During their April 26 meeting at Blue Ridge Community College, the GO Virginia Region 8 Council will consider funding requests for four projects. Two projects are proposed to address impacts from the pandemic:
• The Shenandoah Valley Small Business Resiliency Team (SBRT) intends to deliver a second round of focused services to 60 businesses, particularly those in the hard-hit tourism and healthcare sectors. Services could include e-commerce, finance, or operational systems. SBRT is a partnership of Harrisonburg Economic Development, Frederick County Economic Development, Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, and Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center.
• The Next Gen Nurses project will address workforce shortages that have worsened during the pandemic. The project will leverage retiring nurses as clinical trainers to expand the pipeline of incoming nurses. Project partners include Shenandoah University, Valley Health, VDH Lord Fairfax District, and local governments.
A third project includes the Scaling Entrepreneurs through Experimentation and Design (SEED) project submitted by James Madison University. The purpose of the SEED project is to accelerate innovations by providing early-stage engineering and product design services. Proposed in downtown Harrisonburg, the project includes new space, equipment, and resources for entrepreneurs.
The final project, Accelerating Advance Manufacturing Workforce, was submitted by Lord Fairfax Community College Workforce Solutions. The project means to address the skills gap in the manufacturing sector by offering a training and credentialling and by directly connecting students with manufacturing employers.
GO Virginia is a state initiative led by local business, education, and government leaders. The mission of the GO Virginia Region 8 Council is to collaborate with regional stakeholders to fund grants that will foster private sector growth and create higher wage job opportunities throughout the Shenandoah Valley, thereby enhancing the lives of all who live and work in the region.