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The NRVRC Blog

Virginia FY18-19 Budget & Children’s Cabinet

Virginia FY18-19 Budget & Children’s Cabinet – GOOD NEWS for Early Childhood Programs Research consistently shows the value of early childhood education and that it is smart to invest in early childhood services.  The National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs has found that high quality early childhood programs can yield returns of $9 for every $1 spent because they generate better education, health, social and economic outcomes.  Early childhood services set children on a path to graduate high school, hold a job and contribute to society, while those who do not receive these services are more likely to drop-out of school, commit crimes and become incarerated. The General Assembly and Governor Northam have recently demonstrated their support for early childhood services.  The state budget FY18-19 recently passed with continued support for key state-funded early childhood programs, including Smart Beginnings, and included over $11 million in NEW state investments in early childhood education. Additionally, on June 21, 2018, the Office of the Governor announced Governor Northam signed an Executive Order establishing a new Children’s Cabinet, chaired by First Lady Pamela Northam, to improve the quality and access to early childhood programs across Virginia.  The First Lady shared that Jenna Conway will serve as Virginia’s first ever “Chief School Readiness Officer” to coordinate policies and resources to best serve Virginia’s families and economy.  Most recently, Conway worked to unify and improve child care, Head Start and Pre-K systems for the Louisiana Department of Education.  To learn more about this initiative, see the Office of the Governor’s press release – https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2018/june/headline-826810-en.html Locally, the Regional Commission’s Smart Beginnings program works to... read more

Town of Pembroke RALLY grant to implement downtown improvements

The Town of Pembroke is finishing up an array of downtown improvement projects as part of the RALLY Southwest Virginia program. RALLY is a mini-grant program which provides a $3,000 award to communities in Southwest Virginia to implement a community development project through a team structure.

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Another Dynamic Ride Smart Challenge for the Region

The Ride Smart Challenge wrapped up at the end of May and recorded a big impact in alternative transportation! Through the Ride Smart Challenge, residents logged 81,508 miles across more than 5,000 trips – an increase over last year’s participation.

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Regional and Local Housing Study Funded!

The Commission was recently awarded funding through the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s (VHDA) Community Impact Grant program to fund a regional and local housing study. 

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Departing Board Members Recognized

At the New River Valley Regional Commission meeting on June 28th, the Board of Directors celebrated the contributions of three members leaving the board effective June 30, 2018.

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Small business loan funds available

The New River Valley Development Corporation’s revolving loan fund has over $40,000 available to lend to small businesses in the New River Valley. The loan fund helps small businesses to buy equipment, upgrade facilities, or secure working capital to expand their operations. Typical loans range from $10,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the needs of the business and the type of collateral on offer.

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