For Immediate Release
January 10, 2010
Media Contact: Barry Bishop
757-622-2242Brain Drain to Brain Gain Initiative of the Greater Norfolk Corporation brings over 125 business leaders together to support young professional retention and attraction
- Business leaders in Norfolk have launched a public initiative to make Norfolk and the region a magnet for talented young professionals.
“This is a great new initiative for the new year,” says Lisa Chandler, President of the Greater Norfolk Corporation. “The Brain Gain Task Force has done its homework and now is ready to roll out a survey to the region’s young professionals.”
The month of January has been proclaimed by Mayor Fraim as “Brain Gain Month” in the City of Norfolk. The survey will be available on the website www.generationnorfolk.com
through the end of January. Volunteers will be donning Brain T-shirts and making the rounds with iPads and business cards urging citizens to “Give us a piece of your MIND” by going online.
“Your feedback will drive a community action plan to make desired improvements that will attract and retain young professionals; in short to turn “brain drain” into Hampton Roads’ Gain” says Shurl Montgomery, chair of the Greater Norfolk Corporation’s Brain Gain Committee.
In addition to approximately twenty GNC leaders on the task force, young professionals have joined in to be represented in the efforts. A group of active and engaged young professionals graciously donated their time to organize and engage the community in an effort to develop the survey on brain drain. Additionally, Old Dominion University's Social Science Research Center is responsible for activating this survey and We Are Titan's are the host for this initiatives website.
The survey will provide data of what young professionals are looking for in work, lifestyle and amenities to increase the competitiveness of Hampton Roads to attract and retain these coveted individuals that are being courted by other cities. ###
The Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is working to increase access to passenger rail transportation to Virginia’s major population centers. Projections show that the Hampton Roads region will be one of the Commonwealth’s most populated regions by 2035. While Amtrak currently provides service to Newport News, no direct intercity passenger rail train service exists today to connect South Hampton Roads with Richmond, Washington, D.C. and points north.
DRPT is changing that. Using state Rail Enhancement funds, DRPT is working with Norfolk Southern, CSX and Amtrak to extend Richmond’s Amtrak Virginia regional service, which began in July 2010, to Norfolk. When complete, residents in and around Norfolk will have a one-seat ride from Norfolk as far north as Boston. The estimated start date for this new service is 2013.
This page will provide monthly progress updates as DRPT, NS, CSX and Amtrak work together to advance this project. Once infrastructure improvements are complete and service begins, information on the service will be found at www.amtrakvirginia.com.
Project status as of January 2012
Project partners continue bi-weekly update meetings to advance the project in the most efficient manner possible.
Discussions continue regarding the Norfolk multi-modal station facility improvements and design to support the new service, The Tide light rail line, HRT Ferry, HRT Bus and Amtrak connector bus service. Partners involved in these discussions include DRPT, Amtrak, Norfolk Southern and the City of Norfolk and its consultants.
DRPT, Norfolk Southern and CSX continue to work together to coordinate work at the Petersburg Collier Connection project site.
CSX has submitted design plans of the Petersburg Collier Connection to DRPT for review and comment for the Norfolk Southern connector track. Internal DRPT review is complete, and the Agency is ready to issue s Notice To Proceed for construction.
All grading work on the Norfolk Southern segment of the Collier Connection is complete. Subbalast and ballast has been placed, and Norfolk Southern track work is close to completion. Final track elevation adjustments will be made upon completion of the CSX connection work.
Survey and design is underway for the Port Lock yard improvements.
Field surveys continue on the design of the 460 corridor signal and crossover improvements.
The Amtrak technical service agreement has been executed and work is underway on service design.
Construction for the Harbor Park passenger platform and track is underway. Most work on the passenger platform has been completed. The passenger platform track is in place and elevated to the platform grade. Actual platform concrete work is complete. Work is underway to finish work on the ramps leading to the platform. A final segment of this track is awaiting signal structure relocation by Norfolk Southern.
Construction continues on the Norfolk train turning and servicing facility. Major drainage and other utility work for the facility have been completed. Grading and site preparation for majority of the project is complete. New track has been laid on some segments of the turning and the servicing facilities. An employee building has been erected, and is ready for use.
Design for the Norfolk Southern running track between Walnut Hill and Poe is complete and the contract for construction has been awarded. Groundbreaking is now scheduled for middle of January. The City of Petersburg approved the sale of the right of way at the December 13, 2011 Council Meeting.
DRPT, Norfolk Southern and City of Petersburg are coordinating efforts to minimize impacts to vehicular traffic on Johnson Road during the new highway bridge construction. Two citizen information meetings have been held as part of the project community outreach.