Press Release
June 25, 2024

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $7.8 Million to Support Educational and Workforce Development in Virginia

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing $7.8 million in the state of Virginia to support educational and workforce development following natural disasters in the state.

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation, Inc., Warsaw, will receive a $5.1 million EDA grant to support construction of the Health Science Education Center, which will recruit, train and retain health professionals and build a pathway for continuing education opportunities. The project will be matched with $1.3 million in local funds.
  • Southside Virginia Community College Foundation, Alberta, will receive a $2.7 million EDA grant to support construction of the Occupational Technical Center, which will provide workforce development training. The project will be matched with $666,100 in local funds.

“President Biden is committed to ensuring that all communities in Virginia and across the country have the resources needed to not only recover from natural disasters but to grow and prosper,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These EDA investments will help  Southside Virginia Community College and Rappahannock Community College deliver the workforce training opportunities their communities need to grow, thrive, and become more resilient to natural disasters.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting locally developed strategies designed to create economic opportunity,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “EDA is pleased to assist Southside Virginia Community College and Rappahannock Community College in their efforts to develop strong, resilient regional economies.”

“These grants will ensure continued economic growth across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Our administration understands the crucial importance that Southside Virginia Community College and Rappahannock Community College play in equipping Virginians with the necessary tools to enhance our educational and workforce development.”

“I am glad to see these funds go towards helping Southside Virginia Community College and Rappahannock Community College build a strong and resilient workforce in the face of natural disasters. This funding will not only create new job opportunities but will boost the economies of regions that have been impacted by severe weather events,” said Senator Mark Warner.

“I often hear from employers across Virginia about how challenging it is to find skilled employees,” said Senator Tim Kaine. “I’m glad Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation and Southside Virginia Community College Foundation are receiving this federal funding to help Virginians get the job training they need for good-paying jobs in high-demand fields, including health care.”

“Southside Virginia Community College provides education and employment training in Virginia’s 5th District. This grant will improve the technical training facilities of the school and increase opportunities for individuals throughout the surrounding communities,” said Representative Bob Good (VA-05).

This project is funded under the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023, which provided EDA with $483 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas that received a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Act as a result of Hurricanes Ian and Fiona, wildfires, flooding, and other natural disasters occurring in calendar years 2021 and 2022. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


  • Disaster Recovery