The Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission recently took the initial step to develop new economic development partnerships with the academic community.
Three meetings were held in the region to seek suggestions from the public, said Lewis Lawrence, MPPDC’s executive director. The meetings were an opportunity to gather input on ways the commission might develop new partnerships with Virginia universities participating within the Virginia Sea Grant Network. Those schools include the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech.
The focus of the first meeting on Oct. 7 at Tappahannock was retail trade and medical fields. Lawrence said comments ranged from a problem with retaining good physicians to a lack of transportation to get to medical appointments.
During the second meeting Oct. 7 at the MPPDC office in Saluda, Lawrence said the focus was on the maritime industry. One comment that surfaced there, a staff report said, was there’s a need to teach basic boating skills in the schools so there will be future generations of watermen.