On October 12, the Virginia Growth and Opportunity (Go VA) Board preliminarily approved nine regional boundaries (view map) to be utilized in awarding $30 million in grants starting in FY 2018. Comments on the proposed boundaries are due by 5 p.m. on November 18 to GoVirginia@dhcd.virginia.gov. The board is scheduled to take a final vote on the proposed boundaries at its December 5 meeting.
Per state law, a portion of the $30 million must be reserved for specific projects in each region based on the region’s share of state population. The remainder will be awarded competitively, regardless of region and population, on the basis of proposed economic impact, including workforce development and training.
In 2016, the General Assembly created the Go VA Board and Fund to administer grants for regional economic development and workforce projects. The grants will be awarded to regional councils consisting of representatives from government, business and education, with a majority representation from the private sector. Determining the number of regional councils, and their relative boundaries, is the first step in the process. At the December 5 meeting, the board will next consider the proposed criteria for the formation and certification of regional councils. The criteria will go to public comment with a final vote from the board likely to be scheduled sometime in March 2017. Once the criteria are finalized, regional councils can begin formation and apply for certification from the board.
Once officially certified, a regional council may apply for a $500,000 grant to develop an Economic Growth & Diversification Plan, a prerequisite for applying for grant funds for specific projects.
For additional information, go to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Go VA webpage.
VACo staff will continue to monitor the progress of Go VA and provide updates.