Roanoke Regional Partnership Launches Thrive 2027, a Five-Year Strategy and Campaign

Following 2017-2021 results, the public-private partnership seeks new level of success with Thrive 2027.

The Roanoke Regional Partnership launched its new, forward-looking five-year fundraising campaign, Thrive 2027, at a kick-off event held virtually today. The Partnership’s plan focuses on innovation, site development, and workforce issues among other critical elements necessary to enhance our region’s competitiveness.

The 2027 plan builds on the current program of work, adopted in 2017, that took the region to a higher level, creating over the past five years 3,255 direct and indirect jobs, $527 million in new investments, new annual consumer expenditures of $197 million, and an increase in per-capita income by nearly 15 percent. All metrics met and most exceeded the benchmarks established in 2017, despite grappling with a global pandemic.

“Thanks to a decade of success leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Roanoke Region is positioned competitively. We emerge set to attract innovative businesses, supported by world-class talent, and continuing to build upon a growing sense of “place”, fueling economic vitality,” said campaign co-chair Don Halliwill, chief financial officer of Carilion Clinic. “Thrive 2027 will build upon our existing foundation of successful business community support with this strategic plan for growth.”

In a presentation via zoom webinar, the public-private partnership, which includes eight regional municipalities and more than 200 businesses, outlined its plan to focus on leading regional talent attraction efforts, boosting the region’s reputation as an innovation hub, collaborating with workforce development partners, fostering diversity, expanding infrastructure, increasing economic competitiveness, acquiring sustainable funding for key outdoor assets, and stimulating development to help regional communities and businesses compete and thrive.

“Growth in high wage employment is a foundation for economic success. The region has been highly successful in years past, but this plan will ensure the Roanoke Region sustains its momentum. This strategic plan addresses our regional challenges and strengthens the opportunity for growth,” added campaign co-chair Cathy Underwood, president of Branch Builds, Inc. of The Branch Group.

By 2027, the Partnership is aiming for 3,000 new primary jobs, 3,132 new secondary jobs, $350 million in investment and another 15 percent increase in per-capita income.

“The Partnership will continue to proactively address infrastructure and real estate development, increasing the region’s competitiveness for high impact projects, ultimately contributing to regional growth and prosperity,” said campaign co-chair Paul Nester, president and chief executive officer of RGC Resources.

The $3.6 million private-sector portions of the Thrive 2027 campaign kicked off officially with the announcement that 52 investors have already contributed $2.83 million of the $3.6 million private-sector goal during the quiet phase of the campaign making a strong statement of the continuing support for the Partnership’s work in the Roanoke Region.

“Our stakeholders and partners recognize the Partnership as collaborative, success-oriented and focused on results. We are seen as the go-to organization for advancing regional cooperation and thought leadership in shaping our region’s economic future,” said executive director John Hull.

To learn more please visit the Thrive 2027 campaign page and strategic plan page.

Contact: John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership