Louisa County project to receive GO Virginia grant funding

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A local project is receiving grant funding to help diversify the regional economy, strengthen the local workforce and support collaborative programs between localities, public entities and private businesses.

Governor Ralph Northam announced more than $800,000 in GO Virginia grants on Tuesday.

"With programs like GO Virginia, we are helping localities in every corner of the Commonwealth advance the regional priorities that are unique to their own communities," said Northam. "These three projects demonstrate how the public and private sectors are joining forces to form the innovative partnerships that will build a strong workforce, create high-wage jobs, and achieve our shared economic goals."

The money will be used to help fund three regional projects, including a regional business park in Louisa County.

According to a release, Louis County will be completing Phase II work for the about 700-acre park and advancing the development status to a Tier 3 site on the Virginia Business Ready Site Program.

This will include topographic and boundary surveys, traffic impact assessments, preliminary engineering reports, geotechnical surveys, a cultural resources summary, and completion of the park's master plan.

The other two projects are each getting $100,000 in funding.

One will help create a hands-on educational facility for agriculture students and 4H programs at the Southwest Virginia Livestock and Educational Center.

The other grant is activation capital to implement efforts designed to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Region 4 of Virginia, which includes the cities of Colonial Heights, Emporia, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, as well as counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, Surry and Sussex.

The release says the grant money will be used to implement projects aligning with a given region's Growth and Diversification Plans, which provide an assessment of the economic, workforce and structural barriers in an area as well as existing economic drivers and potential growth sectors.

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball says the projects will help fill gaps in talent in several industries, including advanced manufacturing, shipbuilding, and computer science.

The release adds the regional per capita funding is awarded based on recommendations from the GO Virginia Regional Councils for projects supporting regional collaboration.

In total, these three projects will leverage more than $3 million in non-state funding sources to help with economic diversification.

Such projects must receive approval from the GO Virginia Board before receiving grant funding.

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