Powering Progress

Powering progress for our region is a constant focus of the Economic Development division, which works tirelessly to attract, retain and grow industry in Southern Virginia. In partnership with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance (SVRA) and other economic developers, the division supports a multitude of transformative efforts. Whether the need is marketing of the region’s top assets, providing meeting space and advanced technology to accommodate prospect meetings, or offering rapid-launch space to expedite start-up times for new industry, the Economic Development division and SVRA stand ready to lead the way.

Meet Our

Vice President, Economic Development

Linda Green

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Office: 434.766.6707
Meet The Team

Partnering on Prosperity

Southern Virginia continues to attract robust businesses from various industry sectors, just some of which include high-performance manufacturing, environmental and life sciences, advanced materials, and IT and professional services. At the heart of this path to prosperity lies strong partnerships with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance and other equally minded ambassadors of regional economic transformation. IALR is proud to serve as a champion and work with local, regional and state partners as well as others to continue building an environment attractive and beneficial to sought-after business prospects.  

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Marketing the Region

While Southern Virginia has become known to many successful companies as a premier location from which to conduct business, IALR works hard to continue reaching new audiences with the story of the region’s countless assets and benefits. Through a partnership with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, multiple avenues exist to share testimonials and facts about the region’s quality of life attributes, impressive sites, skilled talent pipeline, convenient and accessible location, and cost advantages.   

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Conducting Research

IALR and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance collaborate to produce region-specific intelligence and data relevant to industry as they grow and expand. As a liaison for the whole of Southern Virginia, the research represents findings across the entire region rather than specific localities, a true value add to companies outside of the area who are looking for collective information. The process involves primary research methods with key stakeholders in various formats like roundtable sessions, studies, surveys, interviews and association meetings. Paired with secondary research and former studies, this data serves as a powerful tool for businesses as they develop their growth or market penetration strategies. 

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Recruiting Prospects

Whether attracting new businesses, retaining existing industry or cultivating leads, IALR’s Economic Development team works hand in hand on a daily basis with other economic developers to transform the region’s economy. Not only do the staff work with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance and others to produce market research and promote the region’s assets, but they also host and coordinate prospect meetings, tours and industry announcements enhanced by IALR’s state-of-the-art facility, catering, service and technology. 

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Accelerating Industry

IALR continues to catalyze regional economic growth by meeting and exceeding the needs of industry and employers through exceptional services and expertise. Beyond the traditional offerings available through most economic development teams like market statistics and information on possible sites and regional assets, IALR also presents innovative partnership opportunities on rapid-launch space, applied research services, and access to nationally renowned training programs as well as top-rate meeting space, catering and technology.

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Success Stories

Virginia’s Premiere Event Venue Hosts Conferences, Retreats and More
With over 25,000 square feet of premier, flexible meeting and event space, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) Conference Center is Southern Virginia’s premiere event venue for small to large meetings, classroom training, corporate retreats, multi-day conferences and more.
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2023 Apprenticeship Awards
During National Apprenticeship Week 2023 (Nov. 13-17), the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) acknowledged some of the organizations providing quality registered apprenticeship opportunities in Southern Virginia. Staff "popped in" on several of these partners to provide them with their 2023 ExTRA Awards.
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2023 Summer Internship Program
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) hosted 17 summer interns for an eight-week, paid experience during the Summer of 2023. From recent high school graduates to students pursuing their master’s degrees, these interns worked in various divisions and departments across our organization.
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Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Summit East
Hosted at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), the annual Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Summit East brings hundreds of producers, educators, scientists, engineers, developers, extension specialists and other industry members together. Building alliances, sharing information and forging new connections are key themes that drive the success of the event.
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Endophyte Research
A unique venture at the forefront of biostimulant research, the Plant Endophyte Research Center at IALR leverages private and public partnerships and funding to study how endophytes can enhance agricultural production.
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Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM)
A consortium among partners such as the U.S. Department of Defense, IALR, Danville Community College, Phillips Corporation and The SPECTRUM Group, ATDM is a prototype for rapidly developing skilled workers to enter the defense industrial base.
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Advanced Machining Training 
A collaborative, industry-driven model, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research and Danville Community College offer a seven-month, advanced-level Integrated Machining Technology training program. Thanks to qualified instructors and state-of-the art technology and training sites, this program has enabled 120 students to take their advanced machining skills training and knowledge to the next level since 2015.
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"“I want to be able to go to the next level and provide more care, and I wouldn’t have been able to get my paramedic without this program.”"
Andy Pendleton / Fire Marshal and Paramedic Apprentice, Franklin County
"“This paid on-the-job training is a great way for me to absorb this information and get more hands-on instruction. I’m glad to be able to come in all day and focus on this, get a better experience and more ride time. All while getting a paycheck.”"
Lily Hensley / EMT Apprentice with the Danville Life Saving Crew
"We’re willing to work closely with our clients to develop methodologies and targeted analysis specific to their needs."
Yimeng “Jack” He, Senior Analytical Chemist / IALR
"The IALR Analytical Chemistry Lab provides testing services that give clients the data that they need to move forward. What sets our lab apart is that we provide those services at a high level and a low cost."
Dr. Scott Lowman, Vice President of Applied Research / IALR
"In terms of quality control, we are making sure that our products are in good shape for the customer. Jack and the team are helping us to achieve that goal."
Wei Zheng, Lab Technician / Mara Labs
"We have two interns, and we would absolutely hire them. They have been fantastic overall—polite, motivated and hard workers."
Robin Marcato / Danville Historical Society
"Overall, this internship has been a great experience for the Chamber and for our intern. We look forward to hosting interns again in the future."
Crystal Hairston / Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
"The EmPOWER framework has been instrumental in connecting Sovah Health with our local students to showcase the breadth of healthcare career opportunities available right here in our community.  "
Corey Santoriello / Sovah Health
"Being able to participate in the Career ChoICE, AspHIRE Mock Interview Day, and Summer Internships through the IALR has been an invaluable addition to the work of PATHS and the South Central AHEC. These programs keep us coming back, as they have allowed us to connect with, inspire, and support…"
Anjanette Farmer / PATHS
"This EMT apprenticeship program will benefit the participants by providing mandatory training for an EMT position. Adding a cohort of new EMTs like this enables the Danville Life Saving Crew to grow its team and provide qualified emergency medical personnel for our community. Working with Tori and the Institute has…"
Johnny Mills / Danville Life Saving Crew
"We believe that apprenticeship programs like this are essential to our future success. We understand that by investing in the next generation of talent, we are not only shaping our own success but fostering a culture of learning and development. Our apprenticeship programs are not just a part of our…"
Neville Moe / Litehouse Foods
"I can’t speak highly enough of all the help we have received from IALR in getting our apprenticeship program started. It’s been wonderful. When you as an employer invest back into your workforce, you see huge returns."
Justin Hylton / Southside Mechanical Services
"You couldn’t ask for better hands-on service. The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research Conference Center has great team dynamics, great follow-up, and outstanding, world-class service."
Vera Vaden / Danville Redevelopment & Housing Authority 
"Year after year, IALR has been excellent to work with. They have always been helpful and friendly and made our annual events there a huge success."
Hannah Nuckles / God’s Pit Crew
"Our team has been repeatedly blown away by the professionalism, helpfulness, and quality of the staff and facilities at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research Conference Center."
Jennifer Eddy / Eddy Alexander
"“Something that was beneficial for me was learning to ask questions at the end of my interview.”"
Chasity Robertson / Nottoway County
""The trip to Asphire was both informative and fun. It helped me widen my horizon about the working field and opened my eyes to new possibilities.""
King Catubig / Lunenburg County
"The AspHIRE mock interview day provides valuable experience to high school students across Southern Virginia, exposing them to important workplace skills and allowing them to experience an authentic interview process."
Jessie Vernon / IALR
"We have been working with IALR through the many growth stages of our company and could not have asked for better partners along the way. IALR's state of the art facilities and talented scientific team have helped us take our RNA technologies from lab to field."
Ameer Shakeel, Founder, CTO / AgroSpheres
"Through this new programming and leveraging of expertise and infrastructure, we have the opportunity to drastically increase domestic seafood and produce production within the state, region, and country, enhancing food safety, security, sustainability, and most importantly, socioeconomically within our agriculture economies."
Michael Schwarz / Virginia Tech Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center
"We are excited to house this facility on the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research’s campus and to benefit from both the technology developed and the associated economic development opportunities it provides for the region. Consumer demand for healthy, local and pesticide-free produce is high, and will continue to increase…"
Scott Lowman, Ph.D / Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
"We are delighted that the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research and Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have combined their expertise to create a top program in controlled environment agriculture. This collaborative effort is creating tremendous energy and excitement because of its potential to provide innovative solutions…"
Alan Grant / Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
"Applied at the correct time, biostimulants can significantly improve plant health, which ultimately leads to higher harvestable yields and better quality for a more profitable crop."
Simon Hendry / Agrinos
"Partnering with leading research institutions such as IALR is key to delivering on our commitments to farmer profitability and environmental sustainability."
Virginia Ursin / Indigo
"Goodyear-Danville is so grateful for all United Way does for our community, and we're glad to be able to support them in a meaningful way. (Regarding IALR's Decorating the Trees for a Cause program, an annual fundraiser benefiting charitable organizations that is organized by the Institute Conference Center)"
Laura Singleton / Goodyear-Danville
"Thank you for hosting us at your incredible facility! Between the logistical and technical support that you provided before and during the event, to offering nutritious meals and refreshments for participants and volunteers, and especially your amazing hospitality -- we were so very fortunate to partner with your team and…"
Team Leader / Capital One
"I want to thank everyone who made our holiday luncheon a success. The food keeps getting better and better. I ate some of everything, and it was delicious. Compliments to the chef. Everyone has been telling me how great the food was and how much they enjoy having the luncheon…"
June Conner / CIT
"Thank you for being so accommodating to our staff and volunteers during our recent Benefit Banquet. The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research Conference Center is a beautiful venue and the staff is truly committed to ensuring each visitor is given their utmost attention."
God's Pit Crew / God's Pit Crew
"I was thrilled with the beautiful room and decor! The food was delicious and the wait staff was amazing! We will be back very soon for our next meeting!"
Christy Oakes
"“The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research has proven to be invaluable to the Town of Altavista by helping to bring about a possible closure to the problem of PCB contamination in our communities’ waste water treatment pond. They are truly an asset to our region.”"
Mike Mattox / Mayor of Altavista
"The meeting rooms are spacious and equipped with state-of- theart presentation and audio visual needs. The food and beverage were exceptional, and the staff was very kind and friendly assisting us. Having meetings at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) Conference Center is a great setting for any…"
Cindy Bennett / Essel Propack
"“The word “opportunity” epitomizes the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. IALR is a place where students, faculty, researchers, and entrepreneurs are actively working together to reach their full potential. IALR provides the ecosystem where discovery, innovation and commercialization is nurtured and celebrated. The leadership of IALR are invested in…"
Dr. Guru Ghosh / Virginia Tech
"I love that scientists work together to solve problems"
Gavin Maxey / Sacred Heart
"We are grateful for the continued investment of the Haas Foundation in our students and workforce."
Dr. Bruce Scism / Danville Community College
"Goodyear sets a gold standard for supporting community service work. United Way of Danville Pittsylvania County greatly appreciated all their hard work as Campaign Chair for 2016-2017."
Traci Petty / United Way
"“What a wonderful experience we had working with your staff as they helped us prepare and present the Danville Master Gardener’s Spring to Green this year! From the evaluations and feedback from everyone there, this was the best year ever! It was wonderful knowing the staff at The Institute were…"
Pat Morgan / Danville Master Gardeners Association
"The support and investment the elected officials have demonstrated complement the emphasis they have placed into developing a skilled workforce starting at the high school level, networking world class university level engineering programs, and supporting industry changing research at facilities such as CCAM and the Institute for Advanced Learning and…"
Jason Wells / KYOCERA SGS Tech Hub
"The City of Danville is thrilled to have KYOCERA SGS Precision Tool locating in Danville’s Cyber Park and to provide employment opportunities for the highly skilled graduates of the Integrated Machining Technology program at the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research. This announcement demonstrates the impact of City and County…"
Telly Tucker / City of Danville
"Working as a team, our staff works within our mission to be a regional catalyst for economic transformation in four key areas: advanced learning, applied research, workforce development and economic development."
The Honorable Mr. Don Merricks / IALR
"IALR is the type of education facility that can transform a region."
Barry DuVal / Virginia Chamber
"Pittsylvania County Public Schools greatly appreciates the partnership established with the Advanced Learning Department of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. This department provides many STEM opportunities for teachers and students to extend learning and explore new areas."
Dr. Mark Jones / Pittsylvania County Public Schools
"I firmly believe that through our efforts, we have positioned the Institute as a prime force in the region and solidified it for the future."
Jerry Gwaltney / IALR
"It is great that House of Delegates Speaker, Bill Howell, appointed Connie Nyholm to the Board of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. As a very successful business person, she brings excellent judgment and insight to the table. Connie has a personal knowledge of our region, its strengths and…"
Delegate Danny Marshall / Virginia House of Delegates

How can we help power progress together?