The Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) has announced that the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance are the winners of its 2020 Community Economic Development Award.
The region won in the SEDC’s large community category for its collaborative efforts to attract new business.
“This recognition reinforces that the right decision was made by County and City leaders many years ago: to adopt a regional approach and work closely together,” said Robert “Bob” Warren, chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and Danville Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA).
Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones agreed, saying, “This approach continues to be a vital element toward our renowned workforce programs, shovel ready site preparation and other supporting economic development related activities.”
Jones and Warren added that being part of the broader Southern Virginia Regional Alliance has effectively connected the region with State agencies, site consultants and key economic development organizations.
Linda Hutson Green, executive director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, said Danville and Pittsylvania County work proactively and collaboratively with legislators, regulatory agencies, community leaders and infrastructure providers to ensure that companies and prospects can maximize opportunities in a timely manner.
“This includes forming regional industrial facility authorities and working across municipal lines for the most cost-effective and efficient solutions,” Green said. “The team is flexible and hardworking, supportive of one another, and always operate with the best results for prospects or existing industry in mind without ego or need for personal gain.”
Through a collaboration framework, regional agreements, financing and incentives, the region has won several recent significant projects, including Morgan Olson, Porcher Industries, Kyocera SGS Precision Tools, Staunton River Plastics and Aerofarms.
These collaborative economic development efforts also earned honors in June from the Virginia Economic Developers Association.
The SEDC is the oldest and largest regional economic development association in North America, serving states from Texas to Florida to Virginia to Kansas. Award entries were judged on innovation, transferability, community commitment and leverage, measured objectives and secondary benefits.
Local staff will accept the award when the SEDC holds its annual conference virtually on Aug. 17.