REGIONAL VIEW southern virginia

Gift is designed to boost the quality of child care by Joan Tupponce

quality of child care in South- ern and Southwest Virginia. The gift from Ben and


Betty Davenport will establish the Davenport Institute for Early Childhood Develop- ment. It will partner with four of Virginia’s community colleges — Danville, Patrick Henry, Virginia Western and New River — in improving the education of child-care workers.

The Davenports are

known for their philanthropy and interest in education. Ben, the chairman of Dav- enport Energy and First Piedmont Corp. in Chatham, is director emeritus of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and a former rector of the Virginia Tech board of visitors. Betty has served on the board of Smart Beginnings Danville/ Pittsylvania, a Virginia Early Childhood Foundation pro- gram focused on improvin g


Intertape Polymer Group plans to invest $22 million in several new manufacturing lines at its facility near Ringgold. The Pittsyl- vania County Board of Supervi- sors voted to offer incentives of up to $144,319 over three years in machine and tools tax grants and a one-time building permit fee waiver. The group makes and sells “paper and film-based pres- sure sensitive and water activated tapes, polyethylene and spe- cialized polyolefin films, woven coated fabrics and complemen- tary packaging systems for indus- trial and retail use,” according to a news release. (Danville Regis- ter & Bee)

Work has begun on the 5.4-acre site that German grocery chain

Photo courtesy Chatham Star Tribune

children’s health and school readiness.

Under the Davenport

Institute arrangement, the community colleges will work closely with support organizations such as Smart Beginnings and Virginia Quality, the commonwealth’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system. “Virginia doesn’t have

any requirements to get into the field of early childhood

Lidl purchased last November at the intersection of Piedmont Drive and Piedmont Place in Danville. A building permit to construct a 36,000-square-foot grocery store was issued in November. The company announced its inten- tion of expanding into the United States last year and opened its U.S. headquarters in Arlington. (Danville Register & Bee)

Microsoft Corp. has announced its fifth expansion in Mecklenburg County. The company will invest $251.6 million to expand its data center. The project will create 44 jobs. According to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Microsoft has invested nearly $2 billion in its Mecklen- burg facility since 2010 and cre- ated more than 250 jobs. McAu- liffe approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Oppor-

education,” says Megan Healy, assistant vice chan- cellor for academics and partnerships at the Virginia Community College System. “The field has a low-paying workforce, and people don’t move up in early childhood education.”

In addition to training, the institute will offer coach- ing, professional development opportunities and a fellows program that provides

tunity Fund to assist Mecklenburg County with the project. The Vir- ginia Tobacco Region Revitaliza- tion Commission also approved $970,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. (VirginiaBusi-

Patrick Henry Community Col- lege has started renovations to its motorsports building, turning the roughly 53,000-square-foot build- ing in the Patriot Centre into a place that will house a number of new programs. The goal is to use these programs to help with job training and other ways of devel- oping a local workforce. (Martins- ville Bulletin)

Runk & Pratt (R&P) had its rezon- ing request of 349 acres off of Country Club Road approved by the Pittsylvania County Board of

$1 million gift from a Chatham couple aims to improve the

Ben and Betty Davenport are known for their philanthropy and interest in education.

selected students — many on the center-director level — with financial incentives, service opportunities and leadership experiences. “We want them to be regular and local advocates of the pro- gram,” Healy says. “Our first set of fellows should finish their program in 2018.” The institute will begin in January. Students who complete 16 required credit courses in a year will receive a career-studies cer- tificate. Fellows must

complete a two-year program to receive associate degrees. Part of the Davenport

gift will be used for outreach for faith-based and home- based child-care centers, many of which are not registered with the commonwealth’s social services agency. “We want to use the community college system to provide bet- ter professional development and education opportunities for those providers as well,” Healy says.

Supervisors, allowing the com- pany to begin renovating the Alta- vista Country Club and construct- ing a senior living community. Hurt Town Mayor Gary Poindexter wel- comed the company to the area. (Chatham Star Tribune)


Rhonda Hopkins and Suzan Kirby were named the overall winners of Patrick Henry Community College’s Big IDEA Challenge, which aims to inspire people to create new jobs in the Martinsville area. Chris Wagoner was named the student winner. (Martinsville Bulletin)

Madelyn R. Meadows has been promoted to senior branch office administrator at the Danville

branch office of financial services firm Edward Jones. Meadows has been with Edward Jones four years. (Work It, SoVa)

Karl Schledwitz, the chairman and chief executive officer of Monogram Foods, has been named to the National Provisioner’s Top 25 Icons list, which honors influential leaders in the processed meat industry. Monogram Foods is the parent company of Monogram Snacks Martinsville. (Work It, SoVa)

David Smitherman has been named Pittsylvania County administrator. He succeeds Clarence Monday, who retired. Smitherman was a senior consultant at Bear Strategies in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Danville Register & Bee)


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