FROM PULASKI, VA – In Harrisonburg, the Virginia Economic Developers Association is invested in Virginia’s long-term economic growth. Founded in 1982, they’ve been working to change the economic landscape of Virginia, with the goal of seeing our state flourishing from one end to the other. The Town of Pulaski has been working diligently towards this goal and were honored [March 30th] by VEDA, who presented the town with the Community Economic Development Award.
The Community Economic Development Award is only presented to those localities who demonstrate a strong grasp on how to identify and use the economic opportunities of their region, and how to adapt existing infrastructure into a new economic plan. VEDA recognizes the Town of Pulaski’s efforts through several criteria, all of which come together to form a stronger community.
A large factor in the Town of Pulaski’s ability to adapt its infrastructure to new needs is the availability of U.S. EPA Brownfields grant funding. Through this funding, several sites in the town have been identified for planning and renovation to make way for new businesses to enter the market. Among these sites, there are plans for a boutique hotel and craft brewery in the historical Dalton building and plans to redevelop the former site of the General Chemical Company Foundry as a public recreation complex including a skate park and basketball courts. As of now though, the Jackson Park Inn is perhaps the most impressive newly renovated site, providing a modern, charming hotel and over 50 permanent jobs for the Town of Pulaski.
Since the Pulaski Brownfields grant program began in 2009, more than $10,000,000 of economic development capital investments have been brought into the town through companies buying space for new businesses, tourism destinations like the Jackson Park Inn and Gatewood Park, and community improvements. Along with the 50 aforementioned jobs brought by the Jackson Park Inn, these developments have brought over 100 jobs in total to the Town of Pulaski.
VEDA also recognized the town’s community organizations, in particular Friends of Peak Creek (FOPC). Recognized in 2013 as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, their efforts have made Peak Creek a more beautiful addition to the town by preserving the environment through cleanup work and water monitoring.
Another boon to the town’s economy is Calfee Park, the home of the Pulaski Yankees and the 9th oldest ballpark in our country. Currently undergoing more renovations, over $3 million dollars were submitted by private investors in 2014 for an earlier upgrade. These changes and those currently ongoing have arguably transformed Calfee Park into one of the nicest minor league parks in the country.
In addition, there are plans in the works for further improvements along Peak Creek to provide more recreational activities, including fishing piers and small parks. These changes should also increase economic activity on Main Street through the addition of a urban trail connecting to Peak Creek.
There’s no doubt that the Town of Pulaski will continue its current trend of outstanding economic growth, with so much in the works now and surely even more to come in the future. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store!
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.”