RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced funding to help support economic growth, strengthen workforce development, and support collaborative programs.

The funding — more than $1,261,859 — will be part of the Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grant awards.

“GO Virginia is fostering a regional collaboration among businesses, education, and government leaders while supporting innovative approaches to jumpstart our workforce and economic development,” said Youngkin. “These projects will equip Virginians with the tools they need to thrive while strengthening workforce training and talent development opportunities across the Commonwealth.”

The GO Virginia program started in 2017 and has helped fund 215 projects — with approximately $82.2 million to help with regional economic development efforts.

“As a new Board member, I am pleased to see the results of the hard work of all of the GO Virginia regional councils and partners today,” said GO Virginia Board Member and Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Todd Gilbert. “It is exciting to see how these projects plan to deliver the economic impact and growth that these regions are striving for–expanding the pool of job-ready talent to support strategic industry sectors and building a vibrant and supportive environment for high-growth potential startups in the Commonwealth.”

Below is a breakdown of where the funds were distributed across the Commonwealth.

Regional Talent Strategy Implementation: $315,910

  • Counties of Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke, and cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem
  • The Western Virginia Workforce Development Board (WVWDB) along with Roanoke Regional Partnership (RRP) will focus on talent development, attraction, and retention across the Roanoke Valley and Alleghany Highlands
  • Web-based talent portal, toolkits for businesses for recruitment, and an annual retreat for the region’s economic and workforce partners will be developed with this project.

GO TEC Region 1: $308,924

  • Counties: Carroll, Grayson, and Wythe
  • Carroll County Public Schools along with Great opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) will create GO TEC Career Connections labs
  • It will help provide students with career pathways within the region

Activation Capital Regional Entrepreneurship Initiative (REI) for Region 4: $300,000

  • Counties: Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, Powhatan, Prince George, Surry, and Sussex
  • Cities: Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg
  • Activation Capital will help “grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in alignment with the regional growth and diversificatino plan while creating sustainable, long-term strategies.”

Promoting Careers in Aquaculture: $100,000

  • Counties: Gloucester, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlsex, Northumberland, and Westmoreland
  • Rappahannock Community College (RCC) Educational Foundation will create a project to help promote jobs in the aquaculture industry through online learning modules, summer couse experience, and summer internship
  • It will help students understand what jobs are available, expand educational opportunities, and bring awareness

VGA Refresh/Restart: A Strategy for Regional Economic Development in Southern Virginia: $100,000

  • Counties: Brunswick, Charlotte, Greenville, Lunenburg, and Mecklenburg
  • City: Emporia
  • Virginia’s Growth Alliance (VGA)will help with regional economic development organization with business sector analysis, workforce study, regional incentives, and fundraising campaign feasiblity study

Internship Expo and Hiring Workshops: $36,000

  • Counties: Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, Stafford
  • Cities: Fredericksburg
  • The Federicksburg Regional CHamber of Commerce will work with five school divisions to connect higih school and post-secondary students with interships
  • There will be five hiring workshops throughout the year

Mountain Empire Community College Project WELD: $101,025

  • Counties: Scott and Wise
  • City: Norton
  • Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) will have a welding certification program
  • Project will help train incarcerated individuals and help them find employment opportunities after release and provide opportunities to ready-to-train population willing to work

You can learn more about the Go Virginia program by checking out its website.