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Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

About The RVARC CEDS Report

Vision Statement

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Region will be recognized for its outstanding outdoor amenities, quality of life, and higher wage employment opportunities. The region will grow and prosper while preserving its natural beauty and resources. Businesses and individuals of all ages will be attracted to the region because of its accessibility, affordability, commitment to lifelong learning, vibrant arts and culture, diversity, and hospitality.


In January 2017, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) designated the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany region an Economic Development District (EDD). This designation enhances our ability to obtain grants from EDA. A key function of EDDs is to develop, maintain and assist in implementing a regional CEDS and support local governments in short-term planning activities.The EDD area is comprised of the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, and Roanoke; and the cities of Covington, Roanoke and Salem.

Organization & Management

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee is the principal facilitator for economic development planning and implementation, responsible for developing, updating, or replacing a strategy. Its purpose is to develop, maintain, pursue implementation of, and complete annual reporting requirements related to the Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy document (CEDS). The COMMITTEE is charged with the following objectives:

  • To support the ongoing economic development planning process in the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Region, a region Consisting of the Counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, and Roanoke; the Cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem; and the Towns of Clifton Forge and Vinton.
  • To prepare draft CEDS documents, CEDS annual reports, Annual implementation schedules, and other documents to be sent to the US Economic Development Administration for review and approval by the Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission.
  • To bring to the attention of the Roanoke Valley – Alleghany Regional Commission and the member localities of the Commission various approaches to solving community and economic development related problems.
  • To provide participating jurisdictions, organizations, and private sector entities with information on CEDS initiatives, relevant grant programs, and other related news.

Goals & Strategies

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission oversees the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), working with member localities and organizations to pursue a variety of regional projects. The CEDS Strategy Committee has identified nine key issues central to the region’s development: diversifying the economy, skilled workforce maintenance, infrastructure improvements, positive identity projection, marketing regional assets, redevelopment of unused properties, affordable housing, resilience, and multimodal transportation improvement. Each issue is addressed through specific strategies supported by the CEDS Project Package and associated partners. Strategies include:

  1. Economic Vitality: Encourage a diverse business base with startups and large employers, recruit high-wage industries, promote small businesses, and support existing business expansion.
  2. Workforce Development: Improve literacy and graduation rates, foster cooperation between education institutions, promote technical education, attract young professionals, and develop specialized training programs.
  3. Infrastructure: Develop commercial and industrial parks, expand IT and telecommunications systems, maintain and expand traditional infrastructure, and develop ‘quality of life infrastructure’.
  4. Regional Identity: Implement regional marketing initiatives, engage the public and media, and improve intergovernmental cooperation.
  5. Environmental and Cultural Sustainability: Invest in natural amenities, promote outdoor and cultural amenities, and maintain environmental quality.
  6. Property Redevelopment: Invest in underutilized properties, revitalize blighted areas, and develop multi-use projects.
  7. Housing Diversity: Rehabilitate existing housing, expand housing for all income levels, and develop housing for specific demographics like the elderly.
  8. Resilience: Coordinate disaster mitigation plans, involve stakeholders in planning, and develop business continuity plans.
  9. Transportation Network: Promote transit programs, facilitate site access, address freight facility needs, and improve multimodal transportation services.

These strategies reflect the region’s comprehensive approach to addressing diverse economic and community development needs, focusing on sustainable growth and resilience.

Previous Projects

The localities represented in the CEDS process remain committed to the process and to making smart investments that will stimulate economic growth throughout the region. The committee, local governments, and local partners have been successfully implementing projects from the previous CEDS project listings.

  • • Alleghany County -Jackson River Trail Phase I – V
  • • Alleghany County – Alleghany Outdoors opened
  • • Alleghany Highlands Chamber – Alleghany Highlands Visitor Center
  • • Botetourt County – Upper James River Water Trail – Phase I & II
  • • Botetourt County – Gateway Center/Exit 150 Market Feasibility Study
    and Redesign
  • • Botetourt County -Shell Building in Botetourt Center at Greenfield
  • • Botetourt County – Glen Wilton Public River Access
  • •Botetourt Greenfield -Vista Park Water Systems and Tinker Creek Interceptor
  • • Clifton Forge -Masonic Theater Renovations
  • • Clifton Forge -Business Incubator
  • • Clifton Forge -Business Park access road
  • • Clifton Forge -School of the Arts
  • • Clifton Forge -Downtown Revitalization Strategy
  • • City of Roanoke – Amtrak passenger rail platform
  • • City of Roanoke – Roanoke Acceleration Center
  • • Roanoke County – Explore Park infrastructure and camping facilities
  • • Roanoke County – Gateway Center/Exit 150 Market 419 Town Center Plan
  • • Roanoke Valley Broadband -Authority established; Phase 1 complete
  • • Roanoke Valley Greenway Plan
  • •Salem -Apperson Drive Stormwater Improvements
  • • Vinton -Roland E. Cook & William Byrd School Redevelopment
  • • Vinton -Vinton Motors, Gish Mill & Former Vinton Branch Library Redevelopment
  • • Vinton -Reopening of Rosie’s Gaming Emporium
  • •Vinton -Ice-rink re-installation at Lancelot Sports Complex
  • •Western VA Regional Industrial Facility Authority -Wood Haven Technology Park

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