Steve Holcomb sholcomb.va

July 1st, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MARTINSVILLE, VA.— GENEDGE announced this week that its proposal for a grant from the GO Virginia Economic Resilience and Recovery Program, with GO Virginia Region One serving as the lead applicant and the endorsement of all nine GO Virginia Regions, has been approved by the GO Virginia State Board.

Brian Ball, Secretary of Commerce and Trade stated – “The GENEDGE project supports the priorities and goals of the GO Virginia program and the Economic Resilience and Recovery effort. Not only will this project encourage the growth and retention of high-wage jobs and help Virginia manufacturers increase revenue and enter new markets, but it will also help reduce supply chain risks for Virginia’s health care system. This is a significant statewide effort, and we applaud the leadership of the GO Virginia Region One Council, as well as the eight other councils collaborating in support of this project.”

This grant will support GENEDGE and its partnering agencies as they initiate a two-year program to invest nearly $4.5 million in strengthening Virginia manufacturing statewide. The GO Virginia Economic Resilience and Recovery Program was established in April 2020 by the GO Virginia State Board. This is the first statewide program supporting provisions to back strategic initiatives in response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This effort will support 50 companies to create or retain 500 jobs and provide a nearly $100 million boost to the economy. Efforts will also support rebuilding Virginia’s medical and non-medical personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain. . .

Bill Donohue, GENEDGE President and Executive Director, explained that the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of having a reliable, U.S.-based supply of critical products for the health care sector and other industries.

“The majority of PPE is made in China,” said Donohue. “As worldwide demand surged, we saw that countries without an internal supply were at risk of severe shortages. As a result, GENEDGE has two broad goals for this program: reduce our state’s risk of shortages in critical supplies, such as PPE, and to leverage advanced manufacturing technologies to bring quality jobs back to Virginia, not only in the production of medical PPE, but in other industrial sectors where reshoring supply chain components is advantageous.”

In addition, GENEDGE is leveraging its existing efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – including a digital portal ( supplychain.genedge.org ) to connect Virginia manufacturers and engineering firms with tools, resources and supply chain connections –  to prepare for the program, with information for manufacturers as well as an online supply chain connector designed to help companies interested in making PPE find partners within the state.

About the Program

In its first year, the program will focus on helping participating Virginia manufacturers to shift their operations to emphasize PPE production. An advisory committee will be established to review program execution, investigate other products and industries, assess supply chain risks, and determine additional areas of program focus.

The program also includes a research component to analyze the risks of supply chain disruption in various industries, and related factors such as market size, product demand, and the international competitive landscape. For manufacturers interested in producing PPE for critical industries, this partnership includes custom services to help address regulatory requirements, develop prototypes, implement new processes, and apply advanced digital manufacturing technologies.

This multi-pronged approach will draw on the expertise of more than a dozen agencies and organizations involved in manufacturing, economic development, technology, and health care.

About the Management and Delivery

The two-year program, managed by GENEDGE and delivered by partnering agencies include Go Virginia, the Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA), the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA), and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).

For some comments from the agencies, visit:
        https://genedge.org/2020/07/01/genedge-leverages-federal-cares-act-appropriation/

Steve Holcomb
GENEDGE, the Virginia MEP
Hampton Roads Regional Growth Mgr.
276.732.0440
sholcomb@genedge.org
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