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Virginia Tech supports Growth4VA campaign

November 22, 2017

President Tim Sands (left) led a recent panel to discuss the Growth4VA initiative.
President Tim Sands (left) led a recent panel to discuss the Growth4VA initiative.

Virginia Tech is pleased to join public universities across the commonwealth in supporting Growth4VA, a new campaign to promote reform and reinvestment in Virginia’s top-ranked higher-education system.

Backed by a partnership of higher education and business leaders, Growth4VA will work to regain Virginia’s top ranking for business, grow the economy, and expand access to education and employment opportunities for all Virginians. 

"As a land-grant university, Virginia Tech was established to serve the 'public good.'  Years ago, that meant supporting the commonwealth’s economy and workforce through a focus on agriculture and mechanical arts," said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. "Today, we – and other public universities – are expanding what it means to serve the public good through direct university engagement in entrepreneurship, research, and community service.”

Virginia Tech’s Beyond Boundaries initiative, launched in 2015 to reimagine the university’s future, is developing Destination Areas to draw talent, spark innovation, and create partnerships with business and industry.  These areas of focus, including Adaptive Brain and Behavior, Data and Decision Sciences, Global Systems Science, Integrated Security, and Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities, will produce graduates with the knowledge, skills, and perspective that will enable them to lead in the commonwealth and beyond.

“Beyond Boundaries will draw more high-achieving students to Virginia Tech, including new scholarship opportunities that improve access for underserved populations, ” Sands said. “This initiative and our focus on cross-disciplinary education, research, and outreach positions Virginia Tech as a strong partner in the Growth4VA campaign.”

Working with partners in the business community, the Growth4VA initiative offers practical policies and creative ideas that are focused on four strategies:

  • Making Virginia the top state for talent
  • Becoming recognized as the home of innovators and entrepreneurs
  • Preparing Virginians for great jobs and great lives
  • Providing affordable access for all Virginians

Developing strong partnerships with private industry, local governments and other institutions  will be an fundamental part of Virginia Tech and Growth4VA’s success.

The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) serve as two examples of such partnerships. Since opening in 2010, VTCRI – based in Roanoke – has grown to include 25 research teams, 300 employees, and an economic impact valued at $400 million. Between its locations in Blacksburg and Northern Virginia, VTTI has 475 employees, annual sponsored research valued at $40 million, and benefits from more than 100 private and public-sector sponsors and partners.

“Our experience has made this very clear from the beginning,” Sands said. “Collaboration and partnerships between higher education, government and the business community are absolutely essential."

Growth4VA is a campaign of the Virginia Business Higher Education Council and has been endorsed by all 15 of Virginia’s public higher-education institutions and the Virginia Community College System. To learn more about the Growth4VA campaign, including the current economic impact of Virginia’s higher-education system and the Growth4VA coalition’s plans for expanding economic growth and opportunity in Virginia, visit the campaign website at www.Growth4VA.com.

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