$2.2M Slated for 5 Virginia Tech Jobs Projects

Broadband, drones and high-tech manufacturing are some of the focus areas a regional board outlined as near-term job creators.

by Kimberly Pierceall, The Virginian-Pilot / November 15, 2017
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(TNS) –– With a little more than $2.2 million to spend, a regional board of business leaders, elected officials and academics bet on several proposals Tuesday that aim to create high-paying jobs across Hampton Roads.

The regional 27-member GO Virginia board, whose membership spans the Peninsula and South Hampton Roads, recommended full funding for three proposals and partial funding for two proposals related to digital manufacturing, cybersecurity and startup funding.

Digital Shipbuilding Workforce Program

Funding and purpose: $647,540 the first year and $647,540 the second year – to develop curriculum and a lab for a program to teach digital manufacturing skills.

Estimated job creation in five years: 1,700

Submitted by: Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center in partnership with Newport News Shipbuilding, Siemens PLM Software division, the Virginia Ship Repair Association and Thomas Nelson Community College.

Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce and Economic Development Alliance Collaboration ( HRCyber Co-Lab)

Funding and purpose: $642,713 the first year and $642,713 the second year – to create a lab to develop and test cybersecurity products and train workers.

Estimated job creation in five years: 54

Submitted by: ODU.

757 Seed Fund

Funding and purpose: $140,000 – to provide seed capital to startup companies receiving mentoring through 757 Accelerate.

Estimated job creation in five years: 152

Submitted by: 757 Accelerate, administered by 757 Angels

Hampton Roads Regional Unmanned Systems Facility

Funding and purpose: $150,000 (versus $1.3 million requested) – to acquire some of the 462 acres of state-owned land in York County classified as uncontrolled airspace, to create a drone testing zone and recreational drone park.

Estimated job creation in five years: 260

Submitted by: Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, and James City and York counties

Hampton Roads Regional Broadband Strategy

Funding and purpose: $530,000 (versus $870,000) – to create a regional fiber optic network connecting South Hampton Roads and Peninsula cities with high-speed cables to attract competing internet service providers.

Estimated job creation in five years: 350

Submitted by: Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Suffolk

The full state GO Virginia board will ultimately decide who gets what funding at its Dec. 12 meeting, where it will consider proposals from all of the regional groups. The Hampton Roads council, which is region five out of nine in the state, received about $2.2 million based on its population. The state will have another $11 million available to proposals that involve more than one jurisdiction teaming up on a project.

The new jobs created by the programs are expected to come with salaries worth more than $46,000 a year, the region’s median salary.

Amounts pledged for a second year in a program won’t be guaranteed unless the General Assembly provides more funding to GO Virginia.

©2017 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.