Award-Winning Site Selection
Award-Winning Site Selection

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By Robb Watson

Originally written by Teresa Hamilton Hall for Appalachian Power News Online

ROANOKE, Va. – Projects in several Virginia and West Virginia counties and cities have been selected to share $155,000 in economic development grants from Appalachian Power. The awards announced last week are part of Appalachian Power’s efforts to promote economic growth in the company’s service territory.

Thirteen localities and nonprofits will receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 through the company’s Economic Development Growth Enhancement (EDGE) program administered by John Smolak, economic and business development director. The funds will be used for site development or to support marketing and promotion, or new business development and retention.

Below is a complete list of the 2016 EDGE program recipients in Virginia and West Virginia.


  • $20,000 to the Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority for site planning and environmental assessments on a new 130 acre industrial park in Roanoke County currently referred to as the Woodhaven site;
  • $10,000 to assist the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance with a comprehensive workforce analysis for the Lynchburg Regional MSA;
  • $10,000 to help the Virginia aCorridor Regional Authority enhance its branding and marketing of commercial and industrial properties;
  • $15,000 to the New River Valley Economic Development Alliance to develop a balanced marketing strategy for its 15 local partners;
  • $10,000 to support the Roanoke County Economic Development Department’s efforts to develop a virtual study and grading package for a 57 acre site located in the County’s Center for Research and Technology;
  • $5,000 to Nelson County’s Economic Development Department to fund a county-wide economic development marketing plan that focuses on the Route 29 Corridor; and
  • $5,000 to the City of Lynchburg Economic Development Department to aid in development of a pilot TechHire program that will target and develop the unemployed and underemployed for job opportunities in health care, technology and advanced manufacturing.

West Virginia

  • $20,000 to the Mason County Development Authority to redevelop its master plan for a 200 acre county-owned industrial park;
  • $20,000 to the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority to support the Refresh Appalachia economic development initiative with construction of a new multi-purpose facility for agricultural product processing at the Mingo County Wood Products Industrial Park;
  • $20,000 to the Wayne County Development Authority’s new subsidiary, the Western Gate Land Development Corporation, for development of a master plan for a 50 acre tract near the Heartland Intermodal Gateway Facility;
  • $10,000 for Advantage Valley, Inc. to develop a new prospect lead generation and marketing program to capitalize on social media;
  • $5,000 to the Huntington Area Development Council to re-assess its current strategic plan for regional economic development; and
  • $5,000 for the RED Partnership to develop a database of potential new sites for development in Marshall County.

“Appalachian Power received outstanding applications from local, regional and state organizations throughout Virginia and West Virginia,” Smolak said. “These groups work hard to promote economic growth and business retention in thoughtful and innovative ways and we want to help them succeed.”

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