It was one of his biggest campaign promises, and now Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe has named the person he thinks will help create new jobs and new opportunities in Virginia.
McAuliffe announced Thursday morning deputy secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development Maurice Jones will be his nominee for secretary of commerce and trade. The cabinet post is responsible for overseeing 13 different state agencies, with a focus on economic and workforce development in Virginia.
Jones is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, and will leave his post as deputy secretary at HUD to join McAuliffe's team. He also brings with him experience in the business world, as the former president of Pilot Media in Hampton Roads.
“It will take hard work, hustle, innovation, making tough decisions, and focusing on results in order to keep Virginia's economy moving forward for ours and for future generations,” Jones said.
This will not be Jones' first time in state government; he previously served as deputy chief of staff to former Governor Mark Warner.
Jones and McAuliffe say they want to diversify Virginia's economy, focusing on burgeoning industries like tourism, to keep Virginia competitive.