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Online Update of News and Events in Charlottesville

 

SOUTH STREET BREWERY RE-OPENS
South Street Brewery is about to re-open under new ownership. The new owners, Mandi and Taylor Smack, have spent the last several months upgrading and renovating the brewery, located at 106 West South Street. The Smacks purchased the Brewery during the summer; however, this is not their first endeavor in the beer producing and restaurant business. Taylor and Mandi also own the Blue Mountain Brewery and Blue Mountain Barrel House, both located in Nelson County. However, purchasing South Street was more than taking on another brewery operation. This Brewery holds a special place for the Smacks because it is where Taylor began his brewer's experience, working as an unpaid intern to learn the trade almost 20 years ago.

Since Mandi and Taylor purchased the property, the brewery has undergone major renovations and upgrades. The stainless steel brewing system and fireplace are the only remnants from the original brewery. Everything from the kitchen to the floors and, even a new walk-in beer cooler, have enhanced the brewery's operations and feel. Wanting to create a more open, vibrant space, the new layout will feature large exterior windows and an open-floor seating plan.

While the beer menu will keep some of the South Street classics, the food menu is what Taylor and Mandi are really excited about. Although the menu details are being finalized, Taylor did share a few hints at what to expect. "The menu will feature traditional American pub food, but with a major focus fresh ingredients from local farms and producers," explained Taylor. There are even plans to recognize all the local food producers with an artwork display in the restaurant.

All the final inspections will be happening during the next several days, and with the tables and chairs arriving soon, everything is on track for the reopening.

South Street Brewery will open on November 3rd and will serve lunch, dinner, and late night service seven days a week. For more information, please visit their website.


MOONLIGHTING LAUNCHES OPERATIONS IN THE CITY
Recently another technology start-up announced its intentions to begin operations from Charlottesville. Moonlighting is a mobile peer-to-peer platform that brokers trusted deals between buyers and sellers for both goods and services, anywhere at any time. The app allows people to post, find, and purchase opportunities while also enabling individuals to easily and securely send and receive digital payments to friends, family, and colleagues right from their mobile device. Moonlighting differentiates itself from competitors by readily embracing the mobile lifestyle of today's consumers and workers.

City of Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Huja was on hand to proclaim Wednesday, October 15 as "Moonlighting Day." "Moonlighting expands the growing community of companies that are making Charlottesville an ideal city to start and grow a new business," commented Mayor Huja. "Moonlighting brings the power of the purse to each mobile device and opens up economic opportunities for everyone and we are proud to have such an innovative company call Charlottesville home."

In fact, recent research by the Martin Prosperity Institute reveals that Charlottesville ranks 8th in the number of venture capital deals per capita in the United States. The data also suggests that entrepreneurs and investors are increasingly seeking urban environments and the enhanced amenities they provide, for their startup locations and investments. As proof, San Francisco topped Silicon Valley in total venture capital invested in 2012.

At the launch announcement, founder Jeff Tennery said, "I intend to revolutionize household income and help the citizens of Charlottesville put more money in their pockets and optimize their lives."

To learn more about Moonlighting visit www.moonlightingapp.com or to download the mobile app, visit the Apple App Store or at Google Play.


ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY SUMMIT ON HEALTHCARE JOBS
The City of Charlottesville is holding an economic opportunity summit to improve understanding of local career prospects in the healthcare field. The Economic Opportunity Healthcare Jobs Summit will have a dual focus on high-growth healthcare jobs not requiring a college degree, as well as training and education programs that align with the needs of the region's healthcare employers. The Summit is set to take place on Thursday, November 13th from 8am to 12pm at the Carver Recreation Center, located in the Jefferson School City Center, at 233 4th Street NW in Charlottesville.

Summit participants are strategic players in the healthcare field, drawn from both employers and educators, who will provide discussions on issues such as current workforce needs, available educational programs, and strengthened collaboration between educators and employers. The Summit will offer two in-depth panel discussions by participants who represent a wide range of employers and educators in the Charlottesville region. The first panel scheduled from 8:45am-10:00am will include local business leaders from Home Instead Senior Care, BrightStar Care, and the UVa Health System. The second panel from 10:15am-11:30am will consist of educators from Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center, and Charlottesville City Schools.

If you are interested in exploring the issues affecting Charlottesville's ability to create, attract, and retain healthcare jobs within the community, please RSVP by November 10th to Hollie Lee, Chief of Workforce Development Strategies for the City of Charlottesville, at leeh@charlottesville.org or 434-970-3117.


PVCC COLLEGE & CAREER PATHWAYS EXPO
On November 12th and 13th, the College and Career Pathways Expo will be held at John Paul Jones Arena for 10th-12th grade students. Over 2,000 students from five local school systems will get the chance to explore potential careers and directly meet businesses and educators. There will be representatives from more than 50 employers offering exhibits in different career cluster areas, such as Health Sciences, Agriculture, Arts, Information Technology, and Architecture. The Expo will also highlight access to college and educational expectations through its "College Central" area with experts from PVCC and UVA available to students. To inspire students about their future and to plan for the opportunities that await them, the event will offer engaging, motivational speakers throughout the day.

The Expo is currently seeking volunteers to help encourage students to explore college and career pathways opportunities, as well as welcome exhibitors, take photographs, and assist with set-up. All volunteers will receive complimentary breakfast and lunch for the day.

The Expo is offered by Piedmont Futures, in partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College, University of Virginia, John Paul Jones Arena, local employers, and the school districts of the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson counties.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Miriam Rushfinn, PVCC Program Manager-Youth & Special Programs at mrushfinn@pvcc.edu or 434-961-6530. For more information on Piedmont Futures, CLICK HERE.

DOWNTOWN JOB CENTER RIBBON CUTTING AND OPEN HOUSE
On Wednesday, September 10th, a ribbon cutting and open house were held to celebrate the opening of the City's new Downtown Job Center, located at 201 E. Market Street in the Lower Level of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. The establishment of the Downtown Job Center was the result of a recommendation made by the City's Strategic Action Team on Workforce Development in its report, Growing Opportunity: A Path to Self-Sufficiency, which was presented to City Council a little over a year ago.

As part of the Growing Opportunity study, the Strategic Action Team (SAT), made up of twelve City staff from five departments, closely analyzed the need for employment services downtown to ensure that all City residents have access to resources as they navigate their path to self-sufficiency. Based on the SAT's findings, a recommendation was made to Council to establish a downtown satellite to the Virginia Workforce Center - Charlottesville, thus strengthening the City's partnership with Piedmont Workforce Network and the Workforce Center's collocated service providers.

The Downtown Job Center, which is staffed by the Office of Economic Development (OED), works closely with job seekers to help them prepare for the workforce by offering customized services such as assistance with job searches and employment applications, resume writing, and mock interviewing. The Downtown Job Center also works with local employers to help them find qualified job candidates by offering targeted recruitment opportunities and hiring events and developing workforce training programs to meet high demand industry needs.

The OED is excited about this new endeavor and collaboration with so many community partners. Please feel free to stop by the Downtown Job Center to see the space, meet the staff, and find out more about the services being offered!

ACE PROGRAM BUSINESS CELEBRATES NEW OFFICE BUILDING
The Virginia Center for Neurofeedback, Attachment and Trauma recently opened new space in downtown Charlottesville at 420 3rd Street, NE. The September 19th open house culminated an extremely productive period of growth for the business.

Founded in 2007, the Virginia Center for Neurofeedback, Attachment and Trauma has two of only 19 certified neurofeedback providers in Virginia: Robin Bernhard and Jessica Eure. Jessica's participation in the ACE Program allowed her to analyze opportunities to increase revenues. With such a high demand for her services, two ACE goals were created to offset some of her direct client workload. One goal was to offer supervision towards licensure and board certification in neurofeedback to other clinicians. The second goal was to reduce time spent on paperwork with the addition of administrative support staff. Using the ACE program structure assisted Jessica in accomplishing these goals. She now has more time to focus on building her business and  offering effective, safe, and non-pharmaceutical approaches, such as biofeedback and neurofeedback, to help with a variety of disorders.

Additionally, Jessica's enrollment in the ACE program came at a time when she was planning to purchase property to relocate her business to the City. Jessica and her business partners purchased a building in the spring and spent the summer months renovating and retrofitting the space. In addition to the Virginia Center for Neurofeedback, Attachment and Trauma, 420 3rd Street, NE is fully occupied with seven other practitioners, focused on mental and physical wellness. As Jessica shared, "I have found the ACE program team to be incredibly supportive and helpful. All the members of the Office of Economic Development that I have met have seemed genuinely interested in the success of my business. Receiving this grant has reinforced and validated all the hard work I've put in to get my business to where it is. It has also inspired me to continue reaching for bigger and more challenging business goals and instilled a new level of confidence in my ability to achieve those goals, knowing that I have a whole community supporting my success."

For more information about the Virginia Center for Neurofeedback, Attachment and Trauma, CLICK HERE. To learn about the ACE program, CLICK HERE.

GOVSMART GROWS BUSINESS IN CHARLOTTESVILLE
Charlottesville's fastest growing company is utilizing several City business amenities to help them reach their business goals. GovSmart, a full scale provider of IT products and services, opened several years ago in the home office of founders, Hamza Durrani and Brent Lillard. Now in its fifth year of operations, the company reported over $25 million in revenues during 2013. Having years of experience in the IT field allowed Hamza and Brent an in-depth understanding of selling products to the government. Their knowledge of the federal procurement process also made the City of Charlottesville an ideal location to launch their business within a HUBZone.

The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program assists small businesses in designated urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. Created in 2007, HUBZone encourage business development in historically underdeveloped areas. The federal government's current goal is to award 3% of all funds for federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small businesses. The City of Charlottesville currently has two designated HUBZones, one south of the Downtown Mall and one near the University.

Businesses that meet all the HUBZone requirements are allowed competitive and sole source contracting and 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities. Brent, the current CEO, feels there is an advantage offered by his company. "GovSmart provides a very attractive sourcing option for our federal customers because of our HUBZone status. Most agencies are extremely behind on their HUBZone goals because it is hard for a company to maintain the strict requirements once they grow enough to fulfill the larger contracts. Charlottesville has enabled us to attract and retain talent because it is a beautiful and affordable place to live...yet it still qualifies for HUBZone status. By utilizing the HUBZone program as one of our tools to give us an edge over the competition, GovSmart has been ranked "The Fastest Growing Computer Hardware Company in the USA" by INC Magazine for 2014."


OED OPENS DOWNTOWN JOB CENTER AND HIRES CORY DEMCHAK AS COORDINATOR
The City of Charlottesville Downtown Job Center opened its doors on Monday, August 18, 2014. The Center, a satellite of the Virginia Workforce Center - Charlottesville, is located on the lower level of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library at 201 East Market Street. A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the Downtown Job Center will occur on Wednesday, September 10th at 11:30am.

The Downtown Job Center was created in part by City Council's initiative to help City residents achieve self-sufficiency through workforce development opportunities. To staff the Center, Cory Demchak was hired as the City's first Job Center Coordinator. In this role, Cory will work with job seekers to help them prepare to join the workforce by offering assistance with job searches, employment applications, resume writing services, interviewing skills, etc. He will also be working with employers to help find suitable job candidates through targeted recruitment opportunities and hiring events.

Most recently Cory was employed with the District 9 Probation and Parole Office, working with residents of Charlottesville and Albemarle. From his experience at District 9, Cory has a strong understanding of the employment barriers that many City residents face on a daily basis. Cory brings his knowledge of our community and a desire to help the citizens of Charlottesville. Please join the Office of Economic Development in welcoming Cory as the City's Job Center Coordinator.


CHARLOTTESVILLE'S RELAY FOODS RECEIVES $100,000 GRANT FROM AFID AND CEDA
On June 30th, Governor McAuliffe visited Charlottesville's own Relay Foods to announce its selection as a recipient of a $50,000 grant given through the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID). The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with the City of Charlottesville and Relay Foods on this project. Along with the $50,000 given by the Commonwealth, the grant will be matched by the Charlottesville Economic Development Authority (CEDA) for a combined total of $100,000.
 
The company, a leading online grocery store and farmers market, will invest more than $735,000 into the business and create 25 new jobs in the City. In an effort to deliver high quality foods and groceries, Relay Foods connects local farmers and artisans with customers in surrounding areas via its unique website (www.RelayFoods.com). Founded in Charlottesville in 2008, Relay Foods has since expanded north to Annapolis, Maryland and as far south as Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Receiving this grant will make continued expansion possible and will help to promote local farmers and businesses within the communities affected.
 
According to Governor McAuliffe, "We continue to realize the benefits of fully integrating agriculture and forestry into the state's strategic economic development platform. Relay Foods' announcement today not only creates quality new job opportunities for residents of Charlottesville, it strengthens the ties that this innovative and fast-growing company has to the Commonwealth. Supporting entrepreneurs with unique and exciting business models is another way for Virginia to grow and diversify our economy, especially with the variety of agricultural producers across the Commonwealth."
 
Speaking on behalf of Relay Foods, Zach Buckner, co-founder and CEO of Relay Foods, expressed thanks and reminded the audience of Relay Foods' mission, "At Relay Foods, our goal is to strengthen the local food economy in every community we serve, and we have been able to grow and thrive in Virginia based on our strong partnerships with producers across the state. We look forward to using this AFID grant to continue exploring innovative ways to connect our customers with the fresh and local foods produced by Virginia growers and artisans."
 
 
CITY BUSINESSES RECOGNIZED AT 2ND ANNUAL BBC AWARDS
June 19th marked the second annual Better Business Challenge awards ceremony, during which local businesses were honored for their dedication to environmental sustainability and efficiency. The event was held at the Paramount Theater by Better World Betty and the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP). Over 100 people were in attendance.
 
Among those recognized were several City businesses enrolled in the Office of Economic Development's Advancing Charlottesville Entrepreneurs (ACE) grant program. Award winners included: Amazing Cleaning Service, which received a LEED-compliant backpack and green cleaning supplies; The Jacksons 2 Body and Soul Salon, which received an Energy Star purifier and programmable thermostat; and My Baby's Security, which was awarded reusable art, mealtime supplies, and safer sunscreen.
 
In receiving the award, Ernestine Mathews, owner and founder of My Baby's Security said, "I felt really, really honored." She went on to say how appreciative and thrilling winning the award was and that "It's not only me who won this award, but everyone who helped me get here did too."
 
Many other City businesses also received awards including:

  • The Paramount Theater and Charlottesville Area Transit - Kilowatt Crackdown Award for the largest reduction in energy use
  • Woodward Properties - Ripple Effect Winner for excellence in environmental stewardship
  • ReThreads - Top Innovator for sustainable ingenuity
  • Harvest Moon Catering - Green Leader for being a trailblazer in sustainable practices
  • Rivanna Natural Designs, Vinegar Hill Café, M-Cam, Indoor Biotechnologies, and Relay Foods were also named 2014 Better Business Champions.


CBIC HONORS TECHNOLOGY INNOVATORS AT ANNUAL GALA
On May 29th, over 240 people attended the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council's (CBIC) 16th Annual CBIC Awards Gala at Farmington Country Club. The event announced this year's seven award honorees. CBIC awards serve to recognize innovative achievements and leadership within the community. This year's winners were all City-based, with the exception of the Red Apple Award winner.

Dr. Karen Rheuban, Director of the Center for Telehealth for UVA Health System, won the People's Choice Navigator Award, a category that recognizes significant leadership in the local or regional entrepreneurial high tech community. The Rocket Award, given to an entity for rapid commercialization of a technology or product, was given VividCortex for bringing technical intelligence to information systems. The Spotlight Award went to Relay Foods for connecting local grocery shoppers with local food sources. The Breakthrough Award was given to PsiKick for their ultra-low power wireless sensors for batteryless chips.

The Tom Tom Founders Festival won the Community Award, for its annual celebration of music, art, and innovation. The Leadership Award was given to Jim Bain of Flying Dog Media for exemplary contributions to supporting and strengthening the organization. The Red Apple Award, given to a K-12 teacher for inspiring and preparing students to embrace the possibilities of technology, went to Michelle Karpovich, a Chemistry teacher at Western Albemarle High School.
 
 
CITY MARKET DEVELOPMENT PROJECT MOVES FORWARD
The City Market and a significant downtown mixed-use development moved closer to fruition following a recent City Council action taken on June 16th. The Council voted unanimously to direct staff to proceed with negotiations to develop a contract for sale of City-owned property with the principals of the Market Plaza submission. Upon completion, the mixed-use building would feature 18,000 square feet of retail space, 58,000 square feet of commercial space, 67 apartment units, and public parking. The City Market would be held in a half-acre public plaza with enough space for 115 vendors.  Given the complexity of the project it is not known at this time when an agreement will be reached. City Council approval of the final agreement will be required before the land sale can occur.
 
 
HEMOSHEAR RELOCATES TO FORMER MJH BUILDING
The year 2014 continues to be an exciting year for City- based bio-tech company HemoShear, which was founded in 2008 and has grown to 35 employees over the past six years. In the last few weeks, HemoShear has announced several exciting milestones. In fact, HemoShear was awarded funding by the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC) for a public/private collaboration with the University of Virginia and George Mason University. This partnership will support cancer and tumor research and is supported by the National Cancer Institute. Including the most recent VBHRC award, HemoShear has received over $10 million dollars in federal and state funding for critical medical research since 2008.
 
Additionally, HemoShear just announced  that it has secured $8.7 million dollars in private equity offerings. This influx of capital will allow HemoShear to continue its important research and discovery, and it demonstrates the confidence that private investors have in the growing company. Along with these two announcements, HemoShear's relocation into the new office space all showcases its growing role in the pharmaceutical research industry.
 
HemoShear is currently in the process of relocating all its equipment and current research in a well-planned move to the third floor of the former Cardwell Center at Martha Jefferson Hospital. The new, state-of-the-art facilities were designed by local architect Se Jin Kwak and constructed by Charlottesville-based construction firm CMS, Inc. According to Vice President of Operations, Nikki Hastings, "The advantages of moving to this new facility are very significant for the growth of HemoShear. We look forward to being in a great downtown location to leverage scaling opportunities and improve upon our operations. The transition will allow us to continue to perform cutting-edge scientific research with our pharmaceutical partners."
 
The City and Charlottesville Economic Development Authority assisted with the rapid transition of the entire hospital property through the creation of a performance agreement with the master developer.
 
 
CITY TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
In continued efforts to support the Strategic Action Team's (SAT) work of exploring and addressing issues pertaining to employment challenges, the GO Ride program was created to provide City residents have to transportation. This program is a collaboration between members of the SAT, Charlottesville Transit (CAT), and numerous community-based workforce development agencies.
 
In 2012, the City of Charlottesville created the Strategic Action Team on Workforce Development. This intra-departmental group of City staff explored issues surrounding workforce development barriers within the City of Charlottesville. In July 2013, the SAT presented a comprehensive report entitled Growing Opportunity: A Path to Self-Sufficiency in Charlottesville to City Council. This report included an overview of the workforce climate in Charlottesville, barriers to employment for low-income City residents, and recommendations from the team on how these barriers can be addressed. In this report, the SAT recognized transportation as one of the major barriers to employment for low-income City residents, specifically recognizing issues associated with finding, maintaining, and succeeding with employment for Charlottesville residents seeking self-sufficiency.
 
The GO Ride program is a pilot program that offers a 90-day bus pass to community agencies that identify eligible participants for this program. Participants will receive fully subsidized CAT monthly passes, equivalent to at least 90 days. The 90-day timeframe will help participants search for a job, secure employment, and receive their first paycheck. Participants will be responsible for interacting with the community-based workforce development agency staff to provide progress updates and also to request additional monthly passes,within the 90-day time frame. SAT staff will serve as a liaison between the Workforce Development entity and accessing bus passes. For more information, please call 970-3110 or email GOride@charlottesville.org.