Where do we go from here? The Roanoke Regional Recovery Project is designed to address that question.
The Roanoke Regional Partnership received GO Virginia funding to rapidly engage regional companies to assist with immediate recovery and build future resilience in response to the economic downturn due to COVID-19. The Roanoke Regional Partnership will collaboratively work with its eight local governments, higher education institutions regional agencies, business associations, and other organizations to focus on the sectors at the heart of our region’s economy — advanced manufacturing, healthcare, technology, and food and beverage.
A recovery coalition is being formed to advise and implement recovery-focused resources and programming with the collaboration of local governments, economic development organizations, workforce professionals, regional service organizations, and higher education. It will focus on the capacity to develop and implement long-term strategies to address COVID-19 related challenges to recovery.
Round table sessions will quickly engage regional companies in the recovery process. The round table sessions will:
- Create networks that enable businesses to discover or share best practices during crisis recovery
- Share local, state and federal business resources to support their current and future workforce
- Understand processes and product capabilities such as new supply chain opportunities
- Identify opportunities for strategic and impactful assistance by agencies and governments
- Gather data for long-term strategies
The sessions will encourage connectivity between regional business leaders to create a support network for resource sharing such as labor and to identify crucial elements for recovery, such as training and public policy.
The recovery coalition will provide coaching sessions with tailored information for companies to include best practices for employee health and safety, connectivity to workforce funding opportunities, short-term and long-term workforce attraction and engagement, work-from-home best practices, and connectivity to supply chain needs to support productivity and continuity. The Roanoke Regional Partnership will also be able to connect college students to regional businesses for post-graduation employment and experiential learning through the relationships created during the Partnership’s past GO Virginia projects.
The round tables and coaching sessions will help the advisory coalition create a long-term strategy that will:
- Expand regional capacity to coordinate and deliver business support services
- Identify and connect critical suppliers of goods and services
- Expand workplace health and sanitation efforts
- Maintain and manage a remote workforce
- Develop new industry-aligned on-the-job training programs
- Expand existing training programs identified as mission-critical
This project will set the stage for future regional initiatives around economic resilience in Region 2 and potentially future GO Virginia projects.