2016 Projects

HB 834/SB 449 Virginia Growth & Opportunity Act

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Friday, November 18, 2016
1:00 - 1:45 p.m.
Omni Richmond Hotel
100 S. 12th Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Members
Chika Anyadike, Legislative Aide, Virginia General Assembly/House of Delegates
Saajida Chohan, Assistant Professor of English, John Tyler Community College
Ericka Hairston, Assistant Hall Director, Virginia Commonwealth University
Lynette Plummer, Executive Assistant to the Attorney General and Chief Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General
Anita Yearwood, Conference and Marketing Coordinator, Virginia Municipal League

GO Virginia is an economic development initiative that seeks to preempt the harsh effects of federal budget cuts on Virginia’s economy, which is overly dependent on public-sector jobs. It promotes private sector job growth and workforce development through the use of state-based grants to invest in regionally significant capital projects that call for collaboration between localities, businesses, and education. It is important to be intentional in pursuing GO Virginia’s goals, otherwise this legislation may only allocate grants to institutions, organizations, and localities that already have sizeable resources. A critical question rests on how to ensure that low-income and minority communities can maximize the benefits of the legislation. The populations that are most affected by this legislation would depend on how the legislation is implemented. If minority communities are excluded from the process, then it is likely these communities would be insulated from the positive outcomes. It is imperative that minorities are adequately represented in the decision making process. This report explores why minority communities should be represented on the regional councils, which are the catalysts for the proposal process. By being proactive there is an opportunity to provide the same advantages to minority business development. We also explore how to strengthen the minority workforce to better compete for in-demand careers within the emerging industries that this legislation sets out to promote.