Scott Tate, a senior economic development specialist since 2014, has been promoted to associate director of Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development. The office promotes economic engagement between Virginia Tech and public, private, and nonprofit partners to help stimulate growth in the commonwealth’s economy.

The office, part of Outreach and International Affairs, has experienced strong growth in the past year, with a 55 percent increase in new external funding, totaling nearly $1.1 million.

“Scott’s leadership has been instrumental in shaping several large, complex, high-impact projects,” said John Provo, director of the Office of Economic Development. “Scott has shaped the state’s participation in the U.S. Department of Labor POWER initiative, which assists those struggling with the loss of coal jobs in Southwest Virginia and also seeks to strengthen other industry sectors to grow more quality jobs in the region.”

Tate earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Virginia Tech, followed by a master’s degree in management from the Pamplin College of Business.

Earlier in his career, he worked in the nonprofit and private sectors, then at Emory & Henry College where, in 1998, he directed community engagement efforts as part of the Appalachian Center for Community Service. In that role, he led the college’s participation in a three-year national demonstration project titled “Engaging Colleges and Communities,” developed and managed a five-year federal GEAR UP project from the U.S. Department of Education, and supported a new faculty service learning initiative.

Before moving to the Office of Economic Development, Tate was a community viability extension specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech, leading statewide extension initiatives in entrepreneurship and training programs for elected officials.

Tate earned his doctoral degree through Virginia Tech’s Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) in 2012, completing field research in Northern Ireland, studying arts-based initiatives to help bridge longstanding ethnic and sectarian divides in Belfast communities and neighborhoods, some of which are physically split by walls and wire barricades.

Tate co-edited, with Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs faculty member Max Stephenson, Arts and Community Change: Exploring Cultural Development Policies, Practices and Dilemmas, published by Routledge in 2015.

In his new role, Tate will continue to connect companies and communities with the resources of Virginia Tech, while new responsibilities include working with the Office of Economic Development team to strengthen project collaboration and working to develop potential new faculty and community partners.

“I am excited about the opportunity to help people and places, bringing the resources and expertise of Virginia Tech to partnerships and collaborations focused on creating jobs, strengthening community, and supporting workers and businesses,” Tate said.

Written by Erica Corder