Onward NRV Hosts First Economic Vitality Summit of the Year

Onward NRV hosted the third Economic Vitality Summit to bring economic development partners from across the region together to discuss key initiatives around the New River Valley.

The NRV Economic Vitality Summit is an initiative created through Onward NRV’s five-year strategy. The purpose is to promote collaboration within the NRV by bringing key partners in the economic development realm together twice a year to encourage communication and identify areas of common interest.

There were six different topics of discussion however the key theme across the majority of the topics was talent. Some of the projects that were shared include:

  • The SBDC is currently focusing on programming to support community projects, facilitating Smart Start Programs, and developing a software to help entrepreneurs get started. They are also working with individuals who have been currently laid off to turn their skills sets into entrepreneurship.
  • Floyd County, Giles County, and Montgomery County are all working together to apply for a GO Virginia grant that would help create virtual internships for high school students interested in cyber technology. These students would be work on real world projects in virtual space.
  • The New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board has been working closely with companies to help them create career lattices in order to help the companies better identify exactly what skill sets they need from employees as well as help guide individuals interested in that career path through the accurate training needed to be successful.
  • The biggest topic of discussion resonated around recruiting and retaining diverse talent in the region. Each community is currently taking small steps to increase and support minority members, however everyone at the table expressed interest in continuing the conversation on a larger scale and many economic development partners will be meeting offline to discuss next steps in order to support this initiative.


    Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

    Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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