Regional plan gets positive reactions

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Southern Virginia Go Virginia Region 3 Council (SoVaGO) held a meeting Aug. 29 to provide an update on the Region 3 Growth and Diversification Plan.

SoVaGo includes the counties of Buckingham, Prince Edward, Cumberland, Charlotte and  Lunenburg, along with Patrick, Henry, Pittsylvania, Halifax, Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Nottoway, Amelia and the cities of Martinsville and Danville.

According to the plan’s synopsis on the Southside Planning District Commission (SPDC) website, the document focuses on workforce talent development and recruitment, including opportunities for sector partnerships, career pathways, work-based learning, talent recruitment and broadband infrastructure development; sectoral development in four target sectors, including business services and IT data centers, advanced manufacturing and materials, high-value natural resource products and health care; and cyber infrastructure, including novel approaches to regional collaboration in infrastructure development and opportunities to provide incentives for “middle mile” and “last the mile” network completion.

“We filed our plan with the state,” said Charlie Majors, the chairman of SoVaGo. “It has to be approved by the state and so we filed it last week.”

He said about 110 people attended two meetings that regarded the plan.

Majors said SoVaGo’s plan is what they need to focus on in order to be successful, according to GO Virginia criteria.

“That is looking for bringing in new jobs that are above the average-wage level,” Majors said.

Regarding a response to the plan, he said people at the meetings felt the plan was consistent with what people in the region think they need to be focusing on.

“I think there was a general agreement with it (and) a lot of interest in how we’re going to move forward after now. Of course we’re still looking at that,” Majors said. “… Overall (there was) a very positive reaction.”