VTTI Shuttle

New Autonomous Shuttle Serves VTTI

BLACKSBURG, VA – More autonomous vehicles are now operating in Virginia’s New River Valley with the addition of the autonomous shuttle at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

The shuttle, which only goes 12 mph, takes students and employees just a half mile down the road from the BT bus stop to the front of the building.

The normal path people usually have to walk on is hilly and contains no sidewalk. The shuttle solves the problem of “last mile transportation” that many autonomous researchers are working to fix.

VTTI purchased the shuttle from EasyMile, a French company, and is conducting new research on how both passengers and other drivers respond to the shuttle.

This project is another great announced that will bring visibility for the Unmanned Systems industry in Virginia’s New River Valley.

For more information, read Jacob Demmitt’s article for the Roanoke Times.

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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.

ozmo new jobs

Ozmo to Add 40 Jobs in Montgomery County

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Ozmo, a technology company that builds software products for mobile operations and their customers, will invest over $200,000 to expand its existing operation in Montgomery County. The project will position the company to meet increasing demand for its products from top mobile operations and device manufacturers from around the world, creating 40 new jobs. “Since its arrival in Montgomery County just three years ago, Ozmo has grown from a small startup to a thriving company,” said Governor Northam. “The New River Valley’s impressive cluster of technology businesses continues to grow thanks to the region’s renowned educational institutions that will supply a tech talent pipeline for years to come. The Commonwealth is proud to support Ozmo’s job creation efforts and we thank the company for choosing to expand and reinvest in here in Virginia.” With a customer base including Verizon and TELUS, Ozmo helps mobile operators and their consumers solve any device, application, or software issue quickly and effectively. Over 75,000 contact center agents use the company’s support platform, which scales to assist mobile operators and device manufacturers of all sizes. The Ozmo platform assists in over 25 million support interactions each year. “Information technology is evolving rapidly in the Commonwealth and beyond, and we rely on innovative companies such as Ozmo to keep Virginia at the forefront of this industry,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This exciting expansion will nearly double Ozmo’s workforce in Virginia, demonstrating that the sky is the limit for homegrown IT firms in the New River Valley. We thank Ozmo for its commitment to growth in Montgomery County, and for the creation of 40 new, 21st-century jobs in the Commonwealth.” “Ozmo is doubling down on its commitment to growing in downtown Blacksburg,” said CEO of Ozmo David Catalano. “Our proximity to Virginia Tech provides us a unique advantage of access to top talent, while also being able to offer exceptional quality of life for our employees. We look forward to growing locally in order to support the increasing demand for our products worldwide.” The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Montgomery County to secure the project for Virginia. VEDP will support Ozmo’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change in order to support employee training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating Virginia’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for citizens. Ozmo is currently participating in VEDP’s award-winning Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program. VALET is an application-based, two-year global export acceleration program that provides participating companies with assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help meet their export goals. “We value businesses like Ozmo that are investing in our community and creating even more technology-based jobs, which are attractive to both our citizens and others who wish to relocate to our region,” said Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chair Todd King. “Ozmo’s expansion in Montgomery County demonstrates a burgeoning high-tech business environment in the New River Valley with a workforce prepared to meet the needs of a growing mobile market,” said Senator John S. Edwards. “Since 2012, VJIP has assisted in more than 2,000 jobs brought to Montgomery County, and its support in this expansion is yet another testament of its commitment to job creation in the region.” “David Catalano and his team at Ozmo work tirelessly to build and maintain relationships with some of the most impactful telecommunications companies in the world,” said Delegate Chris Hurst. “I am thrilled that Ozmo will be making additional investments in the New River Valley, proving that the region around Virginia Tech and Radford University is one of the best for tech talent in the nation.”  

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  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.”
Floyd Fiber

Floyd to Be Most Connected Rural Community in VA

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – Floyd County and Citizens received a Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grant, which was announced last month. This grant is $348,018 to get high-speed internet to Copper Hill, a village in Floyd County, but that’s not where the connectivity ends.

At the end of the year, 60% of Floyd County will be connected to high-speed internet.

By 2021, 97% of Floyd County will be connected.

Citizens, Floyd Fiber

The gigabit internet Citizens plans to implement over the next 3 years will be about 1,700 miles of fiber-optic cable all across Floyd County.

Plus, Citizens’ internet speed will be about 40 times faster than what the Federal Communications Commission calls high-speed internet.

At the company’s public announcement event, Congressman Morgan Griffith said:

“Right now, in the commonwealth of Virginia, the most modern county is Floyd County. Welcome to gig country.”

For more information about this huge announcement, see coverage by Jacob Demmitt at the Roanoke Times.

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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.”

NRV internet

Montgomery County and City of Radford Study Internet Needs

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – At the end of March, Governor Northam announced that both Floyd and Giles counties received Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grants. These grants come from federal and state funds that have be designated for broadband improvement projects across Virginia.

Now Montgomery County and the City of Radford will be joining in the effort to make sure all the communities in the NRV have better internet connectivity. The two localities plan to conduct a study that will find areas that have insufficient internet service. It will also look into how to remedy those insufficiencies.

The NRV Regional Commission conducted a survey in 2017, in which Montgomery County residents reported insufficient internet speeds from Blacksburg (30%), Christiansburg (36%), and Montgomery County (48%).

Before making improvements, the localities need to understand exactly where the greatest needs are. That’s why they’re in the process of hiring a consultant to create a plan for both localities. Bids on the project were due in late April.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development awarded Montgomery county a $30,000 grant to help pay for the the plan’s development.

Find more details from Jacob Demmitt at the Roanoke Times.

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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.”

Project Wing Delivery, First Commercial Drone Delivery in US

NRV to Be Home of First Commercial Drone Deliveries in US

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEYBlacksburg and Christiansburg are the first towns in the U.S. where residents can have drone deliveries to their homes. Google subsidiary Wing is leading a project that will bring commercial drone deliveries to the U.S., starting in Virginia’s New River Valley. Wing received the same FAA and Department of Transportation certifications as smaller airlines. According to Bloomberg’s Alan Levin, the FAA is currently working on rules regarding “flights over people” as they relate to drone activity. Wing is currently looking for drone staging sites in the NRV and gauging interest of local businesses that might want to utilize their services. Read detailed coverage on this breaking story from Jacob Demmitt at the Roanoke Times: https://www.roanoke.com/business/drone-delivery-set-to-land-in-blacksburg-and-christiansburg-this/article_13af81c2-490e-5340-85b3-2279da2e85eb.html. Also see coverage from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-23/alphabet-s-drone-delivery-business-cleared-for-takeoff-by-faa.  

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  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.”
New River Valley Commerce Park

New River Valley Commerce Park Video

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY — Virginia’s First Regional Industrial Facility Authority (VFRIFA) recently released a new video for the New River Valley Commerce Park. The 1,000-acre park is development ready and strategically located in Virginia for easy shipping and distribution on the East Coast.

New River Valley Commerce Park

Immediately adjacent to the New River Valley Airport and 3.5 miles from Interstate 81, New River Valley Commerce Park makes this an ideal property for industrial development. The site is certified by McCallum Sweeney as an AEP Quality Site-Large Park. It is also considered a Tier 4 site by VEDP’s Virginia Business Ready Sites Program.

The video is also available on the VFRIFA YouTube page.

For more information, visit www.nrvcommercepark.com.

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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.”

Virginia Broadband Grants

Floyd & Giles Counties Receive Broadband Grants

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY – Both Floyd and Giles counties received Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grants, which Governor Northam announced on Friday, March 29.

Floyd County and Citizens received $348,018 for their Copper Hill project.

Giles County and Gigabeam received $589,444 for their Western Giles County Fixed Wireless Coverage project.

This funding will help extend broadband service to underserved areas.

From Governor Northam’s Office:

More than 15,000 homes, 300 businesses, and community anchors to gain broadband service.

RICHMOND, VA — Governor Ralph Northam announced over $4.9 million in grants through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) for 11 projects within 12 counties throughout Virginia. The VATI program provides targeted funding to extend service to areas that are presently unserved by any broadband provider.

“In our 21st century economy, broadband connectivity is tied to every facet of our daily lives, from education to business to health care—that’s why making high-speed internet available to every Virginian, in every region of the Commonwealth is a top priority for my administration,” said Governor Northam. “This funding will help to close the digital divide in Virginia by putting in place the necessary infrastructure to expand affordable and reliable broadband service to currently unserved rural communities.”

Governor Northam is committed to ensuring universal access to broadband in the Commonwealth. The Governor’s broadband plan focuses on increasing access to these VATI grants which spur public-private partnerships to expand access.

The VATI program is a state-funded program administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The goal of VATI is to create strong, competitive communities throughout the Commonwealth by preparing those communities to build, utilize, and capitalize on telecommunications infrastructure. DHCD allocated grant funding to eligible applicants to provide “last-mile” services to unserved areas of Virginia. The state budget currently includes $19 million in Fiscal Year 2020 for the VATI program.

“Slow, sporadic or limited broadband services present significant challenges for businesses looking to locate in Virginia’s rural communities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Through these grants, we are making another step forward towards expanding access to quality broadband internet throughout the Commonwealth.”

Projects were selected through a competitive process evaluating each project for demonstrated need and benefit for the community, applicant readiness and capacity, and the cost and leverage of the proposed project. The level of funding awarded is based on the infrastructure needs in the project areas.

An estimated 15,000 households, and 300 businesses, and community anchors will have broadband service available due to these grant awards, along with the public-private partnership involved in each project. Thirty-one applications requesting more than $10.9 million in funding were received. This year’s funding leverages $9.2 million in local and private sector matching funds.

2019 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative Grants:

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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.”

1901 Group Expansion

The Next Big Trend in IT

VIRGINIA’S NEW RIVER VALLEY1901 Group recently announced that they will add 580 jobs to their Blacksburg location. This follows what 1901 Group Founder Sonu Singh refers to as “the next big trend in rural IT jobs.”

“Our goal of creating high-quality IT jobs clustered in rural areas is the best way to improve quality and performance for the federal government, especially as the pace of cloud adoption increases,” said Singh in a recent Virginia Business article. “Our revenue and headcount growth are proof that this is the next big trend in rural IT jobs.”

“Virginia Tech is one of many pipelines,” said Senior Vice President Brian Lubin in the same article. “It’s an important one, but it’s not the only one. … Draw a 20-mile-radius circle around Blacksburg, and there’s probably 50,000 college students that, in a lot of cases, have a technology focus in Virginia Tech, Radford and also New River Community College.”

Read more about 1901 Group, their presence in Virginia’s New River Valley, and their plans for the future from Tim Thornton at Virginia Business.

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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.”

New River Valley Commerce Park

NRV Commerce Park Mentioned in Japan Times

The Japan Times recently mentioned the New River Valley Commerce Park in Dublin, VA.

Pulaski County is home to many international manufacturers, and the New River Valley Commerce park is ready to help locate even more. The Japan Times noted that Virginia is eager for Japanese partnerships.

FROM THE JAPAN TIMES:

While Virginia is home to many companies from around the world, the southwest region of the state wants to form stronger ties especially with Japan, according to Virginia’s First Regional Industrial Facility Authority, which is promoting its New River Valley Commerce Park.

Board Chair Mary Biggs explained: “Relationship-building with Japanese companies takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s very rewarding. It gives us time to understand how their companies do business, so we are better prepared to provide assistance when they locate here.”

View or download information about the New River Valley Commerce Park.

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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.”

Pulaski County New Development

$100 Million Housing Development Coming to Pulaski County

PULASKI COUNTY, VAWSLS Channel 10 reports that Pulaski County’s new $100 million housing development plans to bring homes for 1,200 residents. It is the largest planning and development project in county history.

WSLS Channel 10

The new development is planned for behind the new Pulaski County Middle School, which is now under construction. Utilities are being put in place now and then whole project could take up to ten years to be fully complete.

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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.”