Grant to fund state economic conferences
Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 01 - August 29, 1996
Virginia Tech has received a $200,000 grant from the Philip Morris Corporation. The grant, which will be dispersed over a four-year period, will be used to sponsor a series of state-wide economic development conferences that will help educate leaders from business, local and state government, and higher education about ways to maximize the commonwealth's economic growth. Three conferences are planned for 1996 and 1997.
The keynote session, scheduled for December 4-6 at the Hotel Roanoke, will focus on three areas of state-wide interest: business development and retention, tourism product development, and workforce quality and development. "These are subjects of considerable importance to the commonwealth," said Paul E. Torgersen, president of Virginia Tech, "and we are pleased to have a leading role in an initiative that will examine their impact on Virginia's economic future. As part of our historic public service mission as a land-grant university, the conferences underscore Virginia Tech's long-time commitment to helping build a healthy state economy."
Attendees will pay particular attention to identifying areas where policies are needed to sustain and strengthen important sectors of the economy. "We are targeting some 175 leaders from around the state to attend," said Michael Hensley, who works at Virginia Tech's economic development center and is responsible for organizing the conferences. "These are individuals who will be developing and implementing Virginia's financial game plan, and we hope to provide them with a valuable road map into the 21st century."
Subjects for the two follow-up conferences in 1997 will focus on the most critical topics emerging from the Roanoke session. Sites have not been selected for the one-day sessions, although they will be held in different parts of the state, Hensley said.