Buchanan County First in U.S. to Conduct Pilot Cybersecurity Project

Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel, right, presents Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority Chairman Jay Rife, center; and Buchanan County Board of Supervisors Chairman Carroll Branham, with a ceremonial check for a new cybersecurity pilot program announced in Buchanan County Jan. 18.

VCEDA closed on an up to $509,895 grant to the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority on Jan. 18 to implement a cybersecurity pilot program in Buchanan County designed to create jobs in the cybersecurity field. Buchanan County will be the first location in the United States to receive the pilot program which is geared towards rural areas.

The project also will serve to mentor students to learn network monitoring skills through an on-the-job training cooperative aimed at assisting small and medium size manufacturers.

The Buchanan County IDA will be working with EWI, an engineering and technology organization headquartered in Columbus, Ohio which develops, tests and implements advanced manufacturing technologies for industry. Since 1984, EWI has provided applied research, manufacturing support and strategic services to leaders in the aerospace, automotive, consumer products, electronics, medical, energy and chemical, defense, government and heavy manufacturing industries.

For the Buchanan County initiative, EWI is partnering with some of America’s leading cybersecurity experts who will staff the cooperative, mentor students, and lead the small and medium size manufacturers solution development.

“We are pleased to be able to assist Buchanan County in landing this project. VCEDA has been marketing our region as Virginia’s e-Region for our focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, and emerging technologies.  This program fits in very well with that strategy and shows that our region is a great place for advanced technology jobs.”

VCEDA and Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority and Board of Supervisors representatives join EWI officials to announce a new cybersecurity pilot program in Buchanan County Jan. 18.

Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel

Read more about the cybersecurity project.







VCEDA Attends Regional Legislative Reception

VCEDA was represented in Richmond Jan. 25 at the Southwest Virginia counties legislative reception, which VCEDA helps to sponsor. Several VCEDA board members, including VCEDA Chairman J. P. Richardson, attended along with VCEDA staff members. Among the speakers at the event was 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith. Pictured at the reception in addition to Griffith are VCEDA staff members, Marketta Horton, Jean Jordan and Susan Copeland; and Horton with our VCEDA Board Chairman J.P. Richardson.