Northam announces $14.66 million for new pandemic economic recovery program


RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Gov. Ralph Northam announced more than $14.66 million will go toward a new economic recovery program created to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Economic Resilience and Recovery Program was created by restructuring the GO Virginia program, which is dedicated to creating more high-paying jobs in the state.

The program’s regional councils may apply for up to $1 million to support initiatives to address the pandemic’s economic impact.

Four projects totaling $341,800 have already been approved:

  • GO Virginia Region 2 and the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences and Technology at Virginia Tech will receive $100,000 for Rapid High-Throughput COVID-19 Testing project. The project will deliver timely COVID-19 test results to the New River Valley and Roanoke health districts with a projected 1,000 test samples analyzed per day. The project will also provide specialized on-the-job training to medical lab specialists and medical lab technician students hired to scale-up lab operations.
  • GO Virginia Region 2 and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council will receive $97,200 to offer virtual education, mentoring, and business assistance programming to companies throughout the region. The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council is partnering with the cities of Roanoke and Salem, the counties of Botetourt, Montgomery, and Roanoke, and the Roanoke Economic Development Authority to build off their existing business accelerator program and deliver enhanced services and programming that is responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • GO Virginia Region 3 will receive $75,000 for a critical drone test delivery project to assess the efficacy and safety of increased last-mile delivery of COVID-19 medical supplies, tests, and equipment by commercial drones. The Virginia Growth Alliance is working with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology and commercial drone company, DroneUp, to complete the testing at St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville. 
  • GO Virginia Region 7 will receive $69,600 for the Back to Work Website and Information Program, which will create a “one-stop shop” for businesses in the region. This project is a partnership between the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, and will be guided by the newly formed Back to Work Leadership Task Force. The website will feature information on business continuity, recovery, and worker training and retraining as well as content that specifically addresses business solutions through a webinar series.

Southwest Virginia falls under Region 1.

GO Virginia was created in 2017 and has funded 90 projects and awarded about $30 million to support regional economic development.

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