The Hampton Roads Partnershipâ€™s program of work is a journey, not a destination.
If you agree with common scholarly wisdom that the greatest barrier to regional coordination, cooperation and collaboration is the lack of a common metropolitan consciousness and citizenship, then Hampton Roads has a lot to celebrate.
Other regions bemoan the difficulties in working together while Hampton Roads takes its place as one of the great regions of this country. Our individual communities are doing so much in their physical development and redevelopment, and we truly are working together â€¦ thinking, living and acting regionally.
The main focus of the Hampton Roads Partnership today, as it was at our founding in 1996, is action as the only organization to bring all community leaders, the private and public sectors, of Hampton Roads together to build consensus on key strategic issues that will improve our position in the global economy â€¦ actions to promote quality of life such as working on regional citizenship, developing a regional economic strategy, building on the regionâ€™s fundamental assets, raising the regionâ€™s human capital through education, laying an adequate physical infrastructure for the future and nurturing an attractive, both natural and man-made, environment.
For more details, please read the Impact Statements included here. Some of our regional successes have included:
- Proclaimed â€śHampton Roads Americaâ€™s First Regionâ€ť through a regional civic pride campaign, enhancing the publicâ€™s awareness of the interdependence of our cities and counties and building regional identity, name recognition and image;
- Guided the development of a $30 Million budget request to enhance Modeling and Simulation (M&S) infrastructure in Hampton Roads and education of state legislators on the importance of M&S to the region and the Commonwealth;
- Leveraged Regional Competitiveness Program (RCP) monies with localities and businesses through the Workforce Investment Boards to attract $20 Million from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the largest grant ever awarded to the Hampton Roads region;
- Organization of Opportunity Inc., the Workforce Investment Act Board for Southside and Western Hampton Roads, to focus on the emerging highly skilled workforce, including the provision of critical needs such as computer training and digital access;
- Spotlighted initiatives that targeted the period from birth through high school including founding Square One and focusing on the Hampton Roads Community Learning Center Network, Smart Beginnings, and career and technical education with emphasis on early childhood and K-12;
- Led the way to obtain legislation allowing Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia to work together and hold separate referenda on regional transportation funding, including achieving consensus with the communities of Hampton Roads to endorse projects making the biggest difference on a regional basis and endorsing a regional shared revenue source;
- Launched the Hampton Roads Film Office to provide a central point of contact for attracting and aiding film, TV and advertising production work in Hampton Roads;
- Formed and funded Innovate!HamptonRoads (formerly the Hampton Roads Research Partnership), which includes eight of the regionâ€™s colleges and universities, two federal labs and the business sector, to encourage entrepreneurship, more comprehensive and uniform research collaboration, technology transfer capability and better communicate their collective strengths in the promotion of research-based economic development to increase regional technology commercialization;
- Founded and funded Technology Hampton Roads (formerly the Hampton Roads Technology Council), the first and only region-wide technology advocacy organization, and the multi-location Hampton Roads Technology Incubator, including focus on identifying technology â€śclusters,â€ť studies directed at marine science, modeling and simulation and an assessment on how the region could boost both its technology and general economic development efforts and enhance the regionâ€™s entrepreneurial culture;
- Support of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, established by the region's Mayors and Chairs Caucus, to protect regional military and federal assets for various threats;
- Advanced the positive impact of our greatest economic engine, the Port of Virginia, through securing funding for dredging to increase the depth our inbound channel, made possible through our Port ombudsmen, significantly increasing the Portâ€™s ability to handle the deep draft ships of today and the future, improving our competitive position with ports such as New York whose channels are much more shallow;
- Encouraged and advocated for the first merged transit system in America, Tidewater Regional Transit and Peninsula Transit into todayâ€™s Hampton Roads Transit;
- Provide dialogue between the â€śgrass topsâ€ť and â€śgrass rootsâ€ť with the Hampton Roads Regional Blog, http://SmartRegion.org, the answer to the call from citizens for one regional focus, one reliable source of information (think â€śWikipediaâ€ť), a portal to connect Hampton Roads' organizations, citizens and civic leaders;
- Supply performance measures and comparative data to monitor the regionâ€™s progress toward a thriving economy, high quality workforce, robust transportation network and superior quality of life with http://HamptonRoadsPerforms.org; and
- Provide a deeper dive of information, a repository of links, documents and presentations essential to the economic health and quality of life in Hampton Roads via our websiteâ€™s Resource Library.
The Hampton Roads Partnership promotes appreciation, access and action of our regional interdependence. Today, we are connecting all jurisdictions with a broader, comprehensive regional plan, http://VisionHamptonRoads.com to capitalize on our collective strengths and prioritize our economic development activities with a blueprint for the regionâ€™s future.