Gov. Northam Celebrates Milestone for Economic Development in Virginia
04/24/2019 Release from the Office of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam:
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia has secured over $15.8 billion of capital investment since he took office on January 13, 2018. The capital investment represents over 300 economic development projects in every region of the commonwealth and has led to the creation of more than 48,000 jobs. Over $2 billion of this investment and more than 7,500 new jobs are in distressed communities, in which the unemployment or poverty rates are above the statewide average.
“Securing a strong, stable, and growing economy has been a top priority of my administration since day one, and this key milestone is a reflection of the hard work and collaboration among state, local, and regional partners, and members of the General Assembly,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia has secured significant capital investment and created new jobs in every corner of our commonwealth—while there is still much important work ahead of us, I am proud of our positive growth to date and remain committed to using every tool we have to ensure that all Virginians can participate in our economic progress.”
The capital investment secured during Governor Northam’s term is well over double the level of investment that any one of the previous six administrations secured during their first sixteen months in office. The commonwealth’s labor force continues to expand as businesses grow and make new investments, reaching a new record high with nine consecutive months of expansion and an unemployment rate of 2.9 percent. Additional information about the commonwealth’s economic progress is available here.
“Governor Northam has been a fierce champion for capital investment and job creation in Virginia, and securing over $15.8 billion of capital investment in 16 months is a great testament to his efforts,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We will continue working to ensure the commonwealth provides a competitive business environment that allows our existing businesses to thrive, encourages entrepreneurs to start companies here, and helps attract new businesses to invest and create jobs in Virginia.”
“This is a significant and exciting milestone for the Administration and I am proud that agriculture and forestry, two of the commonwealth’s largest industries, have shared in the success of Governor Northam’s economic development agenda,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I look forward to continuing to work with our partners around Virginia in the coming years to bring additional investments and job growth in these sectors, particularly in rural areas of the commonwealth.”
“Since taking office in January 2018, Governor Northam has demonstrated his commitment to making decisions in the best interest of Virginians and Virginia’s economic competitiveness,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “The focus on hard work, tough negotiations, and genuine collaboration has resulted in a more than $15.8 billion investment in our commonwealth.”
During today’s announcement, Governor Northam ceremonially signed five economic development bills that will continue to support economic development projects throughout the commonwealth. House Bill 2003, sponsored by Delegate Lashrecse Aird, extends the major business facility job tax credit. House Bill 2021, sponsored by Delegate Matthew James, reauthorizes the Virginia Investment Performance (VIP) Grant program and the Virginia Economic Development Inventive Grant (VEDIG) program. Senate Bill 1463, sponsored by Senator Jeremy McPike, allows agencies to consider new telework jobs created when evaluating eligibility for a state grant. House Bill 2182, sponsored by Delegate Terry Austin, and Senate Bill 1681, sponsored by Senator Montgomery “Monty” Mason, provides that the state first notify the locality and the local economic development entity of surplus state property before it is offered for sale to the public.
“The core of attracting new business begins with strong economic development policies,” said Delegate Lashrecse Aird. “House Bill 2003 allows the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit to continue to serve as a tool to promote job creation and business expansion; all integral components to strengthening economically distressed communities and the entire commonwealth.”
“I was proud to sponsor legislation reauthorizing two critical incentives, VIP and VEDIG, that play an important role in Virginia’s economic development,” said Delegate Matthew James. “Both of these incentives have helped create significant capital investment and new jobs for the commonwealth and will continue to be impactful tools for both retaining and expanding our existing businesses as well as for attracting new companies to Virginia.”
“As we continue to overcome challenges with traffic, teleworking is an incredibly important opportunity we need to support,” said Senator Jeremy McPike. “This measure is a vital component to encourage teleworking.”
“House Bill 2182 will give localities the opportunity to obtain an underutilized asset and develop it into its full potential,” said Delegate Terry Austin. “This bill will provide localities across the commonwealth with another tool to maximize economic development potential through business and job creation.”
“This legislation lays out a process for the state to work closely with local leaders in order to maximize the use of state property to the benefit of localities,” said Senator Monty Mason. “It will have a tremendous impact on economic development while also benefiting the commonwealth, as it offers localities a leg up to develop surplus property into something that complements the community's vision and strategic planning.”