GO Virginia

Program Contact
Elizabeth Rafferty
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The GO VA fund will help to grow and diversify Virginia’s economy and create jobs through state financial incentives for regional projects that encourage collaboration between private sector companies, workforce, education and government in each region.


To provide the Regional Councils and Support organizations with consistent data the GO VA Board and DHCD have provided 2 sets of data to assist in the development of the Economic Growth and Diversification Plan for each region.    

The baseline measures will be provided to each region to form the basis for the Economic Growth and Diversification plan and will be used by the GO Virginia Board as well as staff to track progress, examine trends over time, and determine the program’s effectiveness in stimulating growth and diversification of the regional economy. 

The economic analysis data provides information related to business clusters and other indicators of economic opportunity that will assist regions in their assessment of opportunities for economic diversification.

GO Virginia Orientation Conference

Thursday, April 20, 2017

DoubleTree by Hilton
1021 Koger Center Boulevard Richmond, VA 23235   

Conference Agenda

 Orientation Packet 

Presentations from Orientation

History of Go Virginia
John O. "Dubby" Wynne, Chairman Growth & Opportunity Board 

Headwinds Facing Virginia's Economy
John Accordino, VCU Wilder School of Government
Qian Cai, UVA Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service
Stephen Moret, Virginia Economic Development Partnership  

Go Virginia Legislation and Budget Overview
Bill Shelton, Director, Department of Housing and Community Development

Economic Impact 101- "What data is available and how to use it"
Dr. Terry Clower, GMU Center for Regional Analysis
Spencer Shanholtz, GMU Center for Regional Analysis
Dr. Terry Clower, GMU Center for Regional AnalysisSpencer Shanholtz, GMU Center for Regional AnalysisDr, Mark White, GMU Center for Regional Analysis 

Joint Site Development 
Ken Benassi, CBRE 

Scale Ups
Dr. Jim Atkinson, MIKRO Systems
Bill Donahue, GENEDGE
Chip Filer, Old Dominion University
B K Gogia, Lenvio 

letters of Intent

Each of the nine regions submitted Letters of Intent to form Regional Councils based on guidelines approved by the Board.  The Letters of Intent from each region are below. All nine Regional Councils were certified by the GO Virginia Board at the March 14,, 2017 meeting of the Board. 


Regional Boundaries 

The map was approved at the full meeting of the Board on December 5, 2016 in accordance with Section §2.2-2486 of the Code of Virginia. This map provides the geographic boundaries for the formation of Regional Councils, which once certified will be the entity that applies for funding from the GO VA Board.

GOVA ApprovedBoundaries

Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board

The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board has representation from the House and Senate, Gubernatorial appointments, private sector leadership and is representative of the diversity of the commonwealth. The board’s mission is to encourage collaboration among business, education and government in each region on activities that will enhance private sector growth and opportunity, economic competitiveness and alignment of workforce development programs with the needs of employers in the region.

The board will consider the following in determining funding of projects:

  • Expected economic impact
  • Fiscal resources committed to project
  • Number and percentage of localities in region participating
  • Expected impact and outcomes or projects and complexity of project
  • Projected cost savings
  • Regional effort
  • Interstate or inter-regional collaboration
  • Efficient administration and oversight
  • Compatibility of proposed projects with other projects, programs and existing infrastructure

Board Members

  • Nancy Howell Agee
  • The Honorable Richard D. "Ric" Brown
  • Delegate M. Kirkland “Kirk” Cox
  • Benjamin J. Davenport Jr.
  • The Honorable Jim Dyke
  • Thomas F. Farrell II
  • Heywood W. Fralin
  • The Honorable Todd Haymore
  • Senator Janet D. Howell
  • Delegate S. Chris Jones
  • Delegate Terry G. Kilgore
  • Delegate R. Steven Landes
  • Charles Moorman
  • Matthew Mulherin
  • Senator Thomas K. Norment
  • Senator Frank M. Ruff
  • Bruce Smith
  • Steven C. Smith
  • Todd A. Stottlemyer
  • The Honorable Dietra Y. Trent, PhD
  • Lucia Anna “Pia” Trigiani
  • Marilyn H. West
  • Joe Wilson  
  • John O. “Dubby” Wynne

Board Meetings

BOARD policies

Electronic Participation Policy

Regional Councils

Regional councils will be certified by the board and will be the entity that applies for funding. A regional council must be affiliated with or supported by a new or existing organization whose purposes and competencies include collaborative planning, economic development or workforce activities within the region.

Regional Councils are business led and include individuals from a variety of sectors; education, government, civic or community leaders, economic and workforce development professionals, local government officials, regional planning entities and nonprofits. Regional councils will use established criteria to select which projects developed by the regions move the economy forward, are aligned with the objectives outlined in the strategic plan for the region and should be funded.  


Components of funding

  • Capacity Building
    Each regional council may apply for a one-time grant to support organizational and capacity building activities. (up to $500,000 per regional council)
  • Regional Population-based Allocations
    A portion of the funds will be allocated to and reserved for each region based on the region’s share of the commonwealth’s population.  Awards in amounts not to exceed the reserved allocation will be based on the criteria set out in the VGOF guidelines.
  • Competitive Regional Allocations
    A portion of the funds will be available for awards to no more than four regional councils per year based on competitive scoring pursuant to the eligibility criteria set out in the guidelines.


Eligible Regional Activities

  • Small business development
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation activities
  • Business formation, incubation and acceleration activities
  • Activities to facilitate capital formation
  • Workforce development and skills enhancement
  • Career and technical education
  • Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and healthcare-related education
  • Education, skills development and job placement for veterans and retired military 
  • Export development and trade promotion
  • Tourism and economic development activities
  • Attraction, development and retention strategies around viable industry clusters
  • Site development for economic development purposes
  • Telecommunications infrastructure for economic development purposes with a particular focus on unserved areas
  • Research and development activities and associated technology transfer and commercialization
  • Governmental reengineering and reform related to repurposing funds to support economic and workforce development activities
  • Other economic or workforce development activities

Workgroup Information

The enabling legislation directed the chairs of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committee to create a workgroup to develop the fund guidelines and procedures for adoption by the board. The workgroup includes representatives of a broad range of interested parties who impact economic development, workforce training, community planning and development, education and the business community.

Helpful Links