Press Release

GOVA State Board Approves Grant for the Shenandoah Valley Center for Advanced Learning

January 1, 2024

Richmond-On Tuesday, September 12, the Growth and Opportunity of Virginia (GO Virginia) State Board approved a grant application by the Shenandoah Valley Center for Advanced Learning (SVCAL) for a program expected to be a “game changer” for students and industries in GO Virginia’s Region 8.  GO Virginia Region 8 includes all local governments from Front Royal to Winchester and down the I-81 corridor through Rockbridge County.

SVCAL’s “Go2Work” program is about supercharging education for students in Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro. Partnering with local governments and local industry leaders, Go2Work aims to get our students ready for jobs in high demand in our back yard.

SVCAL is also joining forces with Blue Ridge Community College to offer dual enrollment for some programs, which means students can get a head start on their careers while still in school. Students won’t just graduate and wonder what’s next, Go2Work will help them transition smoothly into jobs or advanced training. Not only is this a benefit to students but this will boost the local workforce with highly skilled employees.

The GOVA State Board approved the grant application unanimously.  Upon its approval, the GOVA Region 8 Vice-Chair Joanie Eiland said, “This investment not only aligns with our region’s top priority of addressing the talent pipeline but also reflects our vision for a prosperous future. With this support, SVCAL will continue to be a beacon of opportunity, preparing our students for success and meeting the evolving needs of our local industries. Together, we are shaping a brighter tomorrow for our community and our region.” In response to the grant approval, Lee Ann Whitesell, the Director of SVCAL said, “After diligent consideration, the State Board Council has recognized the invaluable impact of the Shenandoah Valley Center for Advanced Learning’s initiative. I am pleased to announce the approval of this funding request, which underscores our commitment to fostering a skilled and vibrant workforce in the Shenandoah Valley.” The project is expected to begin in the coming weeks ahead.

This project was funded in part by GO Virginia, a state-funded initiative administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) that strengthens and diversifies Virginia’s economy and fosters the creation of higher wage jobs in strategic industries.