Youngkin announces area localities to benefit from GO Virginia grants

Published 8:07 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently announced more than $8.1 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grant awards for 17 projects focused on creating talent pipelines and accelerating economic growth, including in Franklin, Southampton County and Isle of Wight County.

A news release from the office of the governor stated that projects will support the growth of select industries across the commonwealth by training and connecting talent to employers, supporting entrepreneurs seeking to start companies and creating supportive economic environments for the targeted industries to grow.

“GO Virginia allows us to invest in key projects that address regionally identified opportunities while fostering collaboration for economic growth between the private and public sectors,” Youngkin said. “These projects exemplify the innovative partnerships that GO Virginia was designed to promote and will advance Virginia’s position in critical industries such as life science and energy, as well as leverage emerging opportunities in semiconductor manufacturing.”

GO Virginia encourages regional economic growth and diversification by supporting collaborative projects that focus on workforce development, cluster scaleup, startup ecosystems and site development.

“As we grow Virginia’s economy, the workforce must grow with it, and GO Virginia continues to inspire innovative solutions and regional collaboration,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “These 17 projects will support and grow industry sectors and talent pipelines that are instrumental in growing our economy.”

In addition to the awarded GO Virginia funding, the 17 awarded projects will leverage an additional $5.6 million in local and non-state funding.

“We would like to thank the regional council leadership and project partners for their work in advancing these impactful projects,” said Nancy Howell Agee, chair of the GO Virginia State Board. “GO Virginia continues to recognize and facilitate strong regional economic development efforts that create the right environment for private-sector job growth and puts the commonwealth in a position to compete to win.”

Since the program’s inception in 2017, GO Virginia has funded 258 projects and awarded approximately $107 million to support regional economic development efforts. As of 2022, GO Virginia has created more than 26,000 new jobs, trained 13,000 students in high-demand fields, created 2,700 work-based learning opportunities, including internships and apprenticeships, and awarded 3,600 workforce credentials. To learn more about the GO Virginia program, visit

Region 5, which features 14 localities, including Franklin, Southampton and Isle of Wight, received $250,000 from the Growth and Opportunity Virginia grants for the project known as the Talent Pathways Planning Initiative Application.

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council (HRWC) will develop the Region 5 Talent Pathways Initiative (TPI) plans for Region 5’s cybersecurity/data analytics/modeling and simulation cluster, as well as the unmanned systems and aerospace cluster. HRWC will serve as the industry cluster talent-coordinating entity, utilizing labor market information and projections verified by an employer collaborative to form a tailored approach to the identified industry clusters.