Western Tidewater receives economic development award

Published 11:30 am Saturday, April 28, 2018


Southampton County, Isle of Wight County and the cities of Franklin and Suffolk received a Community Economic Development Award during the Virginia Economic Development Association Spring Conference in Richmond on April 13 for their collaborative spirit and comprehensive approach to economic revitalization.

To meet the growing needs of the supply chain industry, these localities collaborated with Paul D. Camp Community College to support the establishment of a 5,000 square foot PDCCC Regional Warehouse and Distribution Training Facility in Franklin. PDCCC was able to lease unused warehouse space located in the back of The Tidewater News office and create several training and certification programs to meet manufacturing, warehouse and distribution needs in the region. Additionally, area economic developers use the facility as a site-visit location for consultants and companies who come to the area looking to start a new business, relocate or expand operations.

The nomination of the four localities for an award came from The Port of Virginia, which is also contributing greatly to the project.

“The field of entrants was very competitive this year,” said CEDA Chairwoman Traci Blido. “We recognized those areas that are addressing workforce and community needs in creative ways, and because there were so many exceptional projects, the CEDA Committee decided to present an honorable mention award as well.”

Franklin, Southampton, Isle of Wight and Suffolk received their CEDA award for Population Category Five, which goes to localities with populations of less than 100,000. Now in its 12th year, the CEDA awards are designed to recognize outstanding communities in the Commonwealth for their efforts in advancing the economic viability of their community through economic and community development programs.