On December 9th, the GO Virginia State Board convened to discuss items surrounding the implementation of GO Virginia across the state and approve projects. The State Board then held a State and Region Leadership Summit directly following the meeting.
At the State Board meeting, the board approved Technical Amendments to the GO Virginia Broadband Policy. The policy allows GO Virginia funds to be used for middle mile and planning grants in the implementation and deployment of broadband across the state.
DHCD staff informed support organization staff that guidance around what an application packet will look like will be forthcoming.
VEDP presented an overview of their site characterization and prioritization project update to the State Board. DHCD presented to the State Board a memorandum that recommends:
- Prioritize investments in site development-related projects that have regional or statewide significance.
- Direct site investments to sites in Tier 1-3 status with a goal of moving the site(s) towards achieving at least Tier 4 status (using the VBRSP framework) as a result of the GO Virginia investment. Sites with a current Tier 4 or 5 sites may be eligible for funding if they present significant opportunity and increase the marketability of the site in a significant way.
- Align GO Virginia funding through regions’ per capita fund allocation to support industries targeted in regional G&D plans, while considering site developability, location competitiveness and sector suitability in determining awards.
- Align GO Virginia funding through statewide competitive applications to support sites 25 acres and larger that support regional and state economic development objectives and have high potential for investment, as reflected by VEDP Site and Location Scores.
- All site-related projects receiving GO Virginia investment must have a defined marketing strategy and be included on VA Scan for marketing by VEDP.
- DHCD will collaborate with VEDP staff on application review for all site-related applications.
DHCD presented Board Policy #9 that outlined these recommendations for funding use.
The GO Virginia Board reviewed and approved seven grant requests and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) reviewed and administratively approved two grant requests.
DHCD requested that the State Board no longer require Regional Councils to present their changes for approval at the state level but only maintain a current membership list to be presented to the state yearly.
At the State and Region Leadership Summit, each regional council chair the opportunity to speak to the State Board regarding the pros and cons of GO Virginia. DHCD staff presented four opportunities for discussion: Priority Investment Areas – Talent Pipeline Development; Regional Collaboration – Match Requirements; Program Focus – Traded Sectors & High Wage Jobs; and Project Evaluation – Return on Investment. These four topics and others discussed by the chairs will be discussed at four workgroup sessions to be determined ahead of the next state board meeting in March.