GO Virginia is working to restore Virginia’s economic leadership by growing and diversifying its economy.

The focus is the creation of state financial incentives, technical support, and other assistance to encourage collaboration by business, education, and local governments on private-sector growth from higher-paying jobs.

GO Virginia was launched by the Virginia Business Higher Education Council and the Council on Virginia’s Future. It is a broad, bipartisan, grassroots coalition that includes business, higher education, and community leaders—thousands of Virginians—from every part of the Commonwealth. This concept is endorsed by the Governor and leading business organizations, and approved with bipartisan support in the General Assembly.

GO Virginia grew out of the great recession that started in late 2007. It was triggered by the collapse of the housing market nationwide, but our Commonwealth was hit harder than most states because of its impact on the federal government. Sequestration—military and domestic spending—cuts highlighted the state’s over-reliance on federal spending. Instead of being one of the last states to go into a recession and one of the first to come out of one, the situation was reversed. Virginia was an early victim, and key regions took longer to recover.

Clearly, our Commonwealth must diversify its economy by growing private sector jobs so it is not so dependent on the federal government payrolls and contracts.

GO Virginia’s mission: Create more higher paying jobs through incentivized collaboration, primarily through out-of-state revenue, which diversifies and strengthens the economy in every region.

Instead of offering incentives to locate new businesses in Virginia – traditional economic development- GO Virginia will offer incentives for projects through collaboration  of business, education and local jurisdictions.

Why only focus on high-paying jobs? More high paying jobs will lift average salaries in localities, regions and statewide. High paying jobs tend to create additional good paying jobs through a strong economic multiplier effect. Many of the possible projects will likely be focused on incentives for Virginians to upgrade their jobs skills for better paying jobs.

The statewide GO Virginia Board will encourage collaboration not only within each region but between two or more regions. It will promote activities to enhance private sector growth and opportunity, economic competitiveness and alignment of workforce development programs with the needs of employers in the region.

Each will receive state financial incentives through separate state legislation to encourage collaboration among localities that lead in the creation of new high-paying private-sector jobs in the Commonwealth. Our objective is to promote collaboration on economic growth and job creation in each region.