Volume 5, Issue 1; January, 2011
|Taking a pulse on the New Year|
How is 2011 looking for our region?
According to Bryan David, Executive Director of the Region 2000 Economic Development Council, we must remain vigilant in the wake of the downturn, while still counting our blessings for the benefits that come with living in a vibrant community.
"We have a lot of people who have lost service, retail and other jobs during the course of last year and it's important to do what we can to help these folks first and foremost," he said. "If you have a job opening, get the word out quickly. If you can assist friends and neighbors during hard times, make it a point to do so."
Bryan said that although jobs - particularly in service and retail areas - contracted in early 2010, we should be grateful that the economic picture here is better than other regions. He explains how this is evidenced by the increased number of high wage professional and technical service jobs as a portion of the region's civilian labor force as an example.
"We are fortunate to live in a community that is thriving in many ways," he says. "Our colleges are strong and growing, our technology firms continue to expand and provide higher paying jobs, and our real estate values remain strong when compared to other regions."
Here's a snapshot of the most recent economic data (Nov. 2010):
- Civilian Labor Force - 121,445
- Employment - 112,351
- Unemployment Rate - 7.5%
- Home sales in Virginia - Down 22% over same period last year (*Q3 2010)
- Median sales price in Virginia - Median sales price increased in four of seven regional areas in Virginia over the same period last year, including Greater Richmond, Hampton Roads/Chesapeake Bay, Roanoke/Lynchburg/Blacksburg, and Northern Virginia.
- Economic Development in Virginia - According to yesvirginia.org (Virginia Economic Development Partnership's website), 17 businesses announced in the third quarter alone that they will be bringing jobs to Virginia for an estimated total employment increase of 1,183 jobs and a total investment of $591 million. The largest increase in expected employment announced in the third quarter will come from Intersections, Inc., which is developing a new call center and identity protection support facility in Altavista. Intersections estimates that the venture will create 250 new jobs at its $2 million dollar facility.
*Source: Virginia Employment Commission and Virginia Association of Realtors reports latest reports.
|U.S. Census announces 2010 population is 308,745,538|
The U.S. Census Bureau unveiled the 2010 Census numbers on December 21 at a news conference. The resident population of the United States on April 1, 2010, was 308,745,538, an increase of 9.7 percent over the previous Census in 2000 (281,421,906).
The South increased at the highest rate at 14.3 percent in 10 years, while the West grew by 13.8 percent. The Northeast increased its population by 3.2 percent while the Midwest grew by 3.9 percent. The Commonwealth of Virginia grew by 13 percent.
The population totals at the state and local level will be released in February, according to a recent U.S. Census press release. The 2009 population estimate for the Lynchburg MSA (Region 2000 geographic area) is 247,447.
|Thomasville Furniture job fair scheduled for Feb. 18 and March 11|
You are invited to meet more than 150 qualified job applicants from Thomasville Furniture Company in Appomattox at a
job fair held at the plant on Feb. 18 and March 11, 2:30 - 4 p.m. (both days).
The Thomasville operation will begin closing in March and plant managers are providing this opportunity for companies in the region to talk with employees.
The Thomasville employees have an average of 20 years experience in jobs such as skilled manufacturing, production management and supervision, engineering and maintenance, human resources, production planning, warehouse/shipping, customer service, quality assurance, accounting, purchasing, product engineering, skilled trades and a host of other job titles and business service areas.
To participate in the job fair, please contact Keondra Mitchell, email@example.com or by phone at 804-523-2284. There is no cost for registration but space is limited. A prompt response will ensure a table at the job fair.
This job fair is brought to you in partnership with Thomasville Furniture and Central Virginia Rapid Response. Participants will be limited to current Thomasville employees affected by the plant closure.
|CAER offers professional development courses for local companies|
Spring 2011 catalog now available!
The Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) offers customized professional development courses in areas of science and engineering to assist local companies in meeting training needs for employees. Through its master research agreements with universities and partnerships with federal labs, the CAER has direct access to dozens of expert instructors and professionals.
View the latest Spring 2011 catalog of professional development resources here
or contact Heather Baum
, CAER Administrator, to design a plan that fits your company's needs.
|Cloud computing is topic for next Wired Wednesday Feb. 16
Virginia's Region 2000 Technology Council will hold its next Wired Wednesday luncheon on February 16, Noon - 2 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, Main Street, Lynchburg.
Ranny Grubb, Chief Technology Officer of Virtual IT, Inc. will present the 'Business Benefits of Cloud Computing'. Come learn basic concepts of cloud computing and how these emerging technologies can transform the way you work. You can reserve your seat via the Tech Council website here
|Tech Council's Future Focus Foundation receives $5,000 grant from Wachovia-Wells Fargo|
Michael Bradford presents a check to Janet Walton of the Technology Council's Future Focus Foundation.
The Wachovia-Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Technology Council's Future Focus Foundation. The grant will support the 2011 season of the Lynchburg Regional Junior FIRST LEGO League.
Junior FIRST LEGO is a program for 6-9 year-olds that focuses on developing children's interest in science and engineering through solving a real-world challenge and designing and building an original model complete with moving parts.
|2011 Engineers Week Banquet is set for Feb. 24|
Come celebrate Engineer's Week on Thursday, Feb. 24, 5:30 - 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Select, 601 Main Street, Downtown Lynchburg. The CAER is one of the platinum sponsors of this event that attracts more than 100 local engineers and supporters. Celebrate the contributions engineers make to the quality of life in our communities and enjoy an intriguing presentation by Ron Mathis, Chief of Design, Edison2 Corporation. Registration for this event is $25 ($10 for students), and includes dinner, dessert and coffee.
RSVP no later than Monday, Feb. 21 to firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 947-1901.
|CEDS committee to review regional goals and projects at February meeting|
Virginia's Region 2000 Local Government Council is leading a process to complete a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the region. This work will go to the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) and to Gov. McDonnell, and will be pivotal in obtaining federal infrastructure and development grants for Region 2000 localities in the future.
A CEDS subcommittee will begin reviewing and ranking recently submitted projects from localities next week to decide which ones may make the biggest impact on long-term economic growth in the region. These projects will later be listed in the CEDS document to be considered for EDA funding.
Review the draft CEDS goals and objectives here.
The submitted projects will be posted in February.
The full CEDS committee will meet on February 9, Noon - 2 p.m. at the Lynchburg IT Center. For more information, please contact Grant Massie of the Local Government Council (email@example.com) or 434-845-3491.
2011 Innovator Award nominations open through Feb. 4
Each year, Southern Growth Policies Board honors innovative Southern initiatives that are improving economic opportunities and quality of life in the region. The 2011 Innovator Awards will recognize private sector businesses in the South that have achieved success through the adoption of innovative manufacturing practices. Read about the criteria and nominate your company here prior to Feb. 4.
|Virginia's Region 2000 Partnership serves 10 localities and is made up of the Economic Development Council, Technology Council, Center for Advanced Engineering and Research, Local Government Council, Workforce Investment Board, and Young Professionals of Central Virginia. Please send comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. |
Program Mgr./Communication Officer