Regional partnership earns award

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Virginia Economic Developers Association recently announced the selection of Suffolk, Franklin/Southampton County and Isle of Wight County as winners in the 2018 Community Economic Development Awards, presented earlier this month at the association’s spring conference in Richmond.

The CEDA award in Population Category Five (less than 100,000) was presented to the Suffolk, Franklin/Southampton County and Isle of Wight County program. To meet the growing needs of the supply chain industry, these communities collaborated with Paul D. Camp Community College to support the establishment of a 5,000-square-foot PDCCC Regional Warehouse and Distribution Training Facility. PDCCC was able to lease an unused warehouse and create several training and certification programs to meet the manufacturing, warehouse and distribution needs in the region. Additionally, area economic developers use the training facility as a site-visit location for consultants and companies who come to the area looking to start a new business, relocate, or expand operations. The Suffolk, Franklin/Southampton County and Isle of Wight County Training Facility was chosen by the CEDA committee for its collaborative spirit and its comprehensive approach to economic revitalization.

Also honored were Prince George County in Category Three (population of 15,001 to 40,000) and the city of Danville in population Category Four (40,001-100,000).

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The 2018 CEDA entrants represented all geographic regions of the state, and the nine applicant communities ranged in population, from urban to rural regions.

“The field of entrants was very competitive this year,” said CEDA Chairman Traci Blido. “We recognized those areas that are addressing workforce and community needs in creative ways.”

Now in its 12th year, the CEDA awards are designed to recognize outstanding communities in the Commonwealth for their efforts in advancing the economic viability of their community through economic and community development programs. VEDA is following the format developed by the Southern Economic Development Council and will submit its eligible winners to SEDC to be considered by that organization for a Southern states regional award.

“The work of the committee is admittedly difficult each year because of the high caliber of the entries and this year was no exception, having received nine quality nominations. Virginia has a history of winners who go on to win at the SEDC level — truly a testament to the high performance economic development efforts going on across our state,” said Blido. Entries are judged on factors including innovativeness, transferability, community commitment and the benefits derived from the initiative.

VEDA is a member-based professional association committed to providing training and development and networking opportunities and serving as the voice of the economic development community, creating economic opportunity and prosperity for Virginia. VEDA’s membership is composed of more than 530 economic development professionals and related industry professionals from across the state.