Drone shot of campus at dusk

Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives

Building a bright future together

The Office of Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives at UVA Wise supports Southwest Virginia by:

  • Connecting the wealth of resources available at the University of Virginia to opportunities in Southwest Virginia
  • Linking the community to faculty, staff and students through strategic partnerships
  • Serving as a source of professional and leadership development
  • Supporting the economic development community

“Being the only four-year public school located in Southwest Virginia, we have a unique opportunity to leverage the strengths of the College to impact our region.” — Chancellor Donna P. Henry

Oxbow Center
Discover a community for technology and innovation, creating opportunities for collaboration and engagement throughout the region.
Opportunity Appalachia
Learn more about creating new jobs and businesses that support sustainable growth in Central Appalachian coal-impacted communities.
Professional Development
Explore professional development programs through the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon.

SWVA Economic Forum

The Fifth Annual Southwest Virginia Economic Forum will be held online on Facebook September 2-3, 2020, from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon. 

SWVA Economic Forum 2020 logo

The Forum is open to all who are encouraged and inspired by the resilience of our region, despite a global pandemic. Our theme of Place will provide you with emerging and insightful topics through great speakers, panels, and interactive discussion. 

Join us on the event Facebook page as we grow a shared vision of regional collaboration, growth, and innovation for all of Southwest Virginia.

Visit Forum Facebook Page

GO Virginia Region One

GO Virginia is changing the way Virginia’s diverse regions collaborate. Learn more about upcoming events and application deadlines.

Visit GO Virginia Region One

Entrepreneurship

We are committed to helping students reach their full potential as they plan to start new ventures or act as drivers of innovation in their careers.

Learn More

  • The Nest: Dedicated to serving aspiring entrepreneurs in Southwest Virginia.
  • Opportunity SWVA: A collaborative effort to strengthen entrepreneurship in the region.
  • Entrepreneurship Cup: An annual competition that encourages new ventures.

Contact McKenna Blevins to learn more about entrepreneurship at UVA Wise.

Outreach and Partnerships

We are pleased to work closely with other organizations dedicated to making Southwest Virginia a great place to live and work.

Technology Partnership Program

UVA Wise establishes strategic partnerships with businesses and industries throughout Southwest Virginia, including: 

  • Northrop Grumman
  • Sykes
  • Crutchfield
  • DMME
  • CGI
  • Russell County Industrial Development Authority
  • Southwest Virginia Community College

Request a Project

If you would like to learn more about how we can support you and your organization, please get in touch!

Project Request Form

Contact Shannon Blevins, Vice Chancellor, Office of Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives , to learn more about becoming a strategic partner.

Healthy Appalachia Institute

Learn more about how we are working to restore health through community.

Visit Healthy Appalachia Institute

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Shannon Blevins

Shannon R.
Blevins

Vice Chancellor for Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives
K M

Kelly
Moody

Program Support Specialist
M B

McKenna
Blevins

Program Coordinator for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
K H

Kalen
Hunter

Program Director GO Virginia
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Tommy
Asher

Project Coordinator, GO Virginia
R L

Robyn
Lee

GO Virginia Program Manager
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Martha
Necessary

GO Virginia Program Support Technician
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Neva Bryan

Neva
Bryan

Director, Career Discovery & Planning
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Kayla Baker

Kayla
Baker

Program Support Specialist
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Courtney
Conner

Director of Professional Development
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Annette
Moseley

Administration & Programs Support Coordinator