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Governor Ralph Northam announced appointment of two Roanoke Valley leaders



$27.4 million from Virginia budget to be used for gun violence prevention

Roanoke, Virginia – Governor Ralph Northam announced that two Roanoke Valley leaders have been appointed to provide input and improve the state.

Dr. Susheela Shanta of the Burton Center for Arts and Technology was appointed as STEM Education Advisory Board member and the economic development director for Roanoke County will work with Virginia’s Manufacturing Development Commission.

“That is going to focus on improving and providing access to all youth in Virginia to STEM resources in a cohesive and integrative manner,” says Dr. Shanta.

Loope wants to ensure that the manufacturing industry has a significant presence in southwest Virginia.

“I hope to be able to speak the voice of manufacturing on this commission and represent the needs of all of our businesses. We have a long history of manufacturers throughout southwest Virginia that really don’t have a voice in Richmond as much as they would like,” Loope said.

Shanta wants to ensure that all kids in the Commonwealth have access to STEM programs.

“We have several really good public school STEM programs, including this one that I’m teaching at,” she says. “We have many universities and colleges, private organizations, and nonprofits that all provide resources, but it’s not uniformly available everywhere and students need to have that ability to avail themselves of this education should they need it or want it.”

Both ladies will work with their panels in the coming years to improve elements of life in the Roanoke Valley and across the state by learning and sharing their experience.

“It’s not only going to be me being able to contribute, but me also being able to learn and then bring my experiences and knowledge to be able to help out,” Dr. Shanta notes.

“This is an opportunity to engage in a higher-level conversation about issues affecting manufactures in southwest Virginia,” explains Loope.

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