Recent News

Growth and Opportunity Virginia GO Virginia

09.28.2023
Funding will support workforce development efforts and foster the growth and support of entrepreneurial ecosystems Governor Glenn Youngkin announced today more than $3.7 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grant awards for 11 projects designed to empower workforce development, bolster startup ecosystems and promote economic growth in the Commonwealth. These initiatives will play a pivotal role in nurturing skilled talent, fostering entrepreneurial ventures and bridging the gap between job seekers and employment opportunities.   “Today’s announcement underscores our unwavering commitment to stimulating economic growth and expanding opportunities across our Commonwealth,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “By investing in talent, bolstering entrepreneurial innovation and cultivating the conditions for startup success, we are actively shaping the future of our workforce and positioning Virginia as a hub for innovation and opportunity.”   The GO Virginia program advances regional economic growth and diversification by enabling cooperative projects that taps into workforce enhancement, cluster expansion, innovative business initiatives and site development.     “The GO Virginia program is at the forefront of driving regional economic growth and diversification by fostering collaborative projects that harness the potential of workforce development and startup ecosystems,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick.  In addition to the awarded GO Virginia funding, the 11 awarded projects will leverage an additional $2.5 million in local and non-state funding.  “Congratulations to the regional councils and the awardees. GO Virginia is committed to the economic success of every region of the Commonwealth, and these projects demonstrate how focused strategy and regional collaboration create an ecosystem where industries, communities and individuals can thrive,” said chair of the GO Virginia State Board Nancy Howell Agee.  Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 277 projects and awarded approximately $114 million to support regional economic development efforts.  To learn more about the GO Virginia program, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/gova.   A FULL LIST OF THE AWARDED PROJECTS CAN BE FOUND HERE.   

A mother and daughter smile at the laptop they're holding while sitting on a couch

09.27.2023
Virginia is first in nation to submit all required BEAD plans The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development announced today the submission of the Initial Proposal Volume 2 to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which includes the adoption of public comment. The submission of the plans and initial proposals are the final step for Virginia to access its $1.48 billion federal allocation to deploy high-speed internet networks to areas without broadband. “Virginia maintains its position as a leader in affordable broadband connectivity and remains committed to bridging the digital gap,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Virginia stands as a beacon of national leadership in bridging the digital divide, with an unwavering commitment to making broadband accessible to every Virginian.” “In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, high-speed broadband access is not a luxury. It is an essential component of daily life,” said DHCD Director and Chief Broadband Advisor Bryan Horn. “We are delighted to announce that the Commonwealth is at the forefront in the nation to reach statewide universal broadband coverage and crafting effective strategies to bridge the digital divide, leaving no Virginian behind.” The Commonwealth is now the first state in the nation to submit its 5-Year-Plan, Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the Initial Proposal which outline Virginia’s plans for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program under the federal Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act. These funds will be prioritized to reach the estimated 162,000 remaining unserved homes, businesses and community anchors in the Commonwealth that are not yet in a broadband deployment project area.  The BEAD program is a $42.45 billion nationwide program to expand high-speed internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment, affordability and adoption programs. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will administer the Commonwealth’s $1.48 billion BEAD allocation to build upon the work of the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) to reach the remaining unserved regions of the Commonwealth. Once funding for universal broadband access is delivered, DHCD will focus on leveraging these investments through promoting affordability and improving adoption of this critical service.  The next step in the BEAD program involves a challenge process that confirms that all locations lacking access to high-speed internet, and not part of an existing deployment project, are included in this initiative. The challenge process offers an opportunity for local governments, nonprofit organizations and broadband providers to thoroughly review the preliminary list, which currently identifies 162,000 homes, businesses and community anchor institutions without broadband access.  “Broadband is indispensable in today’s digital world,” said Dr. Tamarah Holmes, Director of Broadband for DHCD. “We encourage our broadband partners to take part in the challenge process to certify no Virginian is left behind in this digital world.” Following the challenge process, DHCD will initiate the application phase. During this phase, broadband providers will have the opportunity to submit proposals to extend their services to these unconnected regions. For more information about Virginia’s broadband efforts, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/vati.    

Virginia Main Street Logo, reads: Virginia Main Street Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in purple, green, yellow and orange font

09.15.2023
Funding will support revitalization of derelict structures into mixed-use developments Governor Glenn Youngkin announced today $1 million in Mixed Use on Main Street (MUMS) funding for two projects located in the cities of Lynchburg and Martinsville. The projects will transform the former A&P grocery store in Lynchburg and the former Woolworth’s building in Martinsville into commercial and residential spaces.  “Downtowns are the heart and soul of so many communities across the Commonwealth, and through these investments, we will transform derelict structures into vibrant businesses and create new housing opportunities,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Strong infrastructure is key to any successful economic strategy, and this program is designed to keep those downtown districts thriving and catalyze both economic development and community pride.”   MUMS is a new pilot program created as a joint effort with the Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) and Virginia Main Street (VMS) programs, both administered through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to support the revitalization of vacant or underutilized downtown spaces to create opportunities for commercial development and housing units in communities that are active participants in VMS. Awards are available up to $500,000 for the rehabilitation of mixed-use buildings that must include the creation or preservation of housing units and can be provided as either grants or loans.  “This unique program allows us to make targeted investments back into our communities, giving them the resources and flexibility needed to generate sustainable economic growth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “These two remarkable projects will create 15 new jobs and build 34 new housing units in downtown commercial districts, and I look forward to seeing the continued positive change that this revitalization will enable.”   MUMS funding leverages local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of structures, creating a catalyst for long-term employment opportunities, on-going physical and economic revitalization and housing units in communities.   “Through MUMS, we are able to make targeted and strategic investments in communities, creating the best possible catalyst for revitalization and growth,” said Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Bryan Horn. “These two projects will leverage $7.1 million in additional public and private investments in the communities.”  For more information on MUMS, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/irf.  2023 MUMS Awardees:  400 12th Street | $500,000  Lynchburg Economic Development Authority | City of Lynchburg   The Lynchburg EDA, through a private developer, will renovate the former A&P Grocery store from a single-story structure into a four-story building for mixed use. The project will create a commercial space on the ground floor with 10,000 square feet of retail space, as well as 28 apartment units. Funding will go towards renovating and remodeling the ground floor for a committed food and beverage operator. The residential space will include studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units.   16-18 East Church Street | $500,000  City of Martinsville   The city of Martinsville, through a private developer, will renovate the former Woolworth’s building, which was built in the 1920s and has been vacant since 1996. The building is now being renovated to provide additional housing units and retail spaces to the Uptown Martinsville district. The project will include six apartments, as well as 4,000 square feet of retail space and 600 square feet of office space. 

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