News from the CSPDC Region

May 2024

Rita Whitfield Retires

Rita Whitfield, Office Manager of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission, retired after more than 46 years and was recognized for her outstanding and meritorious service at the Commission meeting on April 15, 2024.

Rita began her career with the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission on February 16, 1978, as Secretary I in the office Secretarial Pool, advancing to the position of Administrative Assistant; and then to the position of Office Manager that she held for 15 years.

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Celebrating Bike Month: Pedaling Towards a Greener Future in Virginia 

May is not just another month on the calendar; it's Bike Month - a time to celebrate the joys and benefits of cycling! As we dust off our bicycles and hit the roads and trails, it's also an opportunity to reflect on the importance of sustainable transportation and the positive impact it has on our communities. CSPDC and RideShare join the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) in promoting biking as a viable and eco-friendly mode of transportation.

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Paula Melester Selected as Director of Transportation

The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission has selected Paula Melester to be the next Director of Transportation. Paula has been at the PDC for two-and-a-half years working with the transportation and transit team first as a Regional Planner and most recently as a Senior Planner. In her previous role, Paula served as the coordinator of the Rideshare Commuter Assistance program, worked with the BRITE Transit System, and managed the Afton Express Commuter Bus Service.

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GO Virginia Region 8 Council Approves Talent Pathways Initiative Proposal

GO Virginia’s Region 8 Council convened for their regular session at the Aviation Technology Park's newest hangar located within Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport. The Council met in one of two recently constructed 14,000 square foot corporate aircraft hangars, funded with support from USDA Rural Development and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

At the meeting, the Region 8 Council approved funding for the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board’s Talent Pathways Initiative Project Proposal. This initiative focuses on analyzing the region's manufacturing, transportation, and logistics industries, with the aim of identifying labor demands and opportunities for training and workforce development.

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Afton Mountain Transportation Site Assessment Being Finalized

The Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (SAWMPO) is completing a transportation site assessment at the Afton Mountain property located at the crossroads of I-64 and Rt. 250. The assessment is part of a larger, comprehensive site study being conducted by Augusta County. 

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CSPDC Welcomes New Staff

Garreth Bartholomew, Kimberly Miller, and Philippe Bone have been hired to fill open positions at the CSPDC. 

Garreth Bartholomew joined the CSPDC as their newest Transportation Planner on April 18. He is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia's Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy with a Masters in Public Policy, specializing in rural economic and community development. He was a Graduate Assistant for both UVA Student Health and Wellness for basic needs and a Graduate Assistant at UVA School of Architecture, along with Director of Special Projects for the Remote Area Medical Free Pop-up Clinic at the Augusta Expo Center in Fishersville. 

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CSPDC’s Watershed Wellness Mini-Grant Program Awards Five Projects

The CSPDC is pleased to award five grants through the Watershed Wellness Mini-Grant Program. The grants are used for the planning and installation of stormwater best management practices through the Commission’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) program. The program is funded by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in support the State of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay pollution reduction goals.

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Town of Goshen Selected for ARC READY Local Governments Program

As reported in the February 2024 CSPDC Newsletter, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) commenced the READY Local Governments program as one of their READY Appalachia capacity-building initiatives. The READY Local Governments funding provides no-cost training to assist local government representatives with identifying, securing, managing, and implementing federally sourced projects. The course capacity was limited to 180 local government officials, with no more than two representatives per community.

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2024 Virginia Transit Association Annual Conference and Bus Expo

The Virginia Transit Association (VTA) is hosting their Annual Conference and Bus Expo on May 22-23, 2024 at the Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Valley Conference Center Harrisonburg, Virginia. Industry leaders, policymakers, and innovators from across the state converge at the annual conference to explore the future of transit. 

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Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission | 540-885-5174

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