Economic Development

Economic Development Strategic Plan

Following a six-month process led by Resonance Consultancy, the Office of Economic Development is pleased to release the City's new Economic Development Strategic Plan.  The effort was grounded in extensive research and leveraged engagement from a diverse group of stakeholders including a 16-member steering committee comprised of business and community representatives.  The five-year strategy is expected to leverage existing assets and envision a future that builds a more inclusive, resilient business and entrepreneurial community.  Read the full Economic Development Strategic Plan (pdf).  The supporting research can be found in the Technical Appendices (pdf)   

Enroll in Ready To Work Training Program

OED's Ready To Work (RTW) pilot program has launched! If you are a jobseeker looking to set yourself apart from the competition and want to secure a guaranteed interview with a participating City Employer, enroll in the Ready To Work program today!  RTW will provide you with 20 hours of soft skills training that will equip you with the knowledge and tools required to meet the challenges and responsibilities needed to excel not only in the workplace, but in your personal life too.  A career navigator will assist with career assessment, resume and cover letter writing, and interview prep to showcase your newfound skills.  Once you have completed the soft skills certification training, you will be connected to a RTW City Employer for the guaranteed interview.  Go to  Ready To Work  to learn more, to see a list of participating employers and to enroll.  Sign up today!

Stay on top of the latest information  brought to you by the staff of OED:

GO Cook logo

GO Cook is now accepting applications for the current session.  The training is free for eligible City of Charlottesville residents.  Read all the details and sign up for GO Cook Boot Camp.   


OED Announces GO Hire Grant Application 

The  City of  Charlottesville's Office of Economic Development (OED) is excited to offer the GO Hire Grant to qualifying City businesses! The workforce-based grant is designed to assist City businesses that are growing and enhancing their workforce.  Businesses can take advantage of two different grants with the GO Hire program: the New Employee Wage Subsidy or the Existing Worker Retraining Grant.

The New Employee Wage Subsidy will be provided when a City resident is hired to fill a new position or a vacant, existing position.  There will be no restrictions on industry, but the employer must be paying a self-sufficient wage, as defined by the current City of Charlottesville living wage (currently $15.00/hour).

The Existing Worker Retraining Grant provides reimbursement grants to City businesses who train and/or re-train their employees.  The training must target improving business efficiencies and provide an opportunity that will lead to additional skills for the company's workforce.  Employers can self-identify specific training or consult with OED staff to create customized training, based on the businesses' needs.  Preference will be given to training that provides an immediate increase in wages for the employee.  

Applications will be evaluated by information provided within this application.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to include as much detail as possible to assist staff during the application review process.  All employers enrolled in the GO Hire program agree to communicate with the OED on a quarterly basis for pre-determined quantitative and qualitative metrics for a period of 1 year.  Currently, the maximum fiscal year award is $5,000 per business.

All interested businesses must conduct a pre-application meeting with OED staff to discuss program guidelines.  To learn more or schedule a meeting, please contact the Office of Economic Development at (434) 970-3110 or via email at

Project Rebound

Project Rebound, a local economic recovery initiative for our area, recently released "A Blueprint for Economic Resiliency and Reinvention in Greater Charlottesville Region". The report, produced by KPMG LLP, maps out economic recovery action steps for the business community.  The recommended actions are based on data from stakeholder meetings and follow-up interviews with more than 300 local participants. The project was led by the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce with support from the City, County and University economic development efforts. Click to see the full Blueprint report.

Disaster Preparedness for Small Businesses

Anticipating business interferences, crises and debacles is an essential part of maintaining a business.  Engaging the business community in Risk Reduction for Business Resilience whether it be a hurricane, tornado or outbreak like COVID-19, is imperative.  Studies show that more than 40% of small businesses close permanently after a disaster.  Among those that reopen, another 25% fail within a year.  The Disaster Preparedness for Small Business guide extensively illustrates and highlights the best tips and resources to guide entrepreneurs in their business recovery and continuity plan.

Additional Information

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The Office of Economic Development is the catalyst for public and private initiatives that create employment opportunities and a vibrant and sustainable economy.

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