SET (Stronger Economies Together) Plan to be Released

Over 50 business and community leaders came together in the last half of 2012 and the first half of 2013 to develop a strategic plan for the Virginia's Growth Alliance region. The fruits for that effort will be released to the public on December 5th.

VGA was one of the two multi-county regions in Virginia selected to participate in a national program "Stronger Economies Together" (SET) sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture. The initiative is designed to help regional, multi-county teams develop new approaches to strengthen and enhance regional economic development activities. Virginia Cooperative Extension served as the lead entity, coordinating the involvement of a number of federal, state, and local partners in working with VGA to implement the program. Partners included USDA Rural Development, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.


SVRMC named one of nation's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission for 2012

Dear Neighbor:

In your role as a community leader, we appreciate your support of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC). Today, I am excited to share with you good news about our hospital. Thanks to the quality care provided by our medical staff and employees, SVRMC has earned the distinction of being named one of the nation's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission for 2012.

This important designation recognizes hospitals that are effectively using evidence-based clinical processes shown to improve care for certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children's asthma, stroke and venous thrombo embolism, as well as inpatient psychiatric services. Specifically, our hospital was recognized for the care we provide for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care.

This is just the latest positive development at SVRMC. These are some of the other developments that have happened over the last year at our hospital:

  • Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals.
  • By demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety in laboratories, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Laboratory Services earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for accreditation.
  • We continue to be one of the area's largest private employers, with 330 dedicated healthcare practitioners and employees who serve this community.
  • Last year, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center contributed $516,328.00 n to our community in the form of local and state taxes and provided 11.7 million in uncompensated care for those who were unable to pay.

On behalf of our board of directors, we appreciate your support. It is our privilege to provide our community with quality care close to home.


Eric Lachance
Chief Executive Officer

VGA Implements Entrepreneurship and Small Business Initiatives

Virginia's Growth Alliance (VGA) is now in the process of implementing a comprehensive program of services to small and emerging businesses. As a result of the recommendations of the Entrepreneurship Committee of the Stronger Economies Together (SET) plan and the study highlighting the gaps in services supporting small business development by the Small Business Development Center at Longwood University, VGA is working with the Longwood Small Business Development Center, Southside Planning District Commission, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to implement a four-pronged approach to increasing small business development throughout the region.

The four-pronged approach includes; a web portal providing access to small business services from various organizations serving the region, comprehensive education and technical assistance to small and emerging businesses, enhanced financial resources for emerging and small businesses and an aggressive marketing effort to promote these new or enhanced services.


Free Workshop for new & existing small businesses!

Do you have a spark, a creative vision?

Want to grow that spark into a new business?

Longwood Small Business Development CenterLongwood Small Business Development Center is proud to offer an in-depth training program designed to fully educate and empower you to be successful in starting your new business or growing your existing business.

Classes will be held every Wednesday evening, 6:00p.m – 9:00 p.m., for 12 weeks at the Lawrenceville Town Municipal Building, starting October 23rd, featuring instructors skilled in marketing, finance, and business planning.

Those who successfully complete the entire training program may APPLY for BUSINESS LOANS.

This opportunity is FREE, but registration is now closed for the current session. Stay tuned for information on the next session.


Longwood SBDC is working with the VA Tourism, VBDA, Southside VA Community College, and your local Professionals to ensure this program is successful.

Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Preparation Grant Awarded

The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Revitalization Commission at its September 27th meeting approved a grant to the Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) Foundation for training of our workers in advanced manufacturing and other technical skills. The grant in the amount of $456,756 would provide additional equipment at several SVCC locations to expand the existing technical training at those facilities.

One small but very important component of the grant award is a $40,000 initiative to develop modern curricula for advanced manufacturing occupations, specifically, welders, precision equipment operators and industrial maintenance technicians. These occupations were identified in a major study completed by Boston Consulting as being needed to support the projected employment in advanced manufacturing throughout the region.


Virginia's Growth Alliance hires Executive Director

Jeffrey G. Reed, Executive Director of Virginia's Growth AllianceSouth Hill, VA ─ Virginia's Growth Alliance (VGA), the regional economic development organization serving Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Nottoway and the City of Emporia, has completed an extensive international search for its Executive Director. Jeff Reed, formally of Halifax County, VA has accepted the position and began work on October 1st.

Jeff brings extensive business development and recruitment experience to the VGA region. "His successes in major industry recruitment both nationally and internationally has proven that he has the expertise to help the region be successful" said Michael Fergusson, Board Chairman. Jeff grew up in a rural county and his family still lives on the family farm in rural West Virginia that has been in their family since 1841. He has worked in neighboring Halifax County and is very familiar with the VGA region. His economic development experience has always been in smaller, rural communities.

Jeff's previous jobs include project manager for the Industrial Development Authority of Halifax County where he successfully worked with a team that brought in 460 new jobs and saved over 800 in a 3-year period. Additionally, he was the driving force behind a successful branding initiative that included the development of a new website, logo, newsletter, tagline, and collateral materials for targeted market sectors as well increased outreach via social media. Jeff worked for five years as the Project Manager/Interim Director/Assistant Director for the Danville Office of Economic Development. While with Danville he helped to announce more than 6,700 new jobs and over $700,000,000 in new investment including Swedwood – IKEA's first US manufacturing facility, EBI, Target, Home Depot, Harley Davidson and Yorktowne, among many other manufacturing, retail and commercial projects. Jeff also is the President of his own private consultant firm. His firm was a primary and driving force behind, a national pilot project with the Robert C Byrd National Technology Transfer Center that showcased the internet as a rural economic development tool.

Virginia's Growth Alliance is comprised of six counties and one city and is located within southeastern Virginia along the state border. It is comprised of Interstates 95 and 85 along with US Highways 360, 460 and 58 and has extensive rail service. To learn more about Virginia's Growth Alliance visit their website at


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