more job opportunities that pay over $41,000 through incentivized collaboration between public and private organizations throughout Region 8.”
GO Virginia Region 8 covers a large area from Winchester to Lexington, and includes ten counties and six cities in the Shenandoah Valley, with a combined population of 525,000. The 28-member council that oversees the GO Virginia program is made up of representatives from small and large business, higher and k-12 education, elected officials, and economic and workforce development organizations.
Approximately $1M in implementation funding will be made available to the region for projects that align with the approved Region 8 Council’s Economic Growth and Diversification Plan. Projects must be collaborative, involving two or more localities and private sector partners, and be focused on growing and diversifying the region’s economy to complement existing industry clusters as outlined in the Council’s plan.
For more information on GO Virginia, visit online at Shenandoah Valley Partnership or Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
About GO Virginia: The Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity (GO Virginia) is a voluntary, business-led, bipartisan initiative that was formed to foster private-sector growth and diversification across nine economic development regions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. State financial incentives designated for regional projects that encourage collaboration between private sector companies, workforce, education, and government are administered by the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board.