Tourism Spending at All-Time High in Franklin Co. for 2015

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

harbFRANKLIN CO. - Data released this week by the Virginia Tourism Corporation shows all regions in Virginia reported an increase in tourism revenue for 2015 over the year before, including Franklin County.

Total tourism revenue in Franklin County for 2015 totalled $105,262,670, an increase over 2014's totals by 2.8 percent. Local tourism jobs were up 3.2 percent with 1,281 persons working in the sector. Tourism-related taxes for the same year totalled $3,089,246, an increase of 6.2 percent over 2014.

Across the entire state of Virginia, $23 billion in travel spending was reported for 2015, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

The local data is based on travelers within the U.S. who spend on trips taken 50 miles or more from where they live.

"With two lakes and two rivers, outdoor recreation and related scenery continues to be a draw," said Franklin Co. tourism development manager David Rotenizer.

"This is terrific news for our community. For five years, Franklin County has continued to witness postitive growth in tourism-related jobs and revenue," Rotenizer said, also noting that visitor spending has surged from $45.8 million in Franklin Co. in 1996 to the latest figure of $105.2 million in 2015.



Gruchow to Head STEP's Business Programs

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

step3With more than 30 years’ experience in private sector helping clients achieve their business and personal financial goals, Gruchow will direct, expand and refine STEP’s business and financial services programs, including existing programs in Individual Development Accounts (IDA), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), and financial education programming. She will also provide technical assistance and advice to clients including entrepreneurs, small business owners, and individuals who need basic financial planning assistance.


“My goal is to provide financial education to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and be the premier provider of full spectrum educational and support services to potential and existing small businesses in Franklin County and beyond; enabling them to provide sustained financial security for themselves and their families,” Gruchow said. “Families who are financially stable help support a vibrant local economy.  But we also know that this is an ambitious goal, and that we will succeed only by working in collaboration with local, regional and national organizations to promote small business growth in our community.”


Gruchow is a certified financial planner with extensive experience as a financial and investment advisor with major financial institutions. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, CFP® from the College for Financial Planning and has completed professional development courses in internal corporate professional selling and public relations and motivation. She is a current member of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, Smith Mountain Lake Association and has volunteered with the Charity Home Tour as home liaison for the last four years. She is a past board member for YWCA and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.



YMCA's Land of Wonder Preschool Partners with Smart Beginnings, VA Quality Initiative

Written by Jamey Singleton. Posted in News

yyyROCKY MOUNT - The Y Land of Wonder Preschool is a proud participant of “Virginia Quality” Initiative. Virginia Quality is the state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system geared to support programs with tools and services to achieve top quality.

Under the VA Quality, the Y Land of Wonder Preschool, focuses on high-quality standards, and adheres to the following five, nationally recognized, quality standards and best practices, that are proven to matter in children’s school success: Basic Health & Safety, Education & Assessment, Curriculum Assessment, Environment, and Interactions. 

Childcare Director Hope Vaccaro, describes the Y Program as, “a commitment to excellence.” adds, “We’re soaring in all five of the nationally recognized standards, and we are thrilled to be a partner with Smart Beginnings and VA Quality. With VA Quality, we can ensure that every child has the skills they need to be successful once they enter Kindergarten.”

The Land of Wonder Preschool, in service for more than 10 years, is fully licensed through the Virginia Department of Social Services. Services include Music and Movement; Sing, Spell, Read, & Write/Creative Curriculum; Swim Lessons; Art Discovery; Kindergarten preparation; and more. Children are provided a spacious playground, gym, and nature trail for gross motor skills.

There is an additional focus on teaching the Y core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.

The Franklin County YMCA’s mission is to help those in need in the Franklin County community.

The Y Land of Wonder Preschool offers 3, 4, or 5 day enrollment for children ages 2–5.

For more information on the Y Land of Wonder Preschool, please call 540-489-9622, or stop by 295 Technology Dr., Rocky Mount VA.