Friday, May 6, 2016

Big Bucks for Tech; More To Come for Region

Gov. McAuliffe with the $45 million Tech expansion bill.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill this morning at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute that will result in a 105,000 square foot addition and an investment of $42 million. McAuliffe, in a jocular mood, promised this event would be repeated in the near future when yet another major announcement comes to the Roanoke Valley, which has been a beehive of economic activity of late.

McAuliffe (left), Tech President Tim Sands.
This is the beginning of a Health Sciences and Technology Innovation District in Roanoke, says McAuliffe. "We are building a foundation for biotechnology and medical research that will establish Virginia as a hotbed for companies who want to be shoulder-to-shoulder with world-class collaborators and a highly-trained technical workforce."

Once the expanded institute is opened, with as many as 1,000 students, faculty and staff in place, the economic wallop for the Roanoke Valley is expected to be $191 million. "I can hardly wait to see what the Virginia Tech Carilion will look like in the coming years," says Carilion CEO Nancy Agee.

Gene Marrano interviews CEO Nancy Agee.
This was a deal that many didn't think could happen and, frankly, looked dead in the water at one point. Sen. John Edwards of Roanoke said that at that point the long-running relationships of some of those in the General Assembly began to take over and work for the residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of party. It was reminiscent of the way government used to work ... back when it worked. Accommodations were made, deals struck, compromises made and Virginia benefits.

McAuliffe with VTC's Michael Friedlander, Agee.
Sen. John Edwards with Medical School head Cynda Johnson.

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