GO Virginia is a statewide initative designed to encourage Virginia's economic growth through the creation of high-wage jobs. GO Virginia is divided into nine geographic regions. Virginia Tech's Office of Economic Development facilitates GO Virginia Region 2. More information on different regions and GO Virginia can be found here: http://govirginia.org/.

GO Virginia Region 2 staff and team members conducted research, collected data, and held meetings designed to identify regionally-specific growth areas that could lead to the creation of high-wage jobs. This data informed Region 2's Growth and Diversification plan.

GO Virginia Region 2 is currently accepting proposals for projects that seek to address the growth areas identified in the Growth and Diversification plan and that will grow higher wage jobs.

The GO Virginia program is divided into nine different geographic regions.

Virginia Tech's Office of Economic Development is the facilitator for GO Virginia Region 2, which includes cities of Covington, Lynchburg, Radford, Roanoke, and Salem; and the counties of Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Botetourt, Campbell, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Roanoke.

If you live in GO Virginia Region 2 and you are interested in being added to our mailing list, please fill out the form below. If you would like more information about the program, please email Doris at dwaddell@vt.edu.

Learn more about GO Virginia at the GO Virginia Website.

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The Region Two Council is currently led by Chair Raymond Smoot and Vice Chair Ab Boxley and includes the following 26 council members: 

Marla Akridge
Dr.  Eddie Amos
Fred Armstrong
Dr.  Nathaniel Bishop
Dr.  John Capps
Kenneth Craig
Patrick Collignon
Beverly Dalton
Sandy Davis
Dr.   John Dooley
Michael Fleming
Watt Foster
William Fralin
Dr.  Michael Friedlander
Don Halliwill
Mike Hamlar
Dr.  Brian Hemphill
Dr.  Victor Iannello
Terry Jamerson
Dr. Pareena Lawrence
Floyd Merryman
Marty Muscatello
Debbie Petrine
John Putney
E.W. Tibbs
John Williamson

Talent

Stopping the Brain Drain Strategy Development (Enhanced Capacity Building) works through the Roanoke Regional Partnership (RRP) to develop a complete talent attraction and retention program for the GO Virginia Region 2 service area. The project will examine the challenges in attracting talent from the 25 colleges and universities in the region, retaining young professionals, challenges faced by regional employers in recruiting talent, and other concerns in developing talent-focused programs of work. The Region 2 service area has a wealth of available talent for a variety of different fields but fails to keep many in the region post-graduation. There is, however, little data or information on why this challenge exists. Stopping the Brain Drain seeks to overcome the gap and create a Talent Action Coalition that will serve as an action platform in the implementation of retaining talent in the region.

For more information, please contact: Erin Burcham, erin@roanoke.org

GO Virginia Region 2 Talent Collaborative serves the entire GO Virginia Region 2 service region and works to stimulate the region’s economic growth by closing the skill and interest gap in middle-to-high skilled occupations in Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Information Technology. The Talent Collaborative works to create an existing worker-training program that helps priority industries further develop their talent to remain competitive. Furthermore, the Talent Collaborative will create a Region 2 High Demand Career Pathway Educational Campaign to address the interest gap in hard-to-fill, technical occupation across the priority industry clusters, identified in the Growth and Diversification Plan, to develop a sustainable career pathway system for regional jobs. Ultimately, the project will result in increased wages for employees and productivity/profits for employers.

For more information, please contact: Ben Bowman, bbowman@region2000works.org

Enhancing the Region through New Technology for Unmanned Systems works with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (DSLCC) to build a unique and innovative partnership in the DSLCC Service Region and seeks funding in a new drone technology program to meet the needs of the Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone. The project creates 18 high-wage jobs and attract three to five new businesses to the area. The project focuses on exhibiting pathways to middle and high school students in the region, so students become aware there are a growing number of interesting, challenging, and rewarding jobs available and what the foundational knowledge and skill sets needed to perform these jobs are in the region. Funds are used to purchase and roll out drone technology training courses to develop the Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone program to train students for potential employers.

For more information, please contact: Dr. John Rainone, pbartley@dslcc.edu

Entrepreneurship

Capital Ecosystem Development (Enhanced Capacity Building) examines the Region 2 capital ecosystem to understand the current landscape and find ways to strengthen formal pathways to capital for businesses and entrepreneurs. The project will create a Capital Landscape Study to understand and describe the various sources of capital in the region through surveys and interviews with entrepreneurs and investors in the region. Through this study, analysis will determine a capital access plan that would be most effective for Region 2 to connect businesses and entrepreneurs with investors throughout the region.

For more information, please contact: Meredith Hundley, mhundley@valleysinnovation.org

Regional Acceleration and Mentorship Program (RAMP) Expansion works with the City of Roanoke, Virginia Western Community College, and the RBTC to assist technology-based startups with access to classroom education, mentoring, and assistance in identifying capital. RAMP has previously supported one cohort through the program and current funds will help build a diverse mentor network, provide mentors and entrepreneurs with education and tools to help grow and develop, and build a pipeline of companies who wish to apply to RAMP, the region’s only accelerator program. Through Pitch-and-Polish clinics, pairing mentors and startups, and beginning a second RAMP cohort, RAMP will strengthen the job and resource network in Region 2.

For more information, please contact: Robert McAden, robert.mcaden@rbtc.tech

Sites and Buildings

Wood Haven Road Water and Sewer Infrastructure Enhancement works through the Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority (WVRIFA) to improve site readiness and marketability by making the water and sewer utility connections to the site ready for use. Prior to receiving funds, the site, jointly owned by the County of Roanoke and the Cities of Roanoke and Salem through the WVRIFA, was unable to be developed and did not attract businesses to the area. Through the project, the site will be propelled to a Tier 4 readiness standard through the Virginia Businesses Ready Sites Program. The project seeks to attract new businesses to the region through site preparedness.

For more information, please contact: Beth Doughty or John Hull, beth@roanoke.org or john@roanoke.org

Center for Energy Research and Education (CERE) Industry Labs works with Liberty University and Framatome (AREVA Inc.) to create four industry labs including: Chemical/Material Lab, EMC Lab, Calibration Lab, and a Non-Destructive Testing Lab through site preparedness on a 28-acre lot in Bedford, VA. Through developing the land and establishing the labs, the region will be able to attract and build industry support for leading innovations and attract high-growth energy companies to the region.

For more information, please contact: Rich Adams, rdiddams@liberty.edu

a photo of treetops in the roanoke valley and mountains in the background

Documentation from GO Virginia Region 2

GO Virginia Region 2 Events

  • GO Virginia Council Meeting, August 24, 2018, 1:00p.m. to 3:00p.m., 300 Lucado Place, Lynchburg, VA
    (Lynchburg Regional Alliance)
  • GO Virginia Executive Committee Meeting, August 14, 2018, 9:00a.m., 702 University City Blvd, Blacksburg, VA