GO Virginia supports programs to create more high-paying jobs through incentivized collaboration between business, education, and government to diversify and strengthen the economy in every region of the Commonwealth. The initiative creates change by focusing on these main points:

  • Virginia urgently needs strong private-sector growth. Federal cutbacks have exposed our over-dependence on public-sector jobs. Virginia needs strong private-sector growth and job creation.
  • Growth in Virginia’s diverse regions requires collaboration. To grow and diversify our economy, business, education, and government must collaborate effectively in each region.
  • State government must be a catalyst and partner. State government must provide incentives for strategic, job-focused collaboration in each region of the Commonwealth.



The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board and Fund were approved by the 2016 Virginia General Assembly and are a business-led, bipartisan initiative that is incentivized and encouraged by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Nine regions were established and each region formed councils that were certified by the Board in March 2017. The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board is comprised of 24 members with representation from the House and Senate, Gubernatorial appointments, and private sector leadership. In addition to approving GO Virginia regions and certifying regional councils, the Board is responsible for determining project funding.

In March, 2017, a regional council composed of members originating from a mix of large and small business, higher and K-12 education, elected officials, local government, and economic and workforce development entities, was created in the Shenandoah Valley and approved by the state as part of GO Virginia. Known as the GO Virginia Region 8 Shenandoah Valley Council, the group was originally organized with support from the Shenandoah Valley Partnership (SVP), Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC), Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission (NSVRC), Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, and a group of private sector leaders from throughout the region. The NSVRC, CSPDC and SVP now share organizational and administrative responsibilities in support of the GO Virginia mission to generate private sector growth and job opportunities within the region by encouraging the creation of new, high-paying jobs through collaboration among business, education, and local government.



These are the 5 targeted industry clusters that GO-VIrginia associates with, those being Financial Business Services, Health care, IT communications, Light manufacturing and Transportation and logistics



Upcoming Council Meetings for 2019: 
Meetings are held from 10:00 a.m. until Noon

  • October 15, 2019 · Southern Virginia University, 1 University Hill Drive, Buena Vista, VA 24416

Previous Council Meetings


The GO Virginia Region 8 Council recently implemented a new approach for identifying and prioritizing forthcoming projects to be considered for GO Virginia funding in the new fiscal year commencing in July 2019.  To better ensure potential projects are strategically developed across or outside of Region 8 and, also, aligned with the four GO Virginia frameworks – i.e. Talent Attraction/Workforce Development, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem/Business Start-up, Site Development, Business/Industry Scale-up – the Council has launched its first, annual “Call for Projects.”

As a starting point for ideation, Region 8 recently held two GO Virginia “summit” meetings where nearly 80 local, regional, education, and non-profit partners convened to generate two extensive lists of potential project opportunities.  The outcomes of the collective brainstorming sessions have been captured and compiled under each of the four GO Virginia frameworks, with the “top” two or three from each group designated in bold, green font. Framework ideas are available here: Day 1 and Day 2

In order for these or other project ideas to be formally considered by the Council at their upcoming meeting on April 23, 2019, a project “abstract” form must be submitted to the Region 8 Council’s Program Manager, Faith McClintic.  These abstracts will be reviewed by the Council and used to establish their priorities when considering funding requests for 2019-2020 fiscal year.  The abstract form is available here and should be sent electronically to GOVAReg8PD@gmail.com on or before Monday, April 8 2019.

Please note, all details and elements of a possible project do not yet need to be finalized, as we realize many of you may just be starting to explore some opportunities — possibly even as a result of the Summit.  As such, feel free to reach out to Faith McClintic, Ashley Shickle (NSVRC region), or Elizabeth McCarty (CSPDC region) should you need/want some guidance in identifying potential partners or determining the viability of an idea you’re considering. 


The Region 8 Council may award Enhanced Capacity Building funds for a project not suitable for a Per Capita Implementation grant award but that undertakes activities that the Regional Council may want to encourage through a small amount funding. Enhanced Capacity Building activities support analysis or other efforts that lead to project development and implementation. Examples could include activities such as a feasibility study, assessment or planning study, capacity building, and other similar initiatives that will lead to successful projects. Click here for more information on submitting a proposal.

Deadlines: Applications for GO Virginia Region 8 funds are due as follows:

  • June 28, 2019
  • September 27, 2019

To submit a proposal:

For a project to be considered by the Region 8 Council, complete the application by clicking here.

Completed applications should be submitted electronically to:
Bonnie Riedesel, Executive Director
Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission
112 MacTanly Place, Staunton, VA  24401
(540) 885-5174


The GO Virginia Region 8 Council is pleased to announce that it is accepting proposals for projects to be funded through the State’s GO Virginia initiative.

The Region 8 Council has approximately $1.6 million in GO Virginia funds to award to projects in the region.

Deadlines: Applications for GO Virginia Region 8 funds are due as follows:

  • June 28, 2019
  • September 27, 2019

To submit a proposal:

For a project to be considered by the Region 8 Council, complete this application.

Use this link, to access the application that offers background on GO Virginia and the Region 8 Council, provides the criteria for eligible projects, and outlines the application and award process.

For further information about GO Virginia Region 8’s project priorities, please refer to the full Region 8 Growth & Diversification Plan found here.

Additional information about GO Virginia also is available at the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) website here.


Click here for the GOVA Region 8 Council Nominee Form.

Please mail or email this form to:
Jen Weaver, Administrative Coordinator, GO Virginia Region 8
P.O. Box 2241
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Email: jweaver@theshenandoahvalley.com

Name Affiliation Sector Represented
Jon Alger James Madison University Higher Education
Devon Anders InterChange Group Large Business & Civic/Community Leader
Stacy Barrett Barrett Machine, Inc. Small Business
Kathlynn Brown SRI International Non-Profit
Greg Campbell Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Large Business
Robin Crowder Retired K-12 Superintendent K-12 Education
John Downey Blue Ridge Community College Higher Education
Joanie Eiland Elk Trucking, Inc. Small Business
Tracy Fitzsimmons Shenandoah University Higher Education
Frank Friedman CornerStone Bank & City of Lexington Mayor Regional Planning Entity & Local Government
Mike Goertzen Serco, Inc. Large Business
Conrad Helsley NSVRC Board Local Government
John King Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative Large Business
Chris Kyle Shentel Large Business
Connie Loughhead Des Champs Technologies Small Business
Keith May Cottonwood Commercial Large Business & Civic/Community Leader
Jill McGlaughlin Classic Kitchen & Bath Small Business & Civic/Community Leader
Mark Merrill Valley Health System Large Business
Kathy Moore Moore Public Relations Small Business
John Neff Retired – Nielsen Builders Large Business & Civic/Community Leader
George Pace Shenandoah Valley Angel Investors Large Business & Civic/Community Leader
J.J. Smith Valley Proteins Large Business & Civic/Community Leader
Jeff Stapel Shickel Corporation Workforce Development
Robin Sullenberger Highland County Economic Development Economic Development
Rick Till O’Sullivan Films Large Business
Judith Trumbo Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community Non-Profit






GO Virginia Region 8 Letter of Intent
GO Virginia Region 8 Growth & Diversification Plan Infographic Overview
GO Virginia Region 8 Project Application Process Infographic Overview

Region 8 Growth & Diversification Plan Documents: