Projects in NRV on list for potential federal funding

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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PULASKI, Va. (WDBJ) - $135 million for projects in Virginia has made it through the Senate Appropriations Committee, making it one step closer to being a reality in the fiscal year 2023 federal budget.

“The fact that was built into the Appropriation Committee’s marks mean that I think these Virginia communities and these Virginia projects can look forward to this critically important federal funding,” US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) said.

Of that $135 million, a big chunk will be headed to southwest Virginia for many projects.

“This project is referred to as filling the trades gap,” Executive Director of the Virginia Career Works New River/Mount Rogers Region Marty Holliday said. “Skilled workers are needed in almost every industry right now so how do we help individuals predominantly those who may not be in the workforce?”

If passed, Holiday and her team will receive $1 million to educate and train more workers and help reduce the barriers to employment for many people.

“We’re looking at skilled trades in health care, predominantly CNA and medical aides, construction workers, as well as production technicians, because manufacturing is still important in our region,” she said.

Also on the list of projects is $500,000 to help with the restoration of the Calfee Training School.

“We’re going to have an event center back where the auditorium/cafeteria used to be,” President of the Calfee Community and Cultural Center Board Mickey Hickman said. “On the upstairs part we’re going to have a digital computer lab.”

Now, the historic building sits empty but the goal is to make it a community center in Pulaski, Va, complete with a child care center.

“We’re going to try to keep the building looking like it is, I mean it there’ll be new bricks and things put in somewhere, but it’s pretty much gonna keep this same footprint that it has now,” Hickman said.

This funding is still a step away from being approved.

Click here to see the full list of southwest Virginia’s projects.