Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: August 15, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, | Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development: Amanda Love, (804) 371-7006,

Governor Northam Announces Over $4.2 Million in GO Virginia Grants

Funding includes grants for mega-site advancement project and regional workforce development initiatives

RICHMOND—Governor Northam today announced three regional projects funded through GO Virginia (Growth and Opportunity for Virginia) grants totaling $4,217,500. Key members of the Governor’s cabinet, the General Assembly and the business community approved the GO Virginia regional per capita and competitive grants for projects across the Commonwealth. These grants are for projects each region identified as vital to their efforts to diversify the regional economy, strengthen their workforce and support collaborative programs between localities, public entities and private businesses.

“GO Virginia invests in key projects that are focused on creating a strong regional workforce and enhancing infrastructure to attract new businesses and improve the quality of life for all residents,” said Governor Northam. “We have developed a unified strategy for regional economic development in all areas of the Commonwealth—these GO Virginia grants will support important local projects and solidify Virginia’s place as the best state to do business.”

The GO Virginia grants will be used to implement projects that align with each region’s Growth and Diversification Plans. These plans provide an honest assessment of the economic, workforce and structural barriers in the region, as well as the existing regional economic drivers and potential growth sectors in each region. Projects that address these challenges and opportunities are the first step toward the creation of higher-paying jobs in the regions.

“GO Virginia’s collaborative approach is continuing to support the innovative economic development strategies developed by each region,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We are utilizing innovative partnerships to enhance workforce and talent development opportunities, create a stronger portfolio of business-ready sites and diversify our regional economies throughout the Commonwealth.” 

The regional per capita funding is awarded based on recommendations from the GO Virginia Regional Councils for projects that support regional collaboration and the Growth and Diversification Plans. The competitive grants are awarded through a statewide competitive process for projects that are multi-regional in scope or represent an extraordinary opportunity to the Commonwealth. The GO Virginia Board is responsible for giving final approval for these grants funded awarded through the GO Virginia program.

The GO Virginia Board approved three projects from two regions. This will leverage more than $5,550,738 in non-state sources to assist with economic diversification throughout Virginia, including $1,192,674 of local government funding toward the three projects.

2018 Round 4 Regional Per Capita Grant Awards

GO Virginia Region and localities within region involved in project award

Project Name



Project Description

Region 4: Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties and the city of Richmond


Lighthouse University

(Per Capita)

This project will empower recent college graduates to become entrepreneurs, in order to build Virginia-based businesses and train young professionals who will create or be employed in high-paying jobs. Lighthouse Labs, a top-30 seed-stage accelerator program, and the 
da Vinci Center at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will partner to expand the recently piloted Virginia Start-Up Spring Break and 
Pre-Accelerator programs. The project will pilot the Lighthouse U program, which will feature a series of events and training opportunities to prepare students to launch their own businesses after graduation. As part of the collaboration, Lighthouse Labs will introduce a new summer cohort program for recent graduates of Virginia universities that participated in Lighthouse U. GO Virginia funds will be used for salaries, travel, program events and seed   funding for winning student teams at Lighthouse U and for summer cohort participants.

Region 4: Greensville and Mecklenburg counties and the city of Emporia

Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MaMaC) Mega-site


The project will advance the 1,600-acre certified mega-site in Greensville County to a Tier 4 mega-site.  To date, the MAMAC RIFA, including Greensville and Mecklenburg counties and the city of Emporia, has made significant progress toward improving the site with water, electric and natural gas utilities, clearing land for pads and securing crucial right-of-way acreage to ensure utility access to the site. GO Virginia funds will complete engineering plans to upgrade the Greensville County Water and Sewer Authority’s Water Treatment Plant to construct the gravity-fed sewer system to the site and to construct the wetlands mitigation bank. Upon completion of these two items, the site would be construction-ready for a prospect within 12 months.

Region 7: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church

Tech Talent Pipeline Apprenticeship Initiative

(Per Capita)

The project will expand the previously awarded Tech Talent Pipeline Initiative, which aims to create a workforce system to effectively attract, prepare and retain qualified candidates to fill high-demand cybersecurity and IT jobs. This project will develop and implement a new apprenticeship program, matching 400 apprentices to employers as an alternative career pathway to traditional two- or four-year degrees. GO Virginia funds will be used to expand staffing for NOVA Workforce, conduct Tech Talent Pipeline outreach, and develop and implement the apprenticeship curriculum and models.



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