Rural Virginia Initiative

The Urban Rural Divide in Virginia Image

The Urban-Rural divide across Virginia is growing and universities are positioned to assist in finding new and innovative ways to bridge this divide. Virginia Tech is banding together with Virginia State University, the University of Virginia, UVA’s College at Wise, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and other partners to address the commonwealth’s growing urban-rural divide.

The Rural Virginia Initiative (RVI) explores ways that universities and communities can work together to address challenges rural Virginians face and how partners can work with communities to promote greater opportunities in education, health, and job creation.

While some parts of rural Virginia are thriving, other parts decline; just as parts of urban Virginia face an out migration and economic challeges as other areas grow. The RVI team will take on examining how and why these changes are happening and find ways to help bridge the gaps in the growing divide Virginia faces.

Last year, RVI looked across the landscape of challenges and opportunities around the Commonwealth. We recognized just how much good work had already been done, but also how much remains to be addressed. We also began an honest self-assessment of the roles our institutions play in serving rural Virginia.

The report focuses on five areas:

  • innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation;
  • workforce, education, and talent development;
  • civic innovation, public management, and leadership development;
  • agriculture and place-based development; and
  • healthcare and community well-being.

We are being to hold conversations surrounding these topics. If you would like to connect on RVI, please fill out this Google Form: https://forms.gle/2pHd8BxuXkTNKwWv5.

If you have any questions regarding RVI, the Google Form, or general information, please contact Jennifer Morgan, Communications Coordinator, VT Office of Economic, at jenniferm@vt.edu.