In today’s environment – where markets are largely global and employment is increasingly knowledge based – the Commission seeks to accelerate regional transformation, giving citizens expansive opportunities for education and employment, and providing communities the benefits of economic stability, diversification, and enhanced prosperity. In particular, the Commission seeks to meet the region’s specific challenges related to a historic dependence on tobacco production, textile and furniture manufacturing, and coal production. As a result, the Commission also recognizes that investments should reflect and directly advance local, regional and state priorities as established by elected and appointed officials, representatives from institutions of higher education, and other community leaders. The Commission views economic development as a partnership, and will – as often as practicable – seek input from regional stakeholders to ensure its priorities align with those of the region. To maximize the positive impacts of its investments, the Commission acknowledges the critical importance of collaboration with a broad array of financial partners including public and private non-profit organizations, the educational and workforce development communities, local, state and federal governmental entities and the private sector. A fundamental goal of the Commission is to support projects that advance the ability of the region to attract and retain businesses that support bringing in capital from outside of the Tobacco region. This goal is grounded in an objective and quantifiable economic base analysis. In general, directly productive industries, and the workforce training and development which supports them, do more to further this goal and should be favored over an increase in service industries primarily serving local markets.
Our annual report provides an update on grants that were awarded over the past year as well as an updated look at the Commission’s overall revenues, expenditures and net position.
The Commission’s Strategic Plan is our guiding document designed to move the Commission forward in a way that allows us to best serve Southern and Southwest Virginia. It includes information on funding priorities, committee structure, program goals, budget, bylaws and more.