Rural Floyd Enjoys the Flash of High Speed Internet

Floyd County, VACitizens Telephone Cooperative is utilizing $10 million in federal funding through Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM), to bring better internet access to the residents of Floyd County.

Citizens Telephone has served Floyd County for over 100 years and has stayed up to date with advances in technology. However, CEO and General Manager Greg Sapp says that “laying of fiber optic cable at 1G speed, one gigabit per second, will far exceed what many are used to, even for larger cities in the area.” Citizens plans to have 60% of the homes in Floyd County connected by the end of the year, with the goal of 97% being connected at the end of 2021. While they are unsure of the future of the ACAM after 2026, Sapp plans to have the work completed well in advance of the funding deadlines.

“So we’ve always been able to support people that are used to being in an urban area, but they needed the technology to connect them. In the past, people have tried to frame us into a little box based on the number of lanes of roads that come in here, but now through fiber and glass, it’s an unlimited connection to the world.” – Lydeanna Martin, Floyd County Community and Economic Development Director

The 1G broadband connections are creating positive outcomes not just for the residents and businesses, but also for the school systems. As a result of the improved wi-fi, Floyd County school district is pursuing a $17-million Collaboration and Career Development Center that will not only support high school students but will also offer evening courses for adults and expand to the elementary school curriculum. Additionally, with the improved connection, Floyd is attracting more individuals from the corporate world who are looking to semi-retire.

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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.

Aerial of Downtown Blacksburg, Virgnia

Blacksburg Named Top Ten Safest College Town

Blacksburg, VASafeWise names Blacksburg ninth safest college town in America.

Each year SafeWise assesses the safety of college towns by analyzing the number of violent crimes and property crimes in each area. Violent crimes include murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault while property crimes, which were only considered if there was a tie in violent crime rate, are burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Blacksburg moved up 13 spots this year as a result of cutting the number of violent crimes nearly in half to 0.53 per 1,000, 3.96 below national average. Property crimes also decreased to 7.46 per 1,000, 19.65 below national average. This improved safety climate is in part due to the ongoing relationship between Blacksburg police and the Virginia Tech police force. The two departments signed a memorandum of understanding allowing them to share jurisdiction and resources including radio and security camera access.

Blacksburg is only one of two cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia that made the Top 50 list.

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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.

Onward NRV Launches IT Industry Hub Initiatives

Virginia’s New River Valley is an emerging hub for information technology. The NRV is home to over 80 companies with more than 1,600 IT-related jobs specializing in blockchain, cybersecurity, software development, IT support services, and digital creative. Over the past five years, the region has experienced an astounding 29% job growth with over 700 jobs postings just in the past year. With exceptional educational programs at our local universities, Virginia Tech, Radford University, and New River Community College, the NRV is producing some of the best IT workforce in the country who can flourish here, in a region with excellent quality of life and low cost of living. The industry thrives here in our collection of downtowns, outdoor recreation opportunities, and a large presence of grassroots meet-up groups for IT professionals.

Earlier this year, Onward NRV launched its IT Hub Initiative as part of its Onward 2023 five-year economic development strategy for the region. The goal of the initiative is to establish the New River Valley as a nationally recognized hub for IT companies and professionals. Through the initiative, Onward NRV has begun hosting biannual IT Leaders Summits to engage business leaders in supporting and growing the industry.

Onward NRV also recently released an IT Hub Branding video and developed a new section of its website devoted to telling the story of IT in the NRV. The video showcases why the NRV is a great place to work in IT from the quality of life assets, to innovation that comes from the existing industry hub, to the supportive IT culture. A variety of companies are featured through-out the video providing testimonials reinforcing the benefits of IT in the NRV.

In Virginia’s New River Valley, opportunity is abundant and creativity is embraced. Here we’re building tools to protect nations, currencies, and families. We’re creating new experiences, platforms, and technical communities. We’re supporting advanced systems, enterprises, infrastructure, and networks. “If you’re talking to your next-door neighbor, it’s not necessarily about borrowing a lawn mower. But It’s about the autonomous car that their working on or about the blockchain technology, and it gets everybody feeding this variety of ideas and it supports innovation through-out every company in the region.”This is a great time to be in IT in the NRV.Learn more about working and doing business in the NRV www.theNRV.org/IT

Posted by Virginia's New River Valley on Thursday, August 29, 2019

The targeted industry page for IT features Do Business, Work Here, and Live Here components to support companies and professionals looking to work in IT in the NRV. The Do Business page focuses on access to talent with two universities and one community college in the region as well as low operating costs. While the Work Here page shows the buying power of IT professionals in the NRV and the IT culture that has been established by the grassroots community groups. The Work Here page also provides a portal to specifically search for IT jobs in the New River Valley.

Explore the industry pages at www.theNRV.org/IT.

The Industry Hub video and target industry page are just the first step to creating resources to showcase the region as well as exhibiting the New River Valley as an emerging IT hub. The pages will continue to evolve to include internship opportunities, a relocation guide, and more. Onward NRV is also creating Employer Spotlight videos to demonstrate the variety of IT companies and job opportunities available in the NRV. These videos will provide insight from employees at all levels as to why they chose to live, work, and do business in Virginia’s New River Valley.

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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.

Loan Repayment

Student Loan Repayment Program to Attract Graduates to Floyd

Floyd County, VATalent Attraction Program (TAP) enables recent graduates to participate in a loan repayment program if they choose to reside in Floyd County.

The purpose of the program is to encourage graduates from 2018 and later to live in the Tobacco Region and replaces the previous 4-year loan forgiveness program. By requiring specific credentials, community involvement, and jobs in fields that are currently experiencing a workforce shortage, TAP can better recruit talent to meet the needs of the community. TAP now provides larger individualized awards that provide up to $12,000 annually, with a minimum of a two-year commitment, and the opportunity for award renewal with the repayment funds maxing at $48,000.

“This is an excellent opportunity for recent college graduates from the region seeking jobs in these fields. It is also a great boost to new or existing businesses in Floyd County in attracting talent.” – Lydeana Martin, Community and Economic Development Director
Within the parameters of the program and specific to Floyd County, recent graduates can work for companies like:
  • Hollingsworth & Vose
  • Citizens Telephone Cooperative
  • Crenshaw Lighting
  • Wall Residences
  • Carilion Clinic
  • Tri Area Health Center
  • Other eligible work includes teaching in STEM or Career and Technical fields in Floyd County Public Schools, which is in the process of upgrading and reimagining the Floyd County Career and Technical Education Center for the New Economy as the Collaboration & Career Development Center.

    To read more about TAP and its eligibility requirements, click HERE.

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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.

    cnbc

    Virginia Named Top State to Do Business in 2019

    New River Valley, VA – CNBC ranks the Commonwealth of Virginia as the overall #1 state to do business in 2019.

    All 50 states are put through a rigorous test, scoring each state on more than 60 measures in 10 overarching categories. Then each category is weighted based on how often the state uses that category as a selling point in their economic development marketing materials. This ensures that the states are only being assessed on the attributes they use to promote themselves. The criteria for scoring was developed using existing business and policy experts, official government sources, and the input from the individual states.

    The 10 categories of evaluation include:
    1. Workforce
    2. Economy
    3. Infra-structure
    4. Cost of Doing Business
    5. Quality of Life
    6. Education
    7. Technology & Innovation
    8. Business Friendliness
    9. Access to Capital
    10. Cost of Living

    Not only did Virginia rank #1 overall, but the state also received the top spot in workforce and education. Educational attainment of workforce, number of available employees, and net migration of college-educated workers are all considered when calculating the workforce category, which is allocated the largest sum of points, 450, of all 10 categories. The state’s concentration of STEM workers, workforce productivity, and even union membership and right-to-work laws are also considered. In the category of education, which is slotted for up to 175 points, the number of higher education institutions as well as the test scores, class size, and spending of K-12 schools is calculated. Another notable ranking for Virginia, is the 3rd place score in the category of business friendliness. Business friendliness is also awarded 175 points and looks at the legal and regulatory climate of the state and the economic freedom for business individuals.

    Learn more about the categories and grading system here or check out the list of all 50 states and their rankings here.

    For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both a small-town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative and business-friendly culture. It also offers a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. With magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, and exceptional arts, entertainment, and education — Virginia’s New River Valley is quite simply, A Natural Fit.

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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.

    Calfee Park

    Motor Mile Field Voted Best Rookie-Level Ballpark

    Pulaski County, VA Motor Mile Field at Calfee Park was chosen by the Ballpark Digest Best of the Ballparks annual fan voting competition as the best rookie-level ballpark in America.

    Calfee Park beat out two-time champion TVA Credit Union Ballpark, home to the Johnson City Cardinals in the semi-final rounds of voting. The ballpark has received numerous updates since the Shelor Automotive Group purchased Calfee Park in 2015. Some of these updates include:

  • A new visiting team clubhouse
  • Concession stand
  • Press box
  • Souvenir store
  • Two VIP towers
  • JumboTron
  • The most recent update completed right before the 2019 season included a three-tiered party deck and new boxes, increasing the park’s capacity to 3,200.

    “This is the result of five years of continued improvements and support of the community. We’re proud of this ballpark and the upgrades over past years that have helped Calfee Park meet the standards of the New York Yankees and Minor League Baseball.”
      – David Hagan, Calfee Park owner

    The Pulaski Yankees are midway through their season with a winning record, putting them at the top of the Appalachian League division. Tickets are available at pulaskiyankees.net, at the Calfee Park box offices, or by calling (540) 980-1070.

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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.

    GO Virginia Region 2

    GO Virginia “Brain Drain” Survey Gauges Local Student Perception

    Onward NRV, in partnership with the Roanoke and Lynchburg regions, is looking to gauge perceptions and preferences of students and recent grads in the New River Valley, Roanoke, and Lynchburg regions.

    As a part of the GO Virginia funded study “Project Brain Drain: Talent Attraction and Retention,” the regions launched the survey to better understand what makes the greater region a good place to live, work, and study. It will also help discover where improvements can be made or programs can be put in place.

    The survey will help uncover why students from 15 higher education institutes often leave the greater region after graduation. It will also identify ways to attract and retain college-educated professionals.

    If you are a student or recent graduate, share your input by taking the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GoVAStudentSurvey.

    The survey is anonymous and takes 5-10 minutes. Those who complete the survey can enter a giveaway to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

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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.”

    Blue Ridge Fudge Lady

    Blue Ridge Fudge Lady Featured on Fox Business

    A Virginia’s New River Valley favorite, the Blue Ridge Fudge Lady (aka Robin Burdette), was featured on FoxBusiness last week.

    Burdette went from Cybersecurity professional, to pursuing a practical passion project: opening her own chocolate shop.

    Watch the video:

    Read more from Emily DeCiccio from FoxBusiness.

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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.

    Virginia's new river valley, new river valley, quality of life, kayaking, waterfront, boating, summer, water, scenic, beautiful, mountains

    Town of Narrows Awarded $699,346 in Grants

    NARROWS, VA — The Town of Narrows in Giles County was awarded $699,346 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Narrows was awarded the CDBG Competitive Grant Award for Business District Revitalization.

    The federally-funded grant program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development since 1982. “This program has long been providing funding for projects that improve the quality of life for thousands of Virginians every year,” said former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Through Community Development Block Grants, we are able to address needs across the Commonwealth…I congratulate the four grantees and look forward to the success of these projects in Virginia.”

    Conceptual rendering of possible improvements to the downtown in Narrows.

    The grant was facilitated by a volunteer team of citizens with the help of the NRV Regional Commission. The proposed project will focus on the business district and encourage visitors to explore Narrows. It will create more public spaces and amenities for events and tourism, such as a Creekside Trail, public space along Wolf Creek, and more organized walkways.

    This project will even provide matching funds for updates to commercial properties that would improve the facades and create better street views.

    Governor McAuliffe also recommended that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) give $392,588 to the Town of Narrows to locate an outdoor outfitting business right off Wolf Creek. The ARC is set to finalize this project award approval in 2018.

    Learn more about Narrows.

    Read more from Giles County and the full news release from the Governor’s office.

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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.

    Pete Dye River Course Named the #20 Best Golf Course in VA

    FAIRLAWN, VA — The Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech was named the no. 20 best golf course in Virginia by Golf Digest (2017-2018).

    The course, which finished it’s update by Course Architect Pete Dye in 2006, has been 2011 NCAA Regional Championships and the 2016 Virginia State Amateur Championship. It is the home course for all Radford University and Virginia Tech golf teams, and continues to be one of the top courses in the region. Dye said:

    “This place has all the ambience and qualities that make a golf course really good. Here you’ve got the sound of the river up and down the whole golf course the entire time…the river and scenery are unbelievable.”

    For more information about the course visit the River Course site. See what else there is to do in Virginia’s New River Valley by clicking below.

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    Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s 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.