The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) and the Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) staff and advisory board have selected and unveiled a new brand for the GO TEC project. The selection process was facilitated by IALR and completed with the input of students, educators, industry, economic developers and GO TEC Advisory Board members.

The logo features the GO TEC name in modern, high-tech font with the color grey and an energetic motion-oriented lime green. The “O” in “GO” incorporates the look of a power button to insinuate technology, movement and the concept of empowering talent with the skills to attract and retain top-quality industry.

“We are extremely excited to introduce and begin using the new GO TEC logo in our communication and branding efforts,” said Dr. Tammy Hurt, GO TEC Program Manager. “As we grow this talent development project into the full progressive model it is intended to be, a cohesive, well-positioned brand is critical to its success and ability to engage participants.”   

In March 2019, GO TEC received the largest grant to date from the GO Virginia competitive funding pool. The GO Virginia State Board approved an investment of up to $4.9 million, which will be matched 1-to-1 by support from more than 17 local partners. The project will deliver workforce training and talent development through a “hub and spoke” model and will target in-demand occupations identified across Southern and Southwest Virginia. Targeted career paths include IT/cybersecurity; robotics, automation and mechatronics; precision machining; welding; and advanced materials. Participating GO Virginia Regions include 1, 3 and 4, an area that encompasses many of Virginia’s rural counties stretching from Wythe County to Greensville County.

The program extends the pipeline to about 1,414 students of the following six participating middle schools during the 2019-2020 school year and will continue to grow:  Chatham and Gretna Middle Schools in Pittsylvania County, O.T. Bonner and Westwood Middle Schools in Danville, Cumberland (County) Middle School and Price Edward (County) Middle School. During the 2020-2021 school year, the following 11 additional middle schools will join the GO TEC training program and partnership:  Dan River and Tunstall Middle Schools in Pittsylvania County, James S. Russell Middle School in Brunswick County, E.W. Wyatt Middle School in Greensville County, Halifax (County) Middle School, Laurel Park Middle School in Henry County, Lunenburg (County) Middle School, Martinsville Middle School, Bluestone Middle School in Mecklenburg County, Nottoway (County) Middle School and Patrick County High School. 

Dual enrollment programs with GO TEC higher education partners continue to expand in high schools across the region. These higher education partners are also experiencing growth in their GO TEC-related, on-campus programs in areas such as welding, precision machining, IT, mechatronics and more. They include:  Danville Community College, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, New College Institute and Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, Southside Virginia Community College in Charlotte and Brunswick Counties and Wytheville Community College.  

As administrator and fiscal agent of GO TEC, IALR utilized the services of its Public Relations and Communications Department to lead the brand development effort. The team, including Manager Allison Moore and Graphic and Multimedia Specialist Daniel Dalton, worked with GO TEC staff members Hurt and Jacob Taylor, Training Coordinator, along with Dr. Julie Brown, Director of Advanced Learning at IALR.

The team reviewed multiple logo iterations before selecting four options believed to best address the goals and audiences of the GO TEC project. As part of their due diligence, the team collected stakeholder feedback from key groups, including K-12, industry, higher education and economic developers. Surveys captured a collective total of 380 responses from students and educators. The feedback guided selection of two refined logo options presented to the GO TEC Advisory Board for a final consensus. The selected logo ranked number one with students of the Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science & Technology and the Academy for Engineering & Technology. It ranked in the top two with students of the Career and Technical Education high school and middle school Career Connections programs, and first and second with industry representatives. The GO TEC Advisory Board commended the logo’s modern edge, clean design and universal appeal. They also applauded the many marketing opportunities offered by the power button and its application to a broad array of curricula and career paths.

Moving forward, the GO TEC brand will be integrated into a new website, social media presence and other communications outlets and tactics. The main goals will center on building awareness of the strengths and advantages of the GO TEC program in order to attract and retain talent development pipeline participants, as well as garnering support from other key stakeholders for program longevity.  

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, GO TEC lead agency and fiscal agent, serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation with advanced learning, applied research, advanced manufacturing, conference center services and economic development efforts. IALR’s major footprint focuses within Southern Virginia, including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Martinsville and Danville. For more information, visit www.ialr.org.

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