New River Valley organization adopts five-year plan to grow region's economy

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- You may have seen a trailer-like video released in September created by a local organization to showcase the New River Valley.

The economic development organization is called Onward NRV and it's dedicated to attracting jobs, investment and talent to the New River Valley.

The video was shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook and has 61,000 views.

"The goal of the video wasn't just to produce a video. We wanted to produce something that really resonated with people," said Charlie Jewell, Onward NRV's executive director.

The video is helping cultivate a regional brand for the NRV, which is one of the goals of the organization's five-year strategic plan called Onward 2023.

Other priorities of the plan include growing targeted industries, attracting talent and unifying the region.

Amy Ankrum is the President and CEO of Qualtrax, a compliance software company based out of Blacksburg. As a member of one of Onward 2023's targeted industries, information technology, Ankrum says the NRV has a lot to offer potential employees.

"A lot of activities that just make it a wonderful place for people to come and raise their families and I think that's helped us find the right kinds of people to come work here," she said.

Onward 2023's five-year goals include $180 million in new capital investment and the creation of nearly 3,500 new jobs throughout the valley.

"What we're hoping to do is just to harness and put a star on the map to help people see where we hope to be in five years and really engage the region in the process so that we can get there," Jewell said.