Va. launches new economic development program

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is launching a new program to assist regions in creating and sustaining economic development opportunities.

Gov. Bob McDonnell on Tuesday announced the Building Collaborative Communities program. It will promote regional economic collaborations in economically distressed areas to stimulate job creation, economic development, and build up communities.

The program combines several state entities including the Department of Business Assistance, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Virginia Community College System. It also will involve the lieutenant governor's office and economic advisers in the governor's office.

The state is providing $200,000 to support the program in fiscal year 2012.