Virginia Tech's engagement with communities is a critical part of its land grant mission. Groups across the university from Cooperative Extension to the College of Architecture offer important services to communities wrestling with economic development questions.  The Office of Economic Development (OED), working with faculty experts from around the university, provides communities with sound technical advice and a venue for policy discussions.

Project Examples

a kiosk on the side of the road describing local music, part of the crooked road

Study of the Crooked Road's Economic Impact

The OED completed a study analyzing the economic impact of the Crooked Road heritage music trail in Southwest Virginia.

"Virginia Tech study finds Crooked Road music trail generates $9 million annually"

an image of the rural retreat train depot

Rural Retreat Train Depot Revitalization

The OED helped the Rural Retreat Depot Foundation (RRDF) identify and evaluate potential uses for an historic train depot.

"Office of Economic Development helps community bring new life to historic train depot" (PDF)

an image of a ribbon cutting for the kitchen project opening

The Kitchen

The OED completed an assessment on a community kitchen for the City of Roanoke's Economic Development Authority (EDA). This assessment served as a starting point for the LEAP Community Kitchen, a shared commercial kitchen and food business incubator in Roanoke’s West End neighborhood.

"Where are they now? Checking in with The Kitchen" (PDF)

Orange County Tourism

The OED researched agriculture and tourism-related economic opportunities for President James Madison’s historic Montpelier home and grounds through a grant sponsored by the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).

"Orange County works to grow economy based on OED assessment’s findings and recommendations" (PDF)