GO Virginia Overview

The Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity in each region (GO Virginia) was initiated by Virginia’s senior business leaders to foster private-sector growth and job creation through state incentives for regional collaboration by business, education, and government. Recognizing the harsh effect of deep federal budget cuts on a Virginia economy that is overly dependent on public-sector jobs, they launched the GO Virginia campaign to work for regional cooperation on private-sector growth, job creation, and career readiness. GO Virginia’s mission is based on three main points:

1) Virginia urgently needs strong private-sector growth.
2) Growth in Virginia’s diverse regions requires collaboration
3) State government must be a catalyst and partner.

More information can be found on the GO Virginia website.

Go Virginia Region Five

In 2016, the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board certified nine distinct regions across the Commonwealth.

These regions consist of multiple local jurisdictions that are geographically similar and also share similar economic development and workforce needs. The Regional Councils were organically developed – drawing from business leaders, economic development professionals, educators, and local government officials in each region.

Region Five encompasses the counties of Accomack, Franklin, Isle of Wright, James City, Northampton, Southampton and York; and the cities of Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg. The Region Five Council is led by Thomas Frantz as Chair and Anne Conner as Vice Chair. Reinvent Hampton Roads serves as Region 5’s support organization and is led by President and CEO, Jim Spore and Executive Vice, President Donna Morris.

Reinvent Hampton Roads contracted with Old Dominion University, George Mason University and the Natelson Dale Group to prepare the Growth & Diversification Plan. Some of the initiatives identified in the plan to improve the economic performance of the Hampton Roads region include the following as they relate to GO VA's mission of creating higher paying jobs and diversifying the Commonwealth's economy in private sector growth:


• Port and Maritime Economic Development Strategy
• Workforce Gap Analysis
• Entrepreneur In Residence Program
• Regional Economic Development Site Inventory
• Acceleration Pathway Project
• Industry Cluster Scale-Up Initiative


In August, Region Five completed their Growth & Diversification Plan with full endorsement of the Council. The following three broad policy goals were developed from the Plan:


• Create a coordinated regional capacity for innovation in the Region's key cluster areas.
• Increase the pace of small and medium-sized jobs creation through both expansion of existing firms and, in particular, the attraction of out-of-state firms in key cluster areas.
• Close all skills, credentialing and degree gaps in the regional clusters' workforce by 2022 through both in-region production and talent importation.


The Plan identified the following key clusters:
• Port Operations, Logistics and Warehousing
• Advanced Manufacturing
• Cybersecurity, Data Analytics and Model Simulation
• Shipbuilding and Ship Repair
• Water Technologies
• Unmanned Systems and Aerospace


GO VA Region 5 Council Members:
• Thomas R. Frantz, Chair
• Anne C. H. Conner, Vice Chair
• Kenneth Alexander
• Shawn Avery
• Roland “Butch” Bailey
• Timothy J. Bentley
• Bruce Bradley
• John R. Broderick
• Robert A. Crum
• John T. Dever
• William B. Downey
• Jack L. Ezzell, Jr.
• Michael Gentry
• Maria Herbert
• Jeffrey Holland
• Michael Kuhns
• Eric Miller
• Jerry Miller
• J.D. Myers, II
• John Olson
• McKinley Price
• John F. Reinhart
• Frank Roach
• William D. Sessoms, Jr.
• Jeffrey Smith
• Bryan Stephens
• Bruce Thompson
• Thomas G. Tingle
• Gary Warren

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News & Updates

- Go Virginia Region 5 Economic Growth and Diversification Funding Application: The Go Virginia Region 5 Economic Growth and Diversification Funding Application is now available and can be downloaded HERE.  The funding applications are to be submitted by email to Donna Morris at dmorris@reinventhr.org by 5:00 p.m. on October 31, 2017.  If you have any questions regarding the application process, please feel free to contact our office at 757-961-8181.

- Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Approves Economic Growth and Diversification Plan: The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board approved the Economic Growth and Diversification Plan at the Friday , August 25, 2017 meeting.  The plan was submitted to the State GO VA Board for final approval.  The Economic Growth an Diversification Plan can be viewed here.

- GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Meeting Announced: The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board will meet on Friday, August 25, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. will be held at the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce located at 21 Enterprise Pkwy Ste 100, Hampton, VA 23666. If you plan to attend, please contact Tiffany Brannon at tbrannon@reinventhr.org to RSVP.  The agenda for the Regional Council Board meeting can be found here.

- GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Meeting Announced: The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board will meet on Monday, August 14 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. will be held at the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission located at 723 Woodlake Dr, Chesapeake, VA 23320 If you plan to attend, please contact Tiffany Brannon at tbrannon@reinventhr.org to RSVP.  The agenda for the Regional Council Board meeting can be found here.

- GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Meeting Announced: The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board will meet on Tuesday, July 25th at 10:00 a.m. at the offices of Williams Mullen. Williams Mullen is located in Virginia Beach Town Center 222 Central Park Avenue, Suite 1700, Virginia Beach 23462.  If you plan to attend, please contact Tiffany Brannon at tbrannon@reinventhr.org to RSVP.  The meeting agenda can be found here and the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting can be found here

- GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board Meeting Announced: The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board will meet on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation (101 W. Main Street, Ste. 4500, Norfolk, VA 23510). The purpose of the meeting is to brief the consultant chosen through the RFP selection process to prepare the Economic Growth and Diversification Plan.  If you plan to attend, please contact Tiffany Brannon at tbrannon@reinventhr.org to RSVP. The PowerPoint presentation from the June 28th can be found here.

- GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board and Execuitve Committee Meeting Announced: The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Board and Executive Committee will be held on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.  The Executive Committee will meet from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the office Reinvent Hampton Roads (101 W. Main Street, Ste. 415, Norfolk, VA 23510). The Regional Council Board will meet from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the new Hilton hotel The MAIN (100 E Main St, Norfolk, VA 23510). Conference room “Granby A/B” located on the 3rd floor of the hotel. Parking is available at the Town Point parking garage located on Main Street. Please contact Tiffany Brannon at tbrannon@reinventhr.org to RSVP.  The meeting agenda for the Regional Council Executive Committee meeting can be found here. The meeting agenda for the Regional Council Board meeting can be found here.


- Notice of Invitation for GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Five 's Regional Growth and Economic Diversification Plan: Request for proposals for professional consulting services to prepare an Economic Growth and Diversification Plan for GO Virginia Region 5 (Hampton Roads, Virginia). Reinvent Hampton Roads, on behalf of the GO Virginia Regional Council, is requesting sealed proposals to establish a contract through competitive negotiation with a qualified source(s) to provide professional consulting services. The RFP with a complete set of specs and offeror qualifications can be viewed at: www.reinventhr.org/news.html . The primary contact is Donna Morris (757)961-8181, dmorris@reinventhr.org .  The full RFP can be found here.

- GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Executive Committee Meeting Announced: The GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Executive Committee will be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation located at 101 West Main Street, Suite 4500 in Norfolk.  Please contact Tiffany Brannon at tbrannon@reinventhr.org to RSVP.  The meeting agenda can be found here. Meeting minutes can be found here.

- First GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council Meeting Announced: The first meeting of the GO Virginia Hampton Roads Regional Council is April 4, 2017 from 11 a.m. to noon at  The Port of Virginia boardroom, 101 West Main Street, Suite 600 in Norfolk.  Please contact Tiffany Brannon at tbrannon@reinventhr.org to RSVP. Visitors must sign-in at reception.  The meeting agenda can be found here. 

- State GO Virginia Board Names Regional Council:  GO Virginia, the state’s new economic development program to boost regional cooperation by dangling taxpayer grants for job creation, has its regional boards in place. The State GO Virginia Board certified the Region 5 Council, which will include South Hampton Roads, including the cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth, as well as the Eastern Shore and Peninsula.  Each region is eligible for up to $650,000 in state funding to review challenges in their region and to prioritize next steps. Learn more.