Virginia Tech and Carilion host first forum for 20 local governments seeking to work together
Leaders from 20 local governments on Thursday gathered for the first time on the Virginia Tech Carilion campus to learn about the partnership driving regional economic development.
Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe came up with the idea after attending meetings and hearing about the economic impact arising from partnership between Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic. The partnership to build a medical school and research institute in Roanoke formed about a dozen years ago.
Tech is expanding the research institute that is projected to have a $500 million annual impact on the economy, and Carilion recently announced it will invest $1 billion in capital improvements over the next seven years including an expansion of Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
“I was thinking, hey, in reality, elected officials in the community don’t necessarily know about that, and don’t necessarily understand the impact that is being made around us,” Larrowe said. “So, if we could all come together as one big community of elected and appointed leaders, then there might be the possibility of actually changing even more as well as learning, and becoming advocates for the efforts of Virginia Tech and Carilion.”
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