A Commonwealth of Virginia Website
This news release is from the previous Governor's administration.
For Immediate Release: December 8, 2017
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, 804-225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov | Department of Housing and Community Development: Erik Johnston, (804) 371-7020, erik.johnston@dhcd.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Announces $300,000 Community Development Block Grant to Assist Economic Transition Efforts in Southwest Virginia

~Funding will provide transition assistance to coal industry-related businesses~


RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Local Innovation funding to Tazewell County for the Heart of Appalachia Collaborative Economic Transition Project also known as The Heart Project. This project is a regional initiative funded in partnership with Appalachian Regional Commission Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative and targets 16 counties and three cities in Southwest Virginia.

The project will focus on three major activities to help transition coal industry related businesses: business outreach, network analysis, and targeted technical assistance. The Heart Project will provide direct counseling, training, mentoring, business service plan development, and other targeted technical assistance to approximately 58 coal industry-related businesses, retaining approximately 200 existing jobs in Southwest Virginia. The project is expected to create 10 new businesses and create 30 new jobs.

“Today’s announcement is another step forward in our efforts to build the new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The CDBG program is an essential resource in assisting localities and the private sector with these efforts, and I am confident that The Heart Project will provide great opportunities to our skilled workforce in Southwest Virginia. Accelerating innovation in advanced manufacturing helps companies compete against offshoring and develop robust processes for production while lowering costs.”

Since 1982, the federally-funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Nearly three hundred non-metropolitan cities, counties, and towns are eligible for this program in Virginia. Most CDBG projects, in accordance with federal law, principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons or communities.

“Thanks to our strong working relationship with Virginia localities, we are ensuring that all communities have the tools they need to flourish in the new Virginia economy by addressing key issues related to economic development growth and prosperity,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd P. Haymore. “I congratulate Tazewell County and all 19 Southwest Virginia grantees and look forward to seeing the positive results in each community.”

2017 CDBG Local Innovation Award:


Project Name

CDBG Award

Tazewell County (Grantee)

(Serving the Counties of Wise, Scott, Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan, Tazewell, Washington, Smyth, Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Floyd, Pulaski and Giles and the Cities of Norton, Bristol and Galax.

Heart of Appalachia Collaborative Economic Transition Project also known as The Heart Project