Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission



BEDFORD, VA – The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission met on Wednesday, September 22nd, at Peaks of Otter Lodge in Bedford County to approve projects that promise to create nearly 1,500 jobs, support many new and expanded workforce training programs, along with value-added facilities for farmers in Brunswick and surrounding localities, industrial site improvements and much more. The Commission serves 40 localities in southern and southwest Virginia.

Tobacco Commission Chairman, Ed Owens said, “The projects the Commission chose to support at this meeting will create jobs and opportunities for the residents of our rural communities and that’s something we can all be proud of. I am also pleased that the Commission was able to conduct its business in-person for the first time in quite a while here in Bedford. As our communities recover from the pandemic, the Commission is ready and able to assist them and continue to serve as a catalyst for growth in Southern and Southwest Virginia.”

Tobacco Commission Executive Director Evan Feinman added, “Recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic will take time, but I am proud of the work the Commission did at this meeting to spur growth and assist in speeding up that recovery. The ability to support many types of projects to meet the region’s needs – including industrial sites, agriculture projects, and workforce development – has always been one of the Commission’s strengths and will continue to be moving forward.”

In addition to supporting 18 funding requests totaling $6.5 million in grants and loans, the Commission approved $3 million for the FY22 Talent Attraction Program and $2.6 million in Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF) grants and loans to attract large projects to the region.

The following projects were approved for funding by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (Please see the meeting packet on our website for full project descriptions, staff comments, grant requirements and other business including project extensions and modifications):

Incentives & Loans Program

3912, Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facilities Authority

Tyson Foods – $707,000 TROF grant and $822,000 0% interest TROF loan
Over a 3-year performance period, this project will provide 375 new jobs at an average annual salary of $41,668 and a private taxable capital investment of $295 million.

Wythe County Joint Industrial Development Authority

Project Palm – $1,022,000 TROF grant.
Over a 3-year performance period, this project will provide 1,044 new jobs at an average annual salary of $37,321 and a private taxable capital investment of $446 million.

Competitive Education Program

3898, Floyd County Economic Development Authority

New Adult Welding, Fabrication and Machining program at the Floyd County Public Schools (FCPS) Collaboration and Career Development Center (CCDC) – $162,106 grant.
This project will purchase equipment for a new Metal Working Lab and a new Welding, Fabrication, and Machining Program under development with FCPS as well as support an instructor for the evening program for three years.

3900, Virginia Technical Institute

Workforce Pipeline Advanced Manufacturing and Skilled Labor – $60,000 grant.
This project will support the costs of a instructor to launch a new entry level advanced manufacturing and skilled labor training program at VTI’s facility in Altavista. The training will provide knowledge and skills for obtaining three nationally recognized credentials: OSHA 10, NCCER Core, and Skills USA Career Essentials.

3910, Wytheville Community College

WCC Center for Automation and Robotics Education – $466,829 grant.
This project will purchase equipment to establish the WCC Center for Automation and Robotics Education (CARE) Lab. Two adjoining lab spaces will be renovated to house the newly established automation and robotics programs where three new programs will be offered at two levels—fundamental and advanced. These programs will allow WCC to offer stackable credentials that meet workforce demands of current as well as newly announced manufacturers.

3907, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

ExperienceWorks, Apprenticeships – $64,800 grant.
This project will support an Apprenticeship Coordinator position. The Coordinator will be responsible for employer outreach and developing apprenticeship positions so that more apprenticeship opportunities are available in the region. This initiative is targeted to high school juniors and seniors and is designed create a culture of understanding that apprenticeships are for everyone, and they can provide a clear benefit for employers and jobseekers.

3901, Emory & Henry College

Improving Rural Healthcare through Nursing Education – $207,195 grant.
This project will support two faculty positions for 18 months in the newly established Bachelors of Nursing program (BSN) located at Emory & Henry’s School of Health Sciences in Marion. The project will also support additional simulation mannequins and related software expenses. Once reaching full capacity, 40 students are expected to be enrolled and 35 are expected to graduate from the BSN program annually.

3905, Ferrum College

Ferrum College Division of Nursing Educational Space Expansion – $133,188 grant.
This project will support the costs for renovating and furnishing the lower level of Vaughn Chapel into a learning laboratory to support the expansion of Ferrum College’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. The renovation will provide a central location for students to complete their nursing training.

3899, Patrick & Henry Community College Foundation

Increasing Healthcare Training Capacity to Meet Employer Demand – $210,294 grant.
This project will support a new Healthcare Skills Lab and an additional Nurse Aide/Clinical/Laboratory Instructor to increase the capacity of existing healthcare programs at P&HCC. Availability of the new lab is expected to assist the college in meeting employer demand for trained Nurse Aides while also supporting increased enrollment and success for students in other health care programs including Nursing, Practical Nursing, Phlebotomy, and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant.

3902, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center

Center of Nursing Excellence: Equipment and Technology Refresh – $152,704 grant.
This project will update equipment and technology at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s Center of Nursing Excellence (CNE). This project will ensure that high-quality clinical skills training remains accessible for health profession students and incumbent workers in the region and will allow for current capacity to be expanded.

3909, Southside Virginia Community College Foundation

Expanding Nursing Education in Southside Virginia – $398,350 grant.
This project will allow SVCC to expand its Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) program to include a weekend program designed to graduate nurses over four consecutive semesters. The goal is to increase nursing student enrollment and to target a population that is not currently being reached.

3906, Averett University

Growing Workforce Talent Through Expanded Market Responsive Education – $120,000 grant.
This project will support the purchase of equipment and furnishing to complete the $4 million initiative to expand Averett Online. Six new market-responsive degree programs will be added, eighty-five existing courses will be retooled, and a recruitment call center will be created to support expanding enrollment.


Strengthening the Computer Science Education Pipeline – $166,612 grant.
This project will support computer science training to teachers in the TRRC region for an additional two years. Under the program, CodeVA will offer 18 courses to teachers through a combination of online and in-person events, some of which will last a single day and others for several weeks. TRRC funds will support stipends for teacher participants to offset expenses incurred, or potential lost income, while attending trainings. Funds will also be used to support costs associated with holding the trainings and to purchase robotics kits housed at the existing regional hubs at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center and IALR.

Southern Virginia Program

3889, Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority

Brunswick County Produce Project – $500,000 grant and 300,000 0% interest loan.
This project will support the construction of a produce aggregation and processing facility. This project is a public-private partnership between the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and Southside Virginia Vegetable Packing, LLC (SVVP). The private operator projects the creation of 60 jobs employed annually by year 5. Approximately 21 producers averaging of $20,000 net new farm income are expected to benefit from the facility annually resulting in at least $420,000 aggregate increase in annual farm income.

3896, West Piedmont Planning District Commission

Regional Agritourism and Agribusiness Development Project – $80,000 grant.
This project will launch a regional agritourism business development and marketing program. The project is targeted to the PDC’s service area including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin and Pittsylvania, and the two cities of Martinsville and Danville. Data collected will be used to create an interactive online map that will allow users to search specific products, services or activities by location to find what is close to them.

3894, Longwood University Real Estate Foundation

SEED Innovation Hub – $500,000 grant
This project will support a portion of the renovation costs to create the SEED Innovation Hub at Midtown Landing in downtown Farmville. The Innovation Hub will serve residents of seven counties in Southern Virginia and is designed to fill identified regional gaps in facilities for entrepreneurship and innovation.

3890, Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.

Commonwealth Crossing Tract 5 Site Development – $357,741 grant.
This project will support the costs for grading Tract 5, a 10-acre lot at the Commonwealth Crossing Business Center.

3897, Virginia’s Heartland Regional Industrial Facilities Authority

Virginia’s Heartland Regional Industrial Park Onsite Water Supply – $20,000 grant.
This project will support a preliminary engineering report to establish an onsite water supply that is necessary to serve targeted industrial development.


Contact: Jordan Butler
Telephone: 804-786-7692
Cell: 757-692-0878
Email: jbutler@revitalizeva.org
Website: www.revitalizeva.org