New economic development plan promotes businesses and workforce development in Pittsylvania County

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 4:07 PM EDT
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PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Pittsylvania County and Danville are working together to implement a new economic development plan that will focus on small businesses, education, and workforce development.

The last economic development plan for the county was created in 2019. The new plan would include highlighting and continuing to strengthen the current workforce development programs.

“I would argue that probably almost all of the success we’re having at this point in time is due to the advanced workforce programs,” said Matt Rowe, Director of Economic Development for Pittsylvania County. “It’s somewhat becoming a mature pipeline at this point. So, we want to maintain that competitive advantage.”

They also want to maintain the prominent agriculture and forestry industry within the county and focus on promoting small businesses.

“I think that we need to, especially in the county, put more emphasis on small business support. A lot of focus has been on large-scale industrial manufacturing, which is vitally important, but we can’t neglect the fact that most individuals in any community are involved in small business,” added Rowe.

Providing high quality education for the community is also part of the plan.

“That’s a very important component for incoming residents and for companies looking in the area, as well. Education really is the driver at this point in time in today’s economy due to the workforce crunch,” said Rowe.

They also want to market the county in a way that showcases the current available economic development opportunities.

“I think our number one focus right now is to get this marketing component underway because of its immediate need. Then, how do we get the best form of public involvement and elected official involvement? I do not want a document that sits on the shelf and collects dust. That’s not good for anybody,” explained Rowe.