State officials talk key issues with local leaders

State officials talk key issues with local leaders

The Southern Virginia Regional Alliance and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Halifax County hosted Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball, Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) President and CEO Stephen Moret, members of their staff and others for a round table event held late last month.

The round table session, held at Southern Virginia Technology Park, included manufacturing and business representatives as well as Sen. Frank Ruff; Legislative Assistant to Del. James Edmunds Shelia Bradley; and representatives from GO Virginia, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC), ChemQuest Technology Institute (CTI), Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and the Halifax IDA.

The discussion focused on the vision for rural economic development. Topics addressed included broadband technology, inclusive of MBC’s work in the region; CTI’s research for companies worldwide; the Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center plans for the region; and relevant pending legislation.

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Secretary Ball and VEDP's Moret Share Mega Site Update and Tour Southern Virginia

Secretary Ball and VEDP's Moret Share Mega Site Update and Tour Southern Virginia

The Southern Virginia Mega Site at Berry Hill has been certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia as infrastructure ready, announced Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball and Stephen Moret, President and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). Ball and Moret joined Southern Virginia economic developers and community leaders Aug. 30-31 to share this significant update and to participate in tours regarding workforce development and revitalization efforts.

“We are proud to have all of the current pad in compliance with shovel-ready standards and the recognition that the entire mega site is infrastructure ready,” said Matthew Rowe, Director of Economic Development for Pittsylvania County.

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VIR Named One of The 15 Best Race Tracks in America

VIR Named One of The 15 Best Race Tracks in America

Want to see the best racing in America, or drive on track yourself? These are the best places to do it. 

Virginia International Raceway is famous for being one of the most challenging tracks in America. The fast turns and blind crests mean years of practice before you'll be able to set a perfect lap.

 From Roadandtrack.com

Praising Danville’s ‘world-class workforce,’ governor announces Work Ready Community designation

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that Danville has been named a certified Work Ready Community — a nationally recognized designation by the state government and the American College Testing.

In short, that means the city will attract new businesses and jobs because the city’s high school students have job-ready skills.

“We’re here today to talk about Danville’s world-class workforce,” Northam said during a gathering at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

Danville is the fifth Virginia community to receive the designation. Pittsylvania County was named a Work Ready Community in June 2016 by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Henry and Halifax County, as well as the city of Martinsville have also earned this designation. Patrick County is 92 percent of the way to being named another one.

“Danville’s recognition as a certified work ready community serves as evidence that we have continued to make investments that result in our community becoming more competitive and closing the skills gap that paralyzed the economy in this region for many years,” Danville Public Schools Superintendent Stanley Jones said.

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Plywood manufacturer expands operations in Pittsylvania

Plywood manufacturer expands operations in Pittsylvania

A longstanding corporate citizen of Chatham, Eastern Panel Manufacturing Inc. is investing $1 million to expand its manufacturing operations. The custom plywood manufacturer recently moved from its former 30,000-square-foot site to a 55,000-square-foot facility in the Chatham Industrial Park.

Matt Rowe, Pittsylvania County’s director of economic development, knew Eastern Panel was in growth mode. He contacted the company’s president, Keith Van Asch, as soon as he learned it was looking for a new facility.  

“I knew the company was testing the water to see how the market was building product-wise. They were looking at numerous options,” Rowe says. “I wanted to show him what kind of building product we had. He liked what we put together.”

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Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital Selected As One of Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in the US

Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital was recently named one of the Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in the United States by iVantage Health Analytics and The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

“This achievement is very gratifying and validates our daily commitment to providing the highest level of quality health care possible to our community, while maintaining an efficiently operated facility,” said Chris Lumsden, President and Administrator of Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital.

Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital scored in the top 100 of rural and community hospitals on iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®. The INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive rating of rural providers. It provides the data foundation for the annual Rural Relevance Study and its results are the basis for many of rural healthcare’s most prominent awards, advocacy efforts and legislative initiatives. The Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals play a key role in providing a safety net to communities across America – and the INDEX measures them across eight pillars of hospital strength: Inpatient Market Share, Outpatient Market Share, Cost, Charge, Quality, Outcomes, Patient Perspectives, and Financial Stability.

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Astronaut is Keynote Speaker at Technology Council Awards Banquet

Astronaut is Keynote Speaker at Technology Council Awards Banquet

Leland Melvin is the only person to have caught a football on the NFL field and in space. On Wednesday, he spent the day with Dan River region students at the 2018 Southern Virginia STEM-H summit at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.

“This community is doing an amazing job inspiring a new generation of explorers,” Melvin said to the gathering. “I think the tech community here is bringing the students up to be the next blue-suited Virginians walking on the moon. I give all of you a round of applause.”

The Lynchburg native gave the keynote speech at a luncheon for students and at the Southern Piedmont Technology Council’s Innovation Stars Awards banquet that evening.

“We have to make sure that as we go on this journey that all of our kids can see themselves in this role,” Melvin said. “For the kids in here, you may be on one path and see some things that don’t look right, but know that that might be part of your journey.”

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Panaceutics to create 70 new jobs in Pittsylvania County

Panaceutics to create 70 new jobs in Pittsylvania County

Governor Ralph Northam made a special announcement on the southside. A pharmaceutical company is creating dozens of new jobs in the area. "Panaceutics and Pittsylvania County that's got a good ring to it," said Governor Ralph Northam.

A $5.8 million investment, and 70 new jobs are coming to the Danville/Pittsylvania County area thanks to a company called Panaceutics. Panaceutics will operate its research and manufacturing facility in the Cane Creek Industrial Park.

"We make a product to personalize nutrition and medicine, where we take the active ingredients and then formulate it based on genetics, on your lab tests, on you age, sex, weight, factors like that," says Panaceutics co-founder Edison Hudson.

In short, these little pouches have vitamins and minerals, as well as any specific medications you may need, all in one.

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Legislature honors legacy of Henrietta Lacks

Legislature honors legacy of Henrietta Lacks

A cancer science center honoring the memory of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman who lived in Clover before her cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line, is on the way to become a reality in Halifax County, and on Wednesday Lacks’ legacy was honored from the floors of the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate.

The Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center currently is conceived to be a $50 million, 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art medical research and treatment facility, to be built in the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority’s Southern Virginia Technology Park (SVTP), a short drive from Henrietta Lacks’ Clover home and final resting place.

At the same time Wednesday, members of the Henrietta Lacks family and Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group were recognized by 20th District Senator William “Bill” Stanley and 60th District Delegate James Edmunds as part of efforts to bring to fruition the Henrietta Lacks Commission and Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center Project.
From the House floor, Edmunds described Lacks as “a Virginia hero, an African-American woman whose unique world-changing legacy has touched all of us, without most of us realizing it.”

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In visit, governor praises Dan River Region’s precision machining programs

In visit, governor praises Dan River Region’s precision machining programs

The Dan River Region’s precision machining programs not only brought Virginia’s top elected official to Danville on Tuesday, it attracted another state’s governor as well.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson toured the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research and other facilities to provide an example to Hutchinson and his delegation of community investment in workforce training.

“After seeing it, I’m glad that I came,” Hutchinson told the Danville Register & Bee following a tour of the Institute and its Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining. “It’s an amazing investment in the community and its future.”

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