Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization — Building a Healthy Economic Environment

The Virginia Gateway Region (VGR) consists of eight highly diverse communities, including the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, and counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry and Sussex. The area is home to a wide range of employers, from a major Army training center to advanced materials producers, food producers, national distributors and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

We recently spoke with President & CEO Renee Chapline to learn more about VGR’s new five-year strategic growth initiative that will kick off early this year. Chapline explained, “The proposed Driving Regional Economic Growth and Embracing a Global Future 2.0 (G2.0) initiative is designed to build a healthy economic environment for businesses of all sizes to prosper, to put people to work in quality jobs, support local entrepreneurial growth and provide technical support to our community partners.”

The region has a strong heritage in both logistics and production, providing a foundation for strong development in food and advanced manufacturing over the past decade. There is also an ongoing renaissance of arts, cultural and lifestyle redevelopment, all of which have added substantially to the region’s identity and quality of life.

The G2.0 initiative is a plan for the future of the region, designed to enhance the region’s manufacturing heritage, new global assets and quality of life improvements to attract talent, decrease barriers for internal growth, and welcome new business. “By focusing on these core themes, the strategy will help the Gateway Region keep pace with the dramatic changes occurring in the global economy while providing valuable assistance to businesses that call the region home,” said Chapline.

A continued focus on business growth will result in intensifying business recruitment, expansion, retention, startup and international trade initiatives. A highly strategic job creation and retention program will be created to focus on advanced logistics, advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, agricultural life sciences and existing fast growth companies.

VGR will continue promoting the region on a global scale to increase awareness of the region’s world-class assets with a compelling internal and external marketing campaign focused not only on the traits needed to successfully conduct business, but also on quality of place for residents and the business sector.

To continue business growth seen throughout the past decade and achieve its goals for the future, VGR will support workforce and product development initiatives in partnership with its stakeholders. To align the region’s workforce with its current industry and target sectors, VGR will actively support talent development programs throughout the education system, from K-12 to higher education.

VGR will also work with local industries to heighten awareness of the unique pool of highly trained exiting military, veteran and military spouses interested in integration into the regional workforce.

Finally, VGR will support product development and infrastructure enhancements by improving industrial site and building readiness through its private partners and community stakeholders to increase global competiveness and ensure future growth.

“Our organization is laser-focused on collaboration and partnerships with the state, local government and private sector to reach beyond the status quo and develop innovative outreach and strategic initiatives that make our region and state stronger for all who live here. We’re excited about Virginia’s future and the new growth to come,” Chapline added.




VGR President & CEO Renee Chapline and team honored VGR Board of Directors members Dale Bradshaw and Horace Webb, Virginia Senator Rosalyn Dance, and Dennis Morris of the Crater Planning District Commission at the 54th Annual Meeting.