GO Virginia Region 6 Council Approves $94,665 in grants for 3 regional projects

FREDERICKSBURG, VA – The GO Virginia Region 6 Council reviewed and awarded $94,665 in grants for 3 regional projects which support economic development in the region.

The Council awarded the Northern Neck Planning District Commission $50,000 to study the potential of a commercial kitchen to open at Longwood University Hull Springs, and the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance $44,665 to complete its updated Industry Cluster Analysis and Regional Industrial Facilities Authority scope.

GO Virginia is an economic development initiative that provides project-based funds to encourage collaboration among private industry, higher education, and government partners to create higher-paying jobs.

Funding will allow the Northern Neck Planning District Commission in conjunction with the Longwood Foundation, Northumberland County, Westmoreland County, and Rappahannock Community College, to determine the feasibility of establishing a commercial kitchen at Longwood University Hull Springs outside of Montross in Westmoreland County. The study will include metrics on expected job creation, and wage scales for food manufacturing workers, a business plan for operation and management of the commercial kitchen, suggestions for integrating the culinary arts program at Rappahannock Community College with the dining hall needs of students and faculty, and pricing assistance for food products from the region for local growers.

In the Fredericksburg Region, funding will enable the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance to assist in the formation of a Regional Industrial Facilities Authority (RIFA) in accordance with the Virginia Regional Industrial Facilities Act (Va. Code Section 15.2-6400-6416) for the City of Fredericksburg, Caroline County, King George County, Stafford County, and Spotsylvania County. Additional funding will be used to study the specific industries that impact the region to give the Fredericksburg region a competitive advantage in business growth and development.

“These projects are priorities for our region because each contributes to the growth of higher-wage jobs in Region 6. The commercial kitchen study will inform planning for a facility to enable new entrepreneurial activities around food manufacturing in the region. The formation of the RIFA allows for these partner localities to create joint site development ventures. The industry cluster analysis teaches our region what are the areas of strength and how to nurture these industries. As a Council we are excited to see the outcomes of each of these projects,” said William Beale, Chairman of the Region 6 Council.

The projects will leverage a combined $72,332 in a combination of local, regional, and private funds to match the state funding.

About the GO Virginia coalition: The coalition is comprised of business and community leaders, partners in education and government, and interested Virginians from across the Commonwealth who support regional cooperation on private-sector growth, job creation, and career readiness.  Bipartisan and business-led, the coalition favors state incentives to encourage collaboration among business, education, and government in each region, providing a framework for implementation of the private sector-focused strategies of leading business organizations and political leaders in both parties. Learn more and join the coalition at www.govirginia6.org.