Here’s a roundup of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Southwest, Southside projects get GO Virginia funding
Projects in Southwest and Southside Virginia are among those to receive money in the latest round of GO Virginia state grants totaling $3.7 million, according to an announcement from the governor’s office Thursday.
The United Way of Southwest Virginia will get $600,000 to add six new GO TEC (Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers) career connection labs, one each in GO Virginia Region 1’s six localities: the cities of Bristol and Norton and the counties of Dickenson, Smyth, Washington and Wythe.
“This project will increase the pool of qualified candidates in the advanced manufacturing, agriculture/food and beverage manufacturing, and information and emerging technologies clusters,” according to the website for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, which administers the GO Virginia program.
The SOVA RISE Innovation Hub Corporation will get $600,000 to “increase business starts and expansion of scalable businesses by expanding the entrepreneurial ecosystem” in GO Virginia’s Region 3, which includes the counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Prince Edward, and the cities of Danville and Martinsville.
The Southern Virginia Partnership for Health Science Careers will get $133,000 to develop a plan to improve health care access and the health care labor market in Region 3.
The Mount Rogers Regional Partnership, in partnership with GO TEC, will get $50,000 to address the education gap in high school career and technical education programs in Region 1 — Carroll, Grayson and Wythe counties — by conducting a needs assessment about engaging students early in their high school careers and a feasibility study to evaluate if virtual reality is an appropriate learning tool for CTE.
Two projects in Region 2 — which covers the counties of Botetourt, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski and the cities of Roanoke and Salem — that were included in Thursday’s announcement but also separately announced earlier this month focus on expanding the regional economy in Southwest Virginia.
Other projects receiving funding elsewhere in Virginia include initiatives focused on increasing the number of qualified job candidates in the logistics, manufacturing and transportation sectors in the Shenandoah Valley; growing the “entrepreneurial ecosystem” in the Fredericksburg region and boosting the technology labor market in Northern Virginia,
Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office said in a news release that the 11 projects across Virginia included in the most recent round of funding awards will also leverage an additional $2.5 million in local and non-state funding.
“By investing in talent, bolstering entrepreneurial innovation and cultivating the conditions for startup success, we are actively shaping the future of our workforce and positioning Virginia as a hub for innovation and opportunity,” Youngkin said in the news release.
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Virginia Tech program receives $3.4 million grant to recruit and retain students with financial need
Virginia Tech’s College Access Collaborative has received a $3.4 million grant from the Virginia State Council of Higher Education.
The grant, which will be spread across four years, will fund an effort to recruit and retain students who are eligible for Pell grants, according to a news release from the university. It will include outreach to high school students, STEM tutoring and financial and academic support for students.
The College Access Collaborative was launched in 2016 to help create a pathway to college for first-generation, underrepresented and low-income high schoolers, the release said. It partners with 24 high schools.
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Grant will help Mountain Empire CC expand services for people in recovery from addiction
Mountain Empire Community College has received a $439,669 Appalachian Regional Commission Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems grant to provide training and support services for people who are in recovery from addiction.
Project Amelioration Expansion, or Am-Ex, will build on an existing grant that has provided free construction, plumbing and masonry training for more than 30 students in Wise County since 2021, according to a news release from the college.
Project Am-Ex will expand services and training locations to include Wise, Dickenson and Lee counties. Students will receive hands-on training along with referrals and access to legal aid services, financial education, life skills training, counseling services and employment assistance.
The project will serve 120 students and 40 workers/trainees, the release said.