University names interim director of Office of Economic Development

John Provo

John Provo

BLACKSBURG, Va., July 8, 2010 – John Provo, six-year veteran of the Office of Economic Development at Virginia Tech, has been named its interim director.

Provo has worked on a range of projects as the office’s associate director, from youth entrepreneurship to technical feasibility studies and industry cluster studies.

The office, which is part of Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs, is one of the university’s key connectors with communities across Virginia, providing entrée to business and industry seeking research expertise and helping cities and regions develop strategic plans to deal with high unemployment.

Provo led a Virginia Tech team that drew together almost 20 external partners, winning $3.8 million in federal stimulus money this year to train workers for new, green jobs in the construction industry.

He received his Ph.D. from the School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University and his master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. His bachelor's degree is from the College of William and Mary. While in Richmond, he worked for Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade on implementation of revisions to the state's workforce development system. Provo also writes an economic development blog.

Provo takes over from Ted Settle, who retires in July.

“During his tenure Ted did a marvelous job, making many valuable contributions to economic and community development,” said John Dooley, vice president of Outreach and International Affairs. “Through Ted’s efforts, grants from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and other sources increased dramatically. We wish Ted well in retirement, and we look forward to the ideas and energy John brings as he increases his leadership role.”

A soundbite video in which Dooley describes the work of the Office of Economic Development can be found online.

Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs supports the university’s engagement mission by creating community partnerships and economic development projects, offering professional development programs and technical assistance, and building collaborations to enrich discovery and learning – all with the overarching goal of improving the quality of life for people within the commonwealth and throughout the world. Outreach and International Affairs leads Virginia Tech’s presence on five continents; its regional research and development centers across the commonwealth focus on graduate education and professional development. Blacksburg-based centers are dedicated to student engagement, language, policy, and governance.