“We always say we’re accessible, we’re affordable and we’re skilled.”— Linda Green, Vice President, Economic Development
These are some of the main selling points that IALR’s Vice President of Economic Development Linda Green and her team and partner organizations use when recruiting new companies to locate in Southern Virginia.
Listen to the newest episode of IALR’s biweekly podcast, “Inside IALR,” for an engaging snapshot of economic development in Southern Virginia. What is economic development, and why does it matter for our region? Listen wherever you get podcasts to find out.
In this episode, Linda defines economic development, emphasizing that it is not a simple, short-term or one-size-fits-all approach. Linda shares how her team works to recruit companies and promote growth for existing industries, highlights the selling points they make to companies, and explains what economic development looks like in Southern Virginia.
Linda Green, Vice President of Economic Development at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), joins 36 other executives as one of the winners of this year’s Virginia Business Women in Leadership Awards.
Green has served in her current role as well as the Executive Director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance (SVRA) since 2016. As Virginia Business states, since that time, she has “worked in collaboration with economic developers to recruit 28 new companies to Southern Virginia and assist the expansion of 31 existing companies.” Virginia Business goes on to share that “Green says these efforts have created more than 5,300 jobs and spurred about $1.5 billion in capital investment across the region.”
“We are extremely fortunate to benefit from the keen economic development expertise of one of the state’s leading professionals in this area,” said Telly Tucker, President, IALR. “Linda’s love for Southern Virginia and her tireless efforts to contribute toward the growth and transformation of the region are evident and well respected by local, regional and state stakeholders across multiple industries and span both the public and private sectors.”
Prior to her role at IALR and SVRA, Green worked as District Director for U.S. Congressman Robert Hurt and as Director for Federal Funding and Entrepreneurship for the Center for Innovative Technology, where she also served terms as Director of Manufacturing and Regional Technology Transfer. She also served as the President and CEO of the Dan River Business Development Center and worked as a Quality Engineer for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. A Certified Quality Engineer, Linda holds a Master of Business Administration from Duke University and is a graduate of Averett University and Danville Community College.
“I am thrilled to be recognized for this esteemed award and appreciate Virginia Business’ commitment to honor and support the leading role that women play in the many businesses and industries across our Commonwealth,” said Green. “I also acknowledge the importance of working with a collaborative team of professionals who welcome and support female employees and cohorts — helping one another succeed is a blessing.”
Virginia Business editors selected awardees from more than 320 nominations submitted by readers. According to the media outlet, “editorial staff considered factors such as overall professional accomplishments, civic engagement, mentoring and breaking glass ceilings.”
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation with applied research, advanced learning, manufacturing advancement, conference center services and economic development efforts. IALR’s major footprint focuses within Southern Virginia, including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Martinsville and Danville.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) has published its 2021-2022 annual report, which highlights innovative and collaborative partnerships across departments that are transforming the economy of Southern Virginia.
“Significant economic growth has resulted due to robust partnerships across the region. IALR stands ready to serve as Virginia’s go-to partner for education and workforce development, business and economic growth, and a globally competitive business ecosystem.” – IALR President Telly Tucker.
One of the pivotal moments of the report period is the creation and adoption of the new IALR Strategic Plan, which will guide IALR’s work and efforts for the next five years. With input from key stakeholders, the plan establishes strategic goals to outline how IALR can best capitalize on its unique strengths to impact the region.
Just some of the new initiatives and programs launched, announced or expanded during FY 21 and FY 22:
- Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM)
- Center for Manufacturing Advancement
- GO TEC Training Lab at IALR and expansion into other regions of Virginia
- GO Virginia Region 3 Bridge to Recovery
- Megabytes updated menu and ordering process
- Next generation of Work (NOW) teamships
- ODU Manufacturing Engineering Technology Major, with IALR as a Satellite Campus
- Registered Apprenticeships
- Quest Certification of Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill
- REACH Partnership and REACH AmeriCorps
- Virginia Tech-IALR Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center
- Wonder Community of Lifelong Learning
The Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC™) framework is spreading into schools across the Commonwealth. The GO TEC program is just one component of the newly developed and proven EmPOWER system – an employer-driven model to systematically connect students to careers through career awareness, exposure, and engagement and experience. Future and current members of the workforce, as well as businesses, find joint benefits in problem-solving teamships, apprenticeships, externships and internships, mock interview days and more.
While striving to promote a diversified economy by serving a variety of industries, much of IALR’s impact in 2021-2022 was in the manufacturing sector. Expanding the existing middle-school-through-college workforce development pipelines, the new Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program is a rapid adult-learner model that prepares talent for jobs in the defense industrial base. ATDM launched in 2020 and is already proving successful and showing what modern public-private partnerships should look like. In addition, IALR partnered with the Commonwealth of Virginia and Danville Regional Foundation to construct the Center for Manufacturing Advancement, a new destination for manufacturers ready to optimize and scale and home to the U.S. Navy’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence.
Through the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Innovation Center, a joint project with Virginia Tech, IALR has established itself as a global leader in the CEA industry. The presence of the innovative research and state-of-the-art equipment are already making an impact on Southern Virginia. Thanks to best-in-class resources, including lab spaces and staff, the Applied Research team provided 30 companies with applied research and testing services like analytical chemistry, polymer testing and more.
In partnership with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance (SVRA) and many other economic development organizations, IALR is proud to champion the area while working with local, regional and state partners. In FY 21 and 22, the Southern Virginia region saw $498 million in announced capital investment and 1,288 new jobs. IALR contributed to economic success by serving as a temporary home for growing businesses by providing critical testing services and lab space to innovative companies across industries. The Bridge to Recovery Program connected companies with suppliers and helped businesses become more resilient post-pandemic.
The Institute Conference Center hosted a variety of events geared toward the growth of industry sectors and Southern Virginia, including trainings and economic development activities. Numerous companies, including anchor and growing employers held successful job fairs, connecting community members with quality employment. An extensive renovation of the main building and a relaunch of Megabytes, IALR’s on-site café, have allowed the Institute Conference Center to provide even better service for the 20,800 guests who visited.