photo of Virginia Women's Municipal Leadership Institute's 2022 graduates

VGA's Monica Elder (second from right) is one of the first 22 graduates of the Virginia Women's Municipal Leadership Institute. Elder is Economic Developer for Charlotte County, one of VGA's valued member localities.

A partnership between the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center and Virginia Women Leading Government, the institute is designed to strengthen the career pipeline for female community leaders. Across Virginia, only 17 percent of top government positions are held by women, according to the Local Government Diversity Dashboard.

Brunswick County recently held the 25th annual Taste of Brunswick Festival, a free event for those who attend the World Championship Brunswick Stew Cook-off and surrounding activities. The family-friendly festival offers cultural insight and educational opportunities, and further promotes the tradition of Brunswick Stew as proclaimed by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988, House Joint Resolution 35, affirming Brunswick County Virginia as the place of origin of Brunswick Stew.

The New York Times featured an article about the festival's 25th Anniversary, and the history and culture surrounding the stew. Learn more about this beloved Southern classic and prepare to be hungry!

Governor Glenn Youngkin Participates in the Grand Opening at Mecklenburg County Middle School and High School on Friday, August 5, 2022. Official Photo by Christian Martinez, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.
Governor Glenn Youngkin Participates in the Grand Opening at Mecklenburg County Middle School and High School on Friday, August 5, 2022. Official Photo by Christian Martinez, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Governor Glenn Youngkin participated in the official grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Mecklenburg County Middle School and High School, a best-in-class joint school made possible by the community, on August 6, 2022. The Governor also ceremonially signed HB 563 sponsored by Deputy Majority Leader Israel O'Quinn, R-Washington, and SB 473 and SB 471 sponsored by Senator Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond.

"These schools demonstrate how a community can come together not only to build a state-of-the-art facility but to invest in their children and transform their workforce," said Governor Glenn Youngkin. "And through the bipartisan coalition that unanimously advanced these bills, we are delivering on our commitment to support vibrant, 21st Century educational environments across the Commonwealth. This is what happens when we put our students first; we're getting it done together."

Governor Glenn Youngkin recently announced more than $1,261,859 in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grant awards for eight projects focused on creating critical talent pipelines to support regional economic growth, strengthen workforce development and support collaborative programs between localities, public entities and private businesses.

Among the organizations awarded funding was Virginia's Growth Alliance (VGA), which will receive $100,000 for its project VGA Refresh/Restart: A Strategy for Regional Economic Development in Southern Virginia. Focused on Regions 3 and 4 — which includes the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Lunenburg and Mecklenburg, and the city of Emporia — the grant funds will aid in a strategic reset of goals, priorities, focus and support to better reflect changes in the organization and economic development landscape, realigning the organization into a more effective and sustainable posture.

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Governor Ralph Northam has announced a total of $7.0 million in Virginia Business Ready Sites Program development grants for 11 projects across the Commonwealth, including communities in Virginia's Growth Alliance. Administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, this discretionary program develops and characterizes sites to enhance the Commonwealth’s infrastructure and promote its competitive business environment. The program identifies, assesses, and improves the readiness of potential industrial sites, which must contain a minimum of 100 contiguous, developable acres.

“Companies want to invest in the Commonwealth, and this program is critical to making it easier for businesses to do business here,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia has been named the best state in which to do business in for three years, and investments like these are part of the reason why.”

Virginia ranked #1 for the South Atlantic region in Site Selection Magazine's 2021 Workforce Rankings published in the January 2022 issue. Rankings are impacted by the number of ACT National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) awarded in the state.

Virginia map showing ACT National Career Readiness communities

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