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Governor McAuliffe announces $196,000 in Building Collaborative Communities Funding

Terry McAuliffe (Credit: AP/Elise Amendola) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

RICHMOND (WSLS10) - Several collaborative organizations in Southwest Virginia benefit thanks to new funding.

Governor McAuliffe announced $196,000 of grant money will be split among five different groups.

The money will go towards regional partnerships which aim to create economic growth and jobs.

The full release is below:

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $196,000 in funding for five collaborative efforts in Virginia through the Building Collaborative Communities (BCC) program. The BCC program was introduced in 2012 and designed to assist regions in creating and sustaining new economic opportunities across Virginia. The program promotes regional economic collaboration in economically distressed areas that stimulates job creation, economic development, and provides a significant return on state investment.

Speaking about today's announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, "Successful regional partnerships have been created and prospered through the Building Collaborative Communities program.  Regional collaboration is a key in our efforts to build a new Virginia economy, and we continue to see the impact it has on building strong and sustainable communities throughout the Commonwealth."

Economic research shows that in areas around the country where localities work together cooperatively, the promotion of  a sense of place, business growth and leveraging additional funding for regional economic development initiatives account for approximately 76 to 92 percent of new jobs. Quality of life indicators such as income disparity between localities, area median income and job creation are more positive in areas that interact on a regional level. Regional, community-based strategies that capitalize upon the unique assets of communities offer stronger opportunities for success and long-term sustainability.

"The communities with the highest functioning team are the ones that experience economic growth and prosperity," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. "Collaborative efforts represent the best opportunity for this growth in all regions of the Commonwealth."

Selected projects will focus on and facilitate significant involvement from the private sector, economic development agencies, community organizations, educational institutions, nonprofits, local leaders and governmental officials.  Today's announcement was made in Kilmarnock for the Northern Neck High-Tech Center.

"The Northern Neck High-Tech Center holds the promise of benefiting our region by highlighting its potential in the 21st-century economy," noted Senator Ryan T. McDougle. "This grant is further evidence of the viability of this project and an important initiative to bring jobs to the Northern Neck region."

"I am appreciative of the administration's investment in the Northern Neck region and look forward to seeing ta long-term, viable High-Tech Center with new jobs," said Delegate Margaret Ransone.

The following projects were awarded funding through the Building Collaborative Communities program:

Northern Shenandoah Valley Collaborative

     $40,000

Roanoke Regional Partnership (Counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke, the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the town of Vinton)
Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority
     $36,000

West Piedmont Planning District Commission (Counties of Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania; cities of Danville and Martinsville and the towns of Boones Mill, Rocky Mount, Chatham, Gretna, Hurt, Ridgeway and Stuart)
West Piedmont Planning District Regional Strategic Plan     $25,000