Funding to assist regional collaborative effort with small business development programs

CDBG Dec5December 5th, 2014 KEYSVILLE, VA – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Local Innovation funding through Mecklenburg County for the Virginia’s Growth Alliance, which is a regional collaboration made up of 10 counties and one city in the Southern Virginia region. The grant will be used to develop several new programs for youth, new businesses and established businesses throughout the region to spur small business development and create jobs.

“Helping the Commonwealth’s existing and future business owners find ways to succeed is an important piece of building a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Programs like the Community Development Block Grant invest in the success of our communities and encourage business growth throughout Southern Virginia.”

This project will offer several different educational, mentoring and monetary programs including a pilot youth educational program involving both online and classroom education, a six-week “digital high touch” course for new entrepreneurs, a startup principles program for existing businesses, a microenterprise lending program funding business start-up or expansion, and a Peer2Peer XChange mentoring program to help develop network for new business owners. 
The Virginia Growth Alliance is comprised of Mecklenburg County, Amelia County, Brunswick County, Buckingham County, Charlotte County, Cumberland County, Greensville County, Lunenburg County, Nottoway County, Prince Edward County and the City of Emporia.

~Blue Ridge Railcar Repair to invest $2.41 million to expand operation~

Blue Ridge RailcarRICHMOND- Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Blue Ridge Railcar Repair LLC (Blue Ridge), a subsidiary of Patriot Rail Company LLC, will invest $2.41 million to expand its operations in Charlotte County. Virginia successfully competed against Louisiana for the project, which will create 37 new jobs.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Blue Ridge Railcar Repair was established in Charlotte County in December 2013, bringing an existing railcar repair facility back into operation and adding jobs and tax revenue to a community that has been hard hit by industry loss. Less than a year later, the company will expand to include railcar cleaning, blasting and painting capabilities to meet increased demand in the marketplace and grow its customer base, bringing an additional 37 new jobs that will pay above the county’s prevailing average wage. The new investment and job opportunities for Southern Virginia are exactly what we need to build a new Virginia Economy, and we look forward to Blue Ridge’s success in Charlotte County in the coming years.”

Maurice Jones at the CapitolVirginia Business magazine published an intimate interview with Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade in their October 2014 issue. Jones, a native of Kenbridge, Va cites economic issues as a personal cause and tells us how he was inspired to become the person he is today. You can find this article and video of the interview on the Virginia Business website.

by Robert Powell

Maurice Jones is Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s point man in the administration’s  efforts to transform Virginia’s economy.

As secretary of commerce and trade, he oversees 13 business-related agencies — including the Virginia Economic Development Partnership — and is the chairman of a Cabinet steering committee coordinating state agencies in pursuing the administration’s economic development strategy.

“The big goal is to help to reposition the engine of economic growth in Virginia away from the public sector and more toward the private sector,” he says. “That’s the big theme of our journey.”
Jones, 50, comes to the job with a diverse background in the public and private sectors. Before joining the McAuliffe administration, he was deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for nearly two years.

He also has been publisher of The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services and deputy chief of staff under Gov. Mark Warner, a Treasury Department official under President Bill Clinton, a lawyer in Richmond at Hunton & Williams and a partner at Venture Philanthropy Partners, a firm that invests millions of dollars in the Washington, D.C., area in helping low-income children.

Virginia’s Growth Alliance Could Benefit

Gov. McAuliffe announcing natural gas project in VirginiaToday at a press conference in Richmond, Governor Terry McAuliffe, Dominion Resources CEO Tom Farrell and Hank Linginfelter, EVP Distribution Operations, AGL Resources and Chairman, Virginia Natural Gas, announced the considerable economic benefits that the proposed Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline will bring to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In an earlier press release today, Dominion, AGL Resources, Duke Energy, and Piedmont Natural Resources announced a joint venture to build a major natural gas pipeline, an energy superhighway, through parts of Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

A study by the independent firm Chmura Economics and Analytics found that the pipeline’s construction would:

  • Produce approximately $1.42 billion in economic activity in the Commonwealth.
  • Support more than 8,800 new Virginia jobs, including nearly 5,000 directly supported by spending on construction activities.
  • Generate more than $14.6 million in additional tax revenues for the Commonwealth, including individual income and corporate tax revenues.
  • Once construction is complete, the pipeline would generate a total of 37.8 million per year in ongoing economic activity, support a total of 188 jobs annually and produce more than $233,000 in additional state tax revenue.

gov-natgas2“This project is a game changer for Virginia’s economy, and the benefits will be both immediate and long-lasting,” said Governor McAuliffe. “In addition to the thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity that the construction of this project will create, the Atlantic Coast pipeline will lower energy costs for Virginia residents and businesses and help reduce carbon emissions in our state and region."

$4.5 billion natural gas investment and 8,800 new jobs announced

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas today announced the selection of Dominion to build and operate a 550-mile interstate natural gas pipeline from West Virginia, through Virginia and into eastern North Carolina to meet the region's rapidly growing demand for natural gas.

Called the "Atlantic Coast Pipeline," it also is expected to serve as a key infrastructure engine to drive economic development and create jobs, helping counties on the pipeline's route attract new, energy-dependent businesses and industries – especially along the Interstate 95 corridor in eastern North Carolina.

Spatial Integrated Systems logoThe Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) today announced that Spatial Integrated Systems Inc. (SIS), a leader in providing business solutions that incorporate digital 3D imaging, robotics, artificial intelligence, and 3D visualization, has joined forces with CCAM’s industry, academic and government research collaboration.

As CCAM’s newest industry member, Spatial Integrated Systems will provide digital 3D equipment and software including the 3D Imaging System (3DIS) used by commercial and military equipment manufacturers to produce visually rich digital information.  3DIS is a digital 3D capture and processing system used for rapid prototyping and fabrication modeling as well as to provide analyses of “as-built” manufacturing plants and facilities and computer-based interference checking and inspections.

The system generates dimensionally accurate digital 3D models of target space or objects, automatically fuses the image texture onto 3D model geometry, and exports files ready for commercial high-end design applications and import into 2D/3D CAD packages.  3DIS frees resources, reduces time, improves process efficiencies and empowers developers with an innovative tool for increased creativity in the design process.

Joseph Moody, CCAM President and Executive Director, said, “As an innovator of 3D imaging and visualization Spatial Integrated Systems serves the defense industry and commercial manufacturers with a unique set of process-based solutions.  CCAM member companies and academic and government partners will benefit from these game-changing technologies.”